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It was chilly that afternoon and the evening had to turn out the same. The library was already near closing. Clara looked up to the clock as she stood behind the big desk, 9:43, she had till 10:00 before they closed but her eyes were already trying to close as well. She tried focusing back on the book that she was reading. It was about a girl who was being hunted for reasons still unknown to her and the main character. Clara closed the book with a heavy sigh it had been a long day. She had woken up with the sun shining in her face only to have it disappear hours later for a heavy rain shower to fall, A least my flowers are watered now, she thought. But the positivity of the situation ended there, she had forgotten her umbrella at home and was most certainly getting wet, either from the sky of the puddles she would step in, should've worn boots she thought. But then again she didn't control the weather.
She wasn't in a bad mood though, if she were home the weather would have been no problem it's just that being outside in the evening chill would have been better with a coat. She took a deep breath and looked around at the shelves, nobody had come in for a half hour already and that didn't bother her, though a few patrons still roamed the halls of the library she knew the latecomers well, they arrived early and stayed late all for various reasons, Mr. Jenkins was older and lonely, so he liked to read, came in almost every day, on the other hand, you had Lucy Preston, a teenage girl who found escape in the pages in front of her, not that Clara could blame her, sometimes you need to escape the real world.
Clara decided to go for a walk around see if anything needed cleaning up, so she stood up off her stool, unruffled her grey pencil skirt, pulled her sweater tighter around her and marched off to roam the halls.
It had been several hours and Mavi was lost in the library and had been since that morning. She often had a habit of zoning out from the world around her when it came to research, but this was a record. Fourteen hours since she'd last spoken to another human and Mavi couldn't exactly say when she'd last reminded herself to take a break or get some food. The library would be closing any minute, but she'd lost awareness of time. With a purple pen encased in between the fingers of her right hand, she struggled to write her notes without her penmanship shaking into illegibility. Was it two espressos that she'd had in the last six hours or three?
Either way, she was onto a trail, and it was too interesting to just get up and leave the books behind. Mavi yawned and rubbed at her eyes, which were dry. It had been a long day and the information in her head was beginning to blur together. All of the books spread out across her reach, many of them old and dusty, were slowly losing focus in her eyes. "Need...coffee." She curled up against the edge of the nearby couch and slumped against the pillows, letting the pens in her hands spill ink over her fingers. Sleep was taking priority.
After finally finishing the remaining of her work, the library was closed, and pretty much empty she searched and was sure it had been empty, but a young girl with brunette hair, face lying on the table, Must have missed the closing announcement she thought, and quite understood, remembering the years of late-night studying as it were yesterday, it still haunted her nightmares.
Clary walked over to the girl, and gently tapped the girl's shoulder, she didn't wake and decided she might as well let the poor girl sleep, she went over to the books and pulled out a book about English poetry in the 1800s. Clara would let her sleep for a while she probably had been studying all day, first thing first, Clara wanted some tea, so she took her book with her to the Library kitchen making just enough for two.
If anything could wake Mavi up, it was the smell of a hot cup of English tea. She would be the first to admit that she had a bad habit of pushing herself too hard when it came to studying late into the night or, often, early into the morning. However, drinking a good cup of Earl Grey could easily encourage her ZZZ's to speed off a few hours and give her some attention that had wasted into whatever thick book she'd merged herself into this time. The brunette yawned and stretched her arms above her head, finding the itchy pillows against her cheek make a sneeze ruffle up her nose. Good gosh...where did I fall asleep this time?
Mavi wrinkled her nose and rubbed her eyes. It was dark, apart from a few softly lit lamps that illuminated the book shelves around her. Someone had taken the care to stack the research volumes at her feet and there was a glow coming from a room off to the side.
She was in the library.
Mavi straightened her clothing and headed towards the brighter room, one of her feet stumbling in sleepiness.
