She is incredibly bored. The lecturer is young and enthusiastic but his train of thought is illogical, dipping and weaving between different aspects of the subject without ever quite connecting. She is ready to get up and leave when the man beside her catches her eye and smiles wryly.
“Awful, isn’t it?” he whispers, and there’s something in his eyes that intrigues her. She replaces her pen and paper on the desk and smiles back. “Terrible,” she replies.
He smiles as if they share a secret before turning his attention back to the lecture and relaxing in his chair.
She sits next to him the next day, and the day after that.
The third day, they go to the Radcliffe Science Library together and share books in silence, the rustle of pages as good as conversation.
She finds herself looking forward to the worst lectures, and pays more attention to the gentle sparkle in his eyes than to the lecturer’s flights of fancy. Afternoons in the library become days wandering Oxford and evenings at the theatre. Even when they meet other people, collaborate with them, spend long nights discovering arcane aspects of genetics and biology, their bond remains different.
He promises to love her for all eternity.
She has never been so happy.