Some numbers hold meaning in our lives: our birthdays, anniversaries, and lucky numbers. Bert spent her whole life figuring out her numbers and when she did what she got in return was the biggest payback.


1. Volumes

Ernie and Bert had been married for 35 years, a long time by anyone’s measure. They were one of those married couples that you saw holding hands on the street, and aspired to find a love that could last as much as theirs. Ernie even had one of those t-shirts that said “If lost please return to Bert”, and then Bert had her own t-shirt made, “I am Bert, but you can keep him”. 

Their kind of love was epic, like something straight out of Nicholas Sparks’ mind, but we will get on to that later. In this precise moment of their lives, Ernie had been retired for a number of years from his job as a university professor, he liked to spend his days in the library in their house. 

This library was custom built by his lovely wife. Bert was a well known architect for her work on landscaping. It was anyone’s dream library by bookworm standards. It was two stories and talking furniture short to go against the library in the Beast’s castle, but for Ernie it was a slice of heaven. The walls were lined with dark oak shelves that went all the way up to the ceiling. The room featured a moving staircase, a big leather armchair, a carpet so soft that the Egyptians would be envious and a heart warming fireplace. 

In the shelves you could find the most eclectic book collection imaginable. Ernie was a jack of all traits and his hobbies had morphed and evolved throughout the years. He had a attempted to organize the books several times, but always ended up with a bigger mess than the one he started with. Also, the re arranging of the books often led to him reviewing old books he forgot he had and reminiscing about certain passages. 

This particular evening, Ernie was sitting in his armchair enjoying a mystery novel with a cup of Earl Grey tea, two sugars and milk. The fireplace crackled and Ernie looked up to find Bert staring at him. It didn’t matter how many books he read it seemed that none compared to the volumes her eyes could speak. 

“Did you know reindeer like bananas?” Ernie said with a half chuckle.

“I did not” Bert answered with smiling eyes, “How do you know that?”

“Just read it somewhere” Ernie smugly replied. 

It seemed throughout his many years of reading books, articles and just random tidbits here and there Ernie had a acquired a considerable collection of knowledge regarding just about everything, always surprising Bert with what he considered to be his vast intelligence. 

Bert approached the leather chair giving Bert her mischievous look and Ernie’s heart started beating a little faster, he wasn’t sure how she still had that power so many years later, but the idea of her skin grazing his still excited the hell out of him. She bent down, coming closer and closer, summoned her sexiest voice and whispered to his ear, “The lottery is about to start”, and she quickly ran away. 

“You can’t use that voice, and just run away like that! The lottery is not the only thing that is going to start!” he said as he ran behind her.

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