She could hear the girl approaching and when she said hello, Clara was unsure but she still seemed to jump. The library was her favourite place but it could still give her the creeps at night, as did any dark place. Clara turned around, "Oh, hello, I hope I didn't wake you," she said, the point had been to let the girl sleep a little longer she must have been quite exhausted, Clara knew she herself was tired too.
"Care for a cup of tea?" she inquired, bringing the freshly boiled pot of water over to the staff table. The room itself wasn't too large, quaint enough to fit about five or so people, the wallpaper was newer being the last room to have been updated in the whole library, besides the computer section of course. The yellow wallpaper had been put in near the seventies and the white cabinets put in around the eighties made the room, an... interesting choice, to say the least.
With two mugs on the four-legged table, she sat down on one of the chairs. "Care to join me?" she asked. "My name is Clara, by the way, Clara Carter,"
Mavi tucked her hair behind her ear, as her gaze wandered from the colorful wallpaper to the cabinets of the tiny kitchen, which were softly lit by a few candles. She had to admit that it was a bit embarrassing to have fallen asleep atop her research, but at least the old habit was in front of someone who offered her tea and not a leering janitor. She appreciated the kindness more than she could verbalize. To tell the truth, Mavi had never been the best with spoken words. It was why she preferred to write them.
She took the warm mug between her fingers and took a seat opposite the sweatered blonde why had tousled blonde hair loose to the shoulders. Clara Carter. The name was not familiar, but the journalist was new to town. However, once she learned a name, she seldom forgot it. It was part of her line of work that even acquaintances could become the most valuable of allies.
She took in a deep whiff of her tea, lingering on the peppermint, before swallowing the warm liquid. "Thank you. I appreciate you not kicking me out."
Her reddened cheeks were mostly hidden by the semi-darkness, but they still felt warm. "I do have a terrible tendency of overworking myself until I collapse. The name is Mavi. Mavi Talman."
Clara found herself smiling. "I know what you mean, I easily can get lost in my work as well, but I find something to drink helps," The library was empty besides the two, and Clara found that it was a nice change from the empty halls the library provided after closing. After all, you do need good light to find companionship in a book. "It's nice to meet you Mavi," she smiled, and extended her hand, a formal handshake always made a good impression.
"You've never been here before, have you? I haven't seen you around?" the Initia asked her curiosity piqued. Clara brought the hot tea to her lips, blowing slightly and then taking a sip, she was cautious but as always it burned her tongue, she had always enjoyed tea. Even though peppermint wasn't her favourite it was a nice change from drinking water all day.
To tell the truth, Mavi seemed to find herself in the library wherever she went: whether it was in sixth grade escaping her foster home, in her late teen years in the Talman's home library hiding from her new relatives, or now in Evermore trying to solve the mystery of her heritage. There was a quiet solace in the shelves of books and minimal interactions between the people in the building. Mavi had always appreciated silence and silence and books was even better. She had been digging her nose into books for as long as she could remember and writing articles was an extension of her love of words. While people had come and gone from her life, she could never fault a good book, wherever you went the story remained thee same.
Taking a break from her deep-dive into the history of the valkyrie was actually a relief as everything was beginning to blur together after eight hours. With a warm cup of tea in her hands, she was able to set aside both her curiosity and the overload of knowledge that she'd been presented with today. "It's nice to meet you, too, Clara." Mavi said,
She hadn't made many friends yet in the city. She'd spoken to the Frenchman (was it Caleb?) who used the same running route as she did through the woods, but apart from that her neighbors seemed either reclusive or uninterested in newcomers.
"You've got good eyes." She chuckled, setting down the cup of tea and rubbing her eyes. They were dry from staring at old books all day. "I only just arrived a month or so ago. It's....been interesting. Very different from New York."
"New York, impressive, what did you do while you were there?" Clara asked. Only having been there once or twice when she was younger, she could still picture it, her a much younger girl before both of her parents had died, they had taken her there near Christmas, the streets filled with people buying presents, in all of the fancy little stores, each with a little story of there own.
