Sophia found a deserted desk in a quiet corner of the library, took out the book and opened it:
Studies in the Psychology of Sex. Volume II. Sexual Inversion. Havelock Ellis.
She paged through the table of contents and turned immediately to a chapter called, “Sexual Inversion in Women.”
Sophia read for over an hour. Finally, she took out a scrap of paper and copied down something from the book. She closed the cover, laid another book atop it and took the paper with her as she rose and surveyed the library for a moment.
Spotting a solitary young Harvard student across the way, she approached him quietly.
“Excuse me,” she whispered.
The boy looked up from the book he was examining. “Hello?” he answered quietly.
“I’m sorry, but I wonder if I could ask a favor of you?”
The boy looked curiously at her and replaced his book on its shelf.
Sophia handed him the slip of paper. “I’m afraid the librarian may not let me have this. Could I trouble you to ask for it, for me?”
Sophia had never done anything so forward in her life. She hoped she wasn’t blushing now, but feared she probably was. The boy looked at the title written on the paper. He looked up at Sophia, watching him. A faint smile played across his lips.
“Sure, Miss, I can get it for you.”
He turned and walked to the desk.
Sophia was afraid she’d made a terrible mistake as she waited, still as a statue, for the boy to return. But return he did, in a short time, the heavy book in hand. He gave it to Sophia. “If you’ll just find me again when you’re finished, so I can return it…” he said quietly.
“Of course,” Sophia said, taking it from him. “Thank you so much.”
And she walked back to her little corner desk and opened the second book.