Merry has been sitting at his desk for hours.
He had spent the entire morning researching, stopping only to quickly eat his lunch, and now that it was time to put ideas together and write, inspiration was struggling to come.
The orange light of the sun filters warmly and soothingly through the library windows, indicating that it was now late afternoon.
Merry sighs, eyeing the desk.
The main idea was to write comics about the Great Classics of Literature. He had taken many notes from the encyclopedia that was still open before his eyes, but the script was proving to be more complicated than expected.
Merry loosened the knot in his tie, looking up at the ceiling absentmindedly.
Fatigue was starting to set in, fueled by frustration at seeing the day end without results.
Someone knocks on the door.
“Come in!” says Merry, already guessing who it might be.
Yuni enters, smiling and beaming. Merry’s ears twitch quickly.
“I was late again, my dear. I hope I didn’t worry you.”
Yuni approaches, still smiling.
One hand holds a cup of coffee, while the other is tucked behind her back.
“Not at all. I know you lose track of time when you write. Good thing I’m here to bring you back to reality.”
Yuni sets the coffee cup down on the desk. Merry tries to peek behind her back, to no avail.
“I thought you could use a break, so here’s some good coffee.”
The girl smiles again.
Merry gently grabs the cup, inhaling the strong, roasted aroma of the beverage.
“You’re very thoughtful.”
Yuni barely bends her head as the boy takes a sip.
“It’s Italian espresso. I thought you needed more energy, so I chose a stronger blend than usual.”
Merry nods, sighing in pleasure.
“It’s very good. Thank you for thinking of me, my dear.”
As he sets the cup down, Merry still tries to peek behind Yuni’s back, but the girl promptly moves over,
“I feel like you’re hiding something from me…”
Yuni rests her free hand on Merry’s shoulder.
Merry begins to worry.
“I have something you’ll definitely like. I think it might help you write faster.”
Merry swallows, watching Yuni’s arm move slowly.
In the girl’s hand lies a book.
Merry sighs in relief, looking at the cover.
“Vita Nova by Dante Alighieri” he says in amazement, “Interesting reading. Why such a choice?”
Yuni rests the book on the desk and picks up the empty cup, while her other hand remains on Merry’s shoulder.
“So gentle seems my lady and so pure
When she greets any one, that scarce the eye
Such modesty and brightness can endure,
And the tongue, trembling, falters in reply.”
As Yuni recites the poem, Merry watches her in silence, amazed and pleased.
“Chapter XXVI. I think it’s a particularly good scene for a comic book. Dante watching Beatrice, in love.”
Merry tries to smile, but notices Yuni’s serious look.
“I’m guessing this isn’t just a script suggestion… Are you by any chance angry, my dear?”
Merry forces a smile, but Yuni’s hand clasps conspicuously on his shoulder.
“Angry? And why would I be? You just holed up in the library for the umpteenth time, saying nothing and without warning, only coming out at lunch to eat quickly, mumble something about European literature, and go back to your world.”
Yuni smiles, unreassuringly.
“You can’t stop Dante from writing, right? But I want to remind you that Dante didn’t even take a walk with Beatrice.”
Yuni removes her hand from Merry’s shoulder, bowing her head and smiling even wider.
“I hope you don’t make the same mistake.”
Quickly, the girl heads for the door.
“Beatrice is waiting” she says before walking out.
For a full minute Merry watches the open door in silence.
A short, amused laugh.
The boy gets up and closes the book on the lectern, then rearranges the sheets of notes.
Before leaving, he takes out his pen and writes a few words on a blank sheet of paper.
“…Love that moves the Sun and other Stars”