Looking Up

by Zoe Wright
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Mariah is back, though I suppose that saying such is a misnomer. Saying that Mariah is back implies that Mariah left. Mariah never truly leaves. I’ve often wondered where she goes and what she does when she’s not flittering about and upsetting my life, but asking her is a lesson in futility. Probably for the best. Odds are good that it’s something that I don’t want to know.

Surprisingly, she didn’t interrupt my work as much as she usually does; hardly at all, really. She lurked about and then popped out and didn’t pop back in until the library was completely devoid of patrons. I’m sure I was imagining things, but it almost seemed as though she didn’t particularly like Drs Watson and Wainwright. I know, it’s batty to think such a thing, and those two hardly seemed the dangerous sort. I’m sure that there’s something else going on where Mariah is concerned and I just have to continue on, business as usual until she decides to provide me with pertinent information. If she chooses. This is Mariah, after all.

Speaking of Drs Watson and Wainwright, they were quite the surprising pair of academics. They showed a genuine interest in Buchner’s beliefs, seeming to think that something helpful might be buried in his writings and recordings. It’s rare to find someone who will at least consider the fringe beliefs of those like Buchner worth conversation and reading, even if they’re not believed. More’s the pity really, because I might have liked to be able to discuss Buchner’s thoughts with someone intelligent who isn’t totally pissed by the time the conversation comes round.

Times like this I miss Harry. It isn’t the same as it used to be, the raw, sharp ache that felt as though it would never heal. There’s an empty space now, but I can think about him without bursting into inconsolable tears. It’s easier to remember the good times, and the wonderful things about him. Like how he accepted me (and everything that goes along with me) in stride. Seeing after images? Never phased him. Talking to ghosts? Didn’t bat an eye. Finding out that the monsters in horror stories really do exist? Took it without missing a step. Would be nice to have him about again, to come home and say that Mariah’s lurking about again and see that look of sympathy on his face. I don’t fancy calling Nona over it. I love her dearly, but the older she gets the less she lives in this world and the more she seems to be in another.

And all this digression is keeping me away from the one topic that I’m really not sure I want to broach just yet. Gwen and Liz have been telling me that it’s time for me to “put myself out there,” and “get back on the horse.” It’s not pressure, but they say it’s what Harry would have wanted for me. Even Marc and Thomas say that Harry wouldn’t want me live the rest of my life as a nun. No one seems to believe that I simply haven’t been interested. (No one believes me, of course.)

Today, I was. I met a man and I was actually interested in him. Dr Watson is intelligent and handsome and his eyes are absolutely amazing. I know, I sound like a school girl, and I’m going to look back and read these words later and wonder what the bloody hell I was thinking. The worse part of it is that I’m so out of practice, I don’t even know how to flirt properly anymore. I don’t know if I was too subtle or he just wasn’t interested and … sadly, I’m probably never going to see him again. Unless I look him up — he’s an academic which narrows the field — but that’s truly turning school girl. Waiting by the doors after last bell because you know the bloke is going to walk that way? Yes, definitely teenage school girl.

It’s cute when you’re sixteen and your skirt comes to your knees and you wear loafers and knee high socks. It’s just creepy when you’re a thirty-something professional.

I’m going to have to chalk this one up to a lesson learned, I think. And better luck next time. I’m actually optimistic and feeling good about myself, so it can’t have all been a wash, yeah?


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