I have always had issues with deadlines. Since school time I couldn’t get myself to hand work in on the set time. I have never viewed it as an issue, but my parents would always get very upset with me. I could never wrap my head around the reason why. It is just time; I can’t take control over it or manipulate it. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to do magic. And why are the students the only ones with deadlines, but teachers are allowed to be checking that homework for days? Bearing that in mind, I’ve hardly completed any work in the set period of time. In school and college that wasn’t a major problem. It did not have an impact on my grades but slightly on my report card. No one was actually interested in that piece of paper though.
However, later in life, deadlines have become stricter and more important. The worst kind of time restrictions is the library book ones. I cannot fully describe the amount of hatred I contain for those. I do not understand, why people should be restricted even when it comes to gaining new knowledge. Books and libraries are suffering a mass underappreciation at the moment, so I would consider myself a saver of the modern libraries. Therefore, I shall be thanked and maybe praised, but, sadly, I am as unseen as the beauty of reading.
It does upset me that I am unable to take my time to enjoy the books I am taking. My process of studying the written work of art is precise and time-consuming. When I am reading, I am fully absorbed by the plot, and yet unknown details fascinate me and encourage me to do research. I try to read a lot, but certain names or events on occasion remain undiscovered. I would love to be more educated, and I am eager to learn, but it really upsets the lovely librarian. At first, she would get angry and leave notes in the new books I was taking. Once, she wrote, ‘Your time management is atrocious, but thank you for at least giving books back.’ I never intend to keep the book – I believe that everyone should have access to literary masterpieces. This is why I was so hurt by her words. But at the same time, my rebellious nature came up with actually acting on her speech.
From that letter on, I extended my time for giving books back. It was no longer to do research and contribute to my educational experience, but solely out of spite for her. At this point in time, I have not given a book back for half a year. I start to feel guilty; I want to share ‘Antkind’ with others as it is truly fantastic and eye-opening.
After a couple of hours of guilt-induced anxiety, I’ve made a decision that I will go to the library and check, whether they got a new copy, so people can experience the unmistakable obsessive-compulsive aesthetic of the screenwriter’s debut novel. I haven’t been in that particular library for a while: I proceeded to find a few more places I could visit for an occasional read and then go there again only in months. But that library was my first one after moving to this town. For the first weeks of my spiteful plan coming to life, I sincerely missed the atmosphere and the smell of the small corner library. But time has passed, and a few things might have changed. Today is the day to find that out.
I quickly got ready and walked out of the door. The sky was grey, I reckoned it would start raining soon, so I increased my speed. The library was twenty minutes on foot from my apartment, but walking at my usual speed. I discovered my former place of comfort the first time I was wandering around the town. I didn’t know where to go and which places to see, but for some undiscovered reason, I was drawn to the pale façade of the tiny, compared to the surroundings, building. The very first step I took in the open welcoming doors of the wonderful literature world was the best memory I still have of this city. It was many years ago, eight or nine, I lost track. But the feeling of warmth and home has become something I turn to in the moments of despair.
I approached the well-known library, but it wasn’t as welcoming anymore. It didn’t feel as friendly anymore, something was off, but I couldn’t gather what exactly. I walked into the doors and looked around: the stalls were at the same places, but a gross feeling crawled into my soul. The growing worry motivated me to quickly walk around the library to find the book I came for. But the book wasn’t there, I checked all possible sections I could, but it wasn’t anywhere I could have thought of.
There was only one way left – to ask the librarian. I was reluctant to face my ‘mortal enemy’ and walked around the horror section for a minute or so. I gathered my courage and started going to the librarian’s desk. My eyes were on the floor until I reached the dark tower. I looked up and the face I saw in front of me wasn’t the one I was waiting to see in front of me.
‘Can I help you with something?’ asked a smiling young person.
‘Hello, yes, do you know where is the old librarian?’ I wondered.
‘Oh, she retired because of her disease,’ she pointed at the glass jar with a few coins in there, ‘we are gathering money for her operation.’ The label on the jar said, ‘Help us help Rosalie fight her tumour.’
I felt horrible because I dedicated so much time hating a person I didn’t know. I didn’t ask about the book and went home. I took ‘Antkind’ back to the library and apologized, but she didn’t take it back because the date was long past the return, so they bought a new one. I tipped ten dollars for Rosalie and came home with a well-traveled book. A few days after I couldn’t sleep properly, so I went back to get the former hated librarian’s details. But it was too late, the jar wasn’t there and the library was closed. The tiny note on the door said, ‘The library will remain closed until further notice due to the passing of our dear Rosalie. All the donations and kind words can be left at the P.O. box. You can say your goodbyes on the 25th of April at 12 in the afternoon at the Gray Cemetery.’ This was heartbreaking, I felt sorry and guilt was eating me up from the inside of my ugly soul. I went to the ceremony with the book I thought I owed her and left it with the flowers in the gift pile. On the inside of the book I wrote, ‘I would have never stolen a book, I am sorry.’ And I left, I couldn’t bear staying any longer. The same night I packed the rest of my things and the next morning I set off to my new home. I ruined that city with my own hands and I couldn’t keep walking those streets with the same comfort. So I ran away, I am weak and sorry.
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