“Mr. Kingsley!” I call, shaking beautiful water droplets out of my tear-kissed hair.
I loved the rain.
Fortunately, right now it was drizzling, which promised a good shower later in the day. Finished with all of today’s classes at the University, I was making my way to my favorite professor’s office. I didn’t bother with an umbrella, knowing that rain or shine, my hair was still going to be a halo of unruly black disco curls. I hastily opened the doors of the cramped office and flipped on flickering fluorescent lights.
I heard nothing but the silent crashing of books on the floor. I enter the office, frowning at the cluttering of dust-filled leather-bound books. I call for my professor again. It’s eerily quiet. Easing my bag off of my shoulder and onto the floor, I move around a thigh-high stack of books. “Mr. Kingsley!” I call again.
Another stack of books fall. I whip around and look towards Mr. Kingsley’s library, where a strange grumbling sound starts.
“Uh…Mr. Kingsley?” I move towards the room until I am at the doorway. I call for Mr. Kingsley again. The grumblings grow louder as I enter the room. Books seem to cover every inch on the floor, and where there are not books, there is dust. Coughing, I move around a stack of books that reaches over my five-foot-four frame. I finally see him hunched over in a stack of books, mumbling.
“Mr. Kingsley?” He turns to face me, glasses askew, with dust powdering his ruddy cheeks. “Ms. Nichols! What a pleasant surprise, what brings you around these parts?” He says with a familiar Scottish brogue, looking everywhere but at my face. His eyes dart from the ground to the sky.
“I’m sorry, is this a bad time?” I ask watching him shoulder a stack of books aside to look at them.
“Of course not! I’ve all the time in the world for you, gal! What is it you need, and I’ll get it to ya!” He still looks around, but truthfully, I was used to his fluster.
I smile. “I just wanted you to know that I finished Polygraphia and I found it amazing! I have made a few new ciphers that I want you to try and decode.” I smile.
Mr. Kingsley stops and laughs whole-heartedly, clutching his stomach. “Aha! I knew you’d love it! That’s my gal! You’re the very image of your father and just like him too. Spending your time in books and codes!” He laughs again and I smile at the mention of my father. My father and Mr. Kingsley had been good friends in their youth. Everything I knew about my father’s life was through him. My mother couldn’t talk about him after his death.
“Tis the truth! You are his spitting image, Miss Nichols!” he gestures at me, laughing so hard that he’s rocking. When he falls over, I become worried for his health. Leading him towards a chair, I gesture at the mess.
“Are you looking for something, Mr. Kingsley?” I sit him down in the chair gently.
He hops from his chair and dashes across the room. His arms flare about madly.
“Mr. Kingsley!” I call, alarmed.
‘I’m alright gal! I’ve just forgotten; I have a meeting to attend to. The dean’s been bugging me about a banquet. Darn that woman. I swear she has more meetings then the president himself.” He thrashes around books, scattering things and making dust fly. I cover my laugh with a cough. He looked quite maniacal, swinging about as he was.
“Yes, but what are you looking for?” I ask patiently.
“Well, my glasses of course! I can’t see a thing without them lass, and I always set them someplace new as I nap. Oh, I’m already late!’
I shake my head and smile.
“Mr. Kingsley, check your head!” I walk towards him and bring his glasses from his shiny bald head.
“Harrumph!” the burr of his Scottish accent thickens. “You think you’re so smart with your codes. It’s disrespectful to your elders…thats what it is,” I kiss both of his flushed cheeks and then his head.
‘I need to go. Tristan should be waiting for me.” He smiles up at me.
I shut the door on his ending grumbles just as Tristan pulls up to the building. I was quite disappointed. I’d been hoping that Mr. Kingsley would have an encryption to give me, but I couldn’t expect him to spend all of his time, finding things for an old-soul like me to do. However, my frown lifted as I was hit with the first sprinkles of the upcoming shower. Lingering for a few seconds, I walk slowly towards Tristan’s car, hoping to be soaking by the time I am inside. When I open the door to the passenger seat, Tristan greets me with a smile.
“You’re going to catch a cold, doing that.” I smile back and motion for him drive.
“And you’re going to be cooking me, chicken soup.”