The photograph is old and cracked now, the corners bent; one is torn off. Even so I take down my copy of The Brothers Karamzov at least once a week and open it to the page where I keep this last touchstone of my Karina.
I remember the day that we met as if it were yesterday. I was looking for an obscure text, a treatise from the nineteenth century about the provenance of the gospels, and I thought myself to be alone on the sixth floor, after all there was never anyone there after six on a Saturday night. I turned a corner between the shelves, into an open area with a study table and there, kneeling by the table with her back to me, head buried between the legs of another girl, was Karina. She looked up, into my eyes, smiled, then simply gestured for me to join her. Of course I did, I was ensorcled. I will never forget the thrill that shot through me when she took my hand and pressed it urgently against her sex, willing me to give her pleasure, as I watched her make love to a woman whose name I never learned.
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