As I locked my locker, a warm hand held my arm. I wriggled to recognize Wyatt standing there. His posture leaned, his head tilted, his lips curved. "Now, what is it?" I asked out of desperation and exhaustion. Trying not to forget the fact that in the last period, of Gym Class, Sir Charles made me run extra miles for showing up in the class twenty minutes late, it had been a fatiguing day.
"Aye buddy, you remember the book, "A Game of Thrones" is launching tomorrow in the School library." And his words illuminated a bright bulb in the brain. How can I even forget this? I have been waiting for the release of this book since the beginning of July and it was August now. A month had passed in silence. "You sneakin' in the library tomorrow, late night, you know." He spoke, slurred. "There will only be few copies of it in the beginning and we can not wait a month more to read that book. You ge' wha' I am sayin'?" His british accent hit hard at the end.
Wyatt had this habit of meeting me at the end of the day and surprise me with the astonishing events which were about to take place or had already taken place at Zetrof. He called this as his "solemn tradition" of bringing an absent minded person, like me, the news of the surroundings. I yawned, "Hella no, it is friday and I don't want to ruin it by wasting my sleeping hours. Sorry buddy, this time you have to catch Jim." Jim completed our trio but still gave priority to studies over us so mostly we both were together. "He is no fun, man." Wyatt said, waving his hand in the air clumsily as he walked his way outside the school, over to the restricted area, from where onward students were not allowed to go.
The whole day it bugged me, first to appear on the library, get the book, read it before anybody else could get a chance, and put it back. I returned to my dorm room. It was immaculate, the burnt yellow-coloured blankets were neatly folded on the edge of the bed, making the bed look more sizeable. An ironed white shirt with plane pants were reclined on the opposite edge of the bed. My books, which I had left in a mammoth mess, before going to the classes today, were elegantly piled up in a graceful stack. Over the umber brown study table, I perceived a sticky note which said, "Dinner's at 8:30." It was already 7:45 as per my promising wrist watch which meant I had to hurry.
After reading the first book in the Harry Potter series in June, I couldn't just find a book as perfect as that one. And day by day I craved for something more adequate to read. Then one day Wyatt was the one who told me about the release of "A Game of Thrones", and I counted the days till yesterday to get the hold of that book. Not only me but even the backbenchers of our class and from the other parts of the school, everybody wanted that book. Hence, I made a plan of sneaking into the library right now to access the book. It would be somewhere in the library, from the cardboard boxes to the highest shelves, the possibilities were infinite.
I needed to get the the new book in my hands before the dinner as till the morning it will surely be in the possession of other students. Without wasting any other minute, I laid my bag on my bed and went to the bathroom to get fresh. The heat of the water soothed my brain and body and encouraged me to focus.
I wore my clothes and looked at the time, I only had half and hour. In Zetrof, it was forbidden to break the rules. So I had to hurry to get to the Meal Halls on time, but I didn't see any rule saying that we can't sneak in the library at sharp 12:30 am when even the librarian is in her pink, silk sleeping gown and is too drowsy to even look back on where the first copy of "A Game of Thrones" is. I sported my watch and left my wet hair falling on my forehead. Outside my room, the halls held only few students who stood talking to each other in various groups. I headed directly to the library.
The librarian, Miss Lisa, sat quietly on her chair with her book resting on the table facing her. Handful of students, in the library, still wore uniforms and were busy doing their homeworks. I went deeper into the library, in the dark parts where it is requisite to bring a lantern or candle to even see whet we were reading. I took a lantern from the place it was hung, and went ahead.
The bookshelves got from tortilla to tawny and turned hickory due to my never-plodding pace. I stopped when there weren't any bookshelves left. My vicinity became grim and humorless. I looked behind. There was nothing except the eerie indistinct images of round tables and chairs accompanied by the large books shelves which held the books long before I was even born.
