She looked around. He was right in front of her, his back to her, busy studying. She admitted to herself that she admired him for taking out the time to read those documents in spite of his obviously busy schedule. Yet everything has its place and time and what is to be will be.
He had taken off his shoes and was resting his feet on the chair opposite. They said bomb explosions blew people right out of their shoes. Wouldn't be necessary in this case, would it?
She looked at the timer. Three and a half minutes. She smiled to herself and wondered why people tended to term her innocent and ingenuous. Surely, the fundamentalist garb was a dead giveaway?
He was still busy buried in his books while death sat behind him. Couldn't blame him though.
Public libraries were supposed to be safe. Rather prosaic for a resting place though. No last words either. More the pity.
Time for another glance at the timer.
The sound of the blast made him jerk his head towards the window. A fraction of an instant later, as the building shuddered and the centuries old building came rushing to meet the ground, the screams and the blood took away the mundanity leaving inspiration for the unforgettable nightmares that would inevitably follow.
* * *
She looked around. Mr. Ubiquitous was right in front of her, his back to her table. She wondered what he was doing here, he carried a bag that looked like a salesman's and looked too old to belong to college. He was immersed in his books as usual.
She turned her eyes to the test in front of her. The time limit for this 'paper' was 3 and a half minutes. She took out her cell, set the countdown timer to 3 minutes and set to work.
An extremely loud sound stopped her midway. The building seemed to shudder for a second.
For a second it seemed to her that there had been a bomb blast. Mr. U, instantly alert, was looking out of the window to figure out what had happened. He put on his shoes that had been lying under his chair till now and walked out of the reading room. Her gaze followed him curiously wondering what had happened.
A few minutes later he came back and resumed studying as if nothing had happened. Some time later the security guard and the librarian came upstairs and began talking to him. He put his books aside and accompanied them downstairs. She was still wondering had happened.
It was more than twenty minutes by the time he returned. Unable to hold back her curiosity, she stepped up to him and asked him what had happened.
Apparently there was some construction going on on a nearby company's campus and that's where the explosion had come from. He told her how the explosion had been felt in all the buildings of the college campus. She nodded her head, smiled and thanked him and went back to studying.