Clara picked up her teacup, embroidered pattern lacing the sides with a delicate rose and daisy pattern, some of her favourite flowers, and sipped some more, the liquid still as hot as ever, but it was nice to drink something warm, as the evening air had picked up, and the library crept with the chill from its bones. "What brought you to Evermore?" Clara asked.
Mavi smiled fondly. She loved big city life. She could work late in hum with city noise and wake up early and the city was still moving. It never stopped. She loved the people and it seemed like she met someone new everyday, even when she went to the same places. She'd been sixteen when she moved to the city and her new relatives had taken her on tours of the city. "My favorite place is the Central Park Zoo. I love bringing my daughter there." Mentioning Jonah made Mavi smile, despite missing her she did know that her little girl was in good hands. "What is your family like?"
As she sipped her tea, she had to admit that it was nice to take a break from all the research. "I'm looking for my family history. I need to find out where I came from...because I was adopted."
Clara smiled at the mention of the woman having a daughter, Clara had always wanted children herself, ever since she was young. The loneliness of being an only child had definitely fueled some of that dream. "How old is your daughter? What's she like?" she knew from experience, mothers and father's usually liked talking about there children, after all, children usually brought a great deal of joy to their lives.
However, when Mavi asked about her family, the answer was sure to bring the conversation to a much more depressing mood. But Clara felt it rude not to answer. "My father died when I was 12 and when I was older my mother and stepfather were murdered, I'm an only child, but recently I met an aunt, an uncle, some cousins and a half-uncle, so it's been nice," that didn't change the fact that Clara still felt like she was missing something from her life but she wasn't ungrateful so she smiled, so far her new family had been good and that was fine by her.
Clara took a sip of the tea, warm and it hit the spot. She listened as Mavi said she was adopted. "That must be hard, have you tried the city hall records, they might have mentioned the adoption?" Clara asked already feeling invested that she could help.
"Jonah is almost five." Mavi grinned, looking down at her feet, before she realized there were pictures at her disposal. Things like cellphones were so handy for carrying your relatives close by when distance separated you. Her little girl was only a face time away she wanted to say goodnight and sing her a lullaby. "She's a little imp, rambunctious as they come, but as sweet as an angel, too." She opened her library and clicked on her favourite, her heart overwhelmed when she saw those bright blue eyes and blonde curls. Having a daughter had completely changed her life. She hadn't ever thought her life would have more value than a place hanger, but Jonah had changed everything. Everyday she woke up and this little girl was happy to see her.
Mavi stood up and reheated her cup of tea, after a few minutes, it had gone cold and it was sweater weather. To be honest, she'd never had a lot of female friends. Even in childhood, she'd always played with the boys. They were more competitive and hyper and it was where she fit in, but as she aged it seemed that it was easier to calm down and rest for a moment. "Family is complicated, but I've realized that we make our own family. The people we choose, the ones who support us. They become family."
Clara could tell the certain kind of joy a child brought to a parent's life, for she saw it in Mavi's eyes the happiness that she was brought each day from her little one. "She sounds wonderful, must keep you pretty busy," she remembered when her father died, how much her mother was busy being a single parent, how it had had its hardships, but her mother always said it was worth it. "If you don't mind me asking, are you a single mom?" Clara asked, it was a personal question, but she wondered, and her curiosity got the better of her.
When Mavi stood up to reheat her tea, she realized that it had probably gone cold, looking down at her cup, she wondered if she should reheat her's as well, only to notice that she had drunk every last drop. She must be getting tired for she hardly remembered drinking it. "I agree, it's the people you love most, and who support you, they're your family," The night sky carried the moon now, and the stars lined up the sky, as Clara looked out the window, going home out in the cold, didn't sound as appealing as staying in the warm library protected by all her books. Clara turned over to look at Mavi, "I apologize for my curiosity but where is your daughter now, I haven't been keeping you have I?"