I took a deep, comforting breath and smelled lignin and petrichor. It was then that I realized that my lantern was displaying me a denim-coloured door. I rotated the door knob. It was locked. I heard whispers. Not from inside the door but somewhere near me. Instead of getting away from the low voices, I got even closer to them. I passed one or two book shelves and kept my lantern's light hidden. I couldn't see their faces but was really sure that they were the Prefects and the Head Monitors.
"Principal told us to patrol the school tonight."
"Leave the laundry to both of us."
"I will take take of the nursery section."
Their talks went ahead. I saw the time it was already 8:15. I moved my lantern to the front of me. I saw the old books with the worn out spines of muddy colors. I was about to lose hope and go to my room when I found a little space behind some ancient books. I inserted my hand in it and in my hand was shining and fresh copy of "A Game of Thrones" I was nearly about to squeal with joy, when I halted, and made my way to the less dense part of library. I hid the book under the front of my shirt. The white shirt didn't go by the requirement of hiding the book.
Everybody was busy rushing to the Meal Halls that they didn't observed me coming. I went ahead with the crowd, mingling into the people I rarely knew or saw in my classes, trying to hide myself from everybody. At last I was in my room. I necessitated to conceal this book somewhere because the maids check in our rooms after, every ten minutes. My bag was in the cupboard. I stuffed the book, from my daisy white shirt to my bag underneath the course books. My hands shivered for a moment of fear. What if somebody sees it there? Will they call my parents? Will I get severe punishments? I shoved all the thoughts aside and headed for the Meal Halls.
Sir George was the one who gaurded the area. He demanded everybody to show up on the given restricted time. He had said that even a person who was not in a state of eating something had to come and solicit to take omission from being in the Meal Halls on time. I was going to do the same. I stepped in the Halls and found him standing in the middle of the place. His chest was high of honour, teaching students what was the correct way of eating. Which spoon or fork was used while eating cheese sandwiches, noodles or even pizza. I stood in front of him and ahem-ed. He got my attention and said earnestly, "Yes, young gentleman". I told him, I was not in a great mood of eating anything and I had plenty of school work to be done. At least it was not a whole lie.
He saw me with pitiful eyes and granted me the permission to be in my room. I now had three and a half hours to complete the book. I went in to my room and took out the book from my bag. After each ten minutes came a tall lady in order to check on me. I only used one technique to fool her. I read a few pages and closed the book under my blanket and at the same time she opened the door to find me sleeping. I felt bad for doing this to her as she was a nice lady and always had cared about my safety. I promised myself to never betray her afterwards. It went on until I heard bells ringing outside my room. The bells indicated 12.
I still had not completed my book. Constant distractions made it burdensome for me to finish it. I didn't had the time to even grieve about it as I had to put the book back. And I was pretty sure that students tomorrow will be in the library real early and premature than that, Miss Lisa is going to look for the copy. I had no choice but to keep the book back. I opened my room's door to find utter darkness outside. There were bunch of lantern's here and there which were not as strong as to expose my appearance. I felt glad.
I walked in sedate and muted steps and made my way to the library. I heard a voice and my heart missed a beat. "Noah, is it you?"
No, I am Parker.
"Hmm" I replied. "
Good, we need to guard this room." He said.
"Hmm." I repeated myself while my brain shouted at me, what have you gotten yourself in to? I don't know, myself, I answered. "Did you say something?", The Prefect said. "No, nothing." I whispered. I felt the hard cover of the book inside my cobalt blue jacket. He opened the door to the laundry room. The laundry room wasn't really a laundry room, as it was an amalgamation of dirty clothes and bed foams, including the mops and detergents.
