Nov 30

Library

I stumbled into the doors with a grin, the rain soaking through my shirt. The full spring sun was gone, replaced by the cold harsh winds and their rain and snow. 

"Hello," I greeted the librarian that sat at the front desk with a smile that I hoped beamed through my emotion restrictive mask. She gave a small smile back and a slight nod. 

My shoes clopped against the blank beige flooring that covered the library floor clip clop clip clop they sounded against the linoleum, “Hey,” I spoke out against the stark silence that coated the library walls toward a young teen that sat in a large red chair twice his size. He gave a small crinkle of the eye in my direction which I in turn interpreted as a smile.

The shelves towered over me, the books pouring over them a few laying on the bottom shelves on top of other books, the previous readers not caring enough to carefully shelve them away, or perhaps they were in a rush. I guess I’ll never know I mused internally, my smile growing wider and wider until I reached my favorite section. 

“HISTORY” the sign read in bold red letters attached to the end of the long wooden bookshelves. I stepped into the aisle with breath or anticipation. Walking towards a collection about the French War that I had read time and time again I sighed as I stopped myself from running my hand down the spine of the book, “No Unnecessary Touching Please,” a sign read, taped to the shelves of the bookshelf. 

It felt as if the sign was directed right at me, I probably was. Countless times I had piled book upon book and spent hours pouring over them at one of the library tables, so many times I had come to this section. Because this is where we learn of our mistakes, of the mistakes that we must not make again, those of some of the best and worst people of history.  

After browsing for a few minutes I selected a book and pulled it out from the bookshelf trying to not touch any of the other books. The title made it sound like a good book I supposed, so I walked out of the aisle I had savored minutes ago and I walked past the now empty chair that used to host the teen and I stepped up to the front desk.

“Is this all?” The librarian asked blandly as she took the book from my hands.

I nodded quickly sensing that she wasn’t in the mood for a chat, “yeah, th-that’s it.” She handed me the book using her blue disposable gloves that clung to her skin. “Thanks,” I called out as I walked out of the library. There wasn’t any response.

I stepped out of the library again, the rain now replaced by a bright beam of sun that forced me to cover my eyes with my hand. Slowly I removed my extremity from my face and grinned as the warm beams of light hit my face. 

Now a few long strides away from the building I slid my mask off my ears and placed it in my backpack. I started the long trek home trying to avoid the puddles that littered the sidewalk. The sun beamed down on me as I stepped back into my family and I’s home, almost as if it was saying goodbye to me again. 

“Get inside here!” My sister interrupted my peace with a scream. I gave a small nod to the sun, to the puddles, to the library that was now to far away to see and I stepped inside the house.