As we entered, I distanced from the Prefect as much as I could. My hand landed on a ladder. Without giving way to any second thoughts, I stepped on it and didn't stop until I was on a flat platform, above the ladder. The Prefect must have found the other Prefect, in the same room when the first one said, "Who are you?" In the darkness. The second one had the lantern and he pointed it to me but I was way too far to be exposed. "Let me call others." The first one said and was out of the door. I kept treading backwards to keep myself away from the sight of the Prefect when I found gas instead of solid in one of the steps I was taking, and as they say that gas is unstable, I fell off the platform and I had not realized that the area I was standing on was too high, when I was stepping up the stairs but now that I focus it took me a moment in the air. I could picture myself getting bruises all over my body and walking in the corridors with a broken neck and hand, and a stained reputation. But I was just picturing that.
In reality I fell on a foam, lucky me, I survived. But the Prefect was after me so without celebrating the happiness of my new life and setting resolutions, I ran for my life but got in contact with a wall and nothing else. I was checking the whole wall to look for any windows so I could jump on the other side of the wall through it when I heard an evil laugh from the Prefect, and thought, What is wrong with him? And Jackpot, I found a door and this time it wasn't locked so I went into the other room and locked it from there in order block the way of the Prefect. He craved for me to open the door but I ignored him as I found other ways for my survival.
I realized I just got myself in the geyser room. It was really hot in here. And it was hellish and heavy to breathe. To get out, I had to think hard. There had to be a window here, to get all the warm air out. I started looking for it. Behind the white clothes and coals I found nothing but defeat. I took my head into my hands, what have you gotten your self into, Parker?
I knew I was in the depth of the laundry room and I also had found a door in the library when I got deeper in the library. They both must be close enough. In the pine color of the room, I found stairs leading to a small opening. It was really an opening, not worthy of being called a window. I did not expect much from this attempt but I still lingered on the ladder. Doing something is better than doing nothing. Hence, I climbed up the stairs and fit in the fraction of my hand inside to find a lock. It was an uncomplicated one so it took me less than a minute to open it.
It opened itself into a promising window and I got out of the geyser room and locked the window again. The voice of the Prefect was obstructed here. I found my self landing on a hard ground. Nothing could be seen in the pitch black environment. I had neither seen this place before, nor Wyatt ever informed me about it. I stood on my feet on the unswept floor and searched the bare walls. Rubbing my hand on the rough and irregular texture of the wall, I prayed to find a door. I had checked all three walls and there was not an indication of a door, I became despondent. I moved, and my head violently struck a stand or a towering pole. I breathed swiftly, never stopping, I kept searching and on the encounter of a knob I rotated it without thinking. On the opening of the door, I was about to scream by the ceaseless and brisk setting of incidents, when a downy hand landed on my mouth, harshly.
A Prefect was in my sight, behind a lantern, her eyes were sharp like a needle and so was her voice. "Parker Castro." She whispered with a dreadful expressions. "What?" I asked. "Am I not supposed to be here?" "Unless you are Prefect or a Head Monitor." She replied.
My heart still palpitated and it was difficult to inhale, fully, in this section of the library.
I was in the library.
"I think I should go." I quaked, uneasily in her grip. "You are not going anywhere until I allow you to." She demanded. "You will have detention for the rest of the week as per the rules of library and Zetrof." She belted, steeply. "Daviana Harding." I whispered her name. Her name was engraved on a gold plated rectangular badge. These types of badges were only given to those students who were sincere and reliable to school rules and authorities or if they had done an incredulous job for the safety of school.
She was caught off guard upon hearing her name as an answer and pushed me hard. "Follow me." She ordered and I did. Her tone had that commanding vibe to it. I followed her until I was standing outside my room. "No roaming around the school after 9:00, you can be in trouble." She breathed gravely, almost woeful.
"As you wish." I said, informally, taking her lightly. Her face expressions changed in seconds. She pushed me inside and closed the door in front of me. Her expressions almost made me laugh. I felt alive and vivacious, tonight, it seemed impossible to sleep.
"A thief entered Zetrof last night." Wyatt told me beside my locker.
"At least, he didn't steal "A Game Of Thrones."" I smirked.