Contemporary Fiction Sad

                         NEVER TALK IN A LIBRARY

I am a bookworm.

 Strangely , in this world of information tech(storm)ology and fast communication, I somehow like to go and sit in the remote corner of a library, take a book, turn its leaves enjoying the feeble sound of turning a page, the silent atmosphere around, and reading the lines slowly and

contemplating the nuances of the narration of the author or the conversations of the characters.

Believe me!

 For me the library is the oasis in a desert!

 It is a lonely beautiful boat in a vast lake!

The librarian with his stern look and strict behaviour seldom smiles and is highly allergic to sound.

Everyday, in the evenings I walk in and take a book of my choice and go through it for hours engulfed in the ocean of silence around me.

But it is not so at all times. I enjoy books of jokes and the trouble starts when unknowingly I laugh aloud after reading a joke.  

The atmosphere gets changed immediately. All people around me stare at me with disapproval. The librarian walks towards me and nods his head disapprovingly.

I can understand that a library is not for emotions and meant only for philosophers.

At least at 4 or 5 places around, beautiful stickers reading “SILENCE PLEASE” remind the visitors that the fundamental right of “ freedom of speech” guaranteed by various Constitutions of different Nations, is not legally valid within the four walls of a library.

Yesterday, I walked into the library. Went to the Librarian and asked for the catalogue. I chose a book titled “ The inevitable Fall” by one less known author. The librarian directed me to Shelf 5 in second row in the left side.

When I tried to pull the book from the shelf, suddenly all the books in the row fell on the floor 

I apologised to the librarian and started rearranging them.

Suddenly I fumbled across a book titled “NEVER TALK IN A LIBRARY”

I never heard the name of the author “Joseph Redcliff” in any known literary circle.

I took the book with the permission of the librarian and started reading it.

It is a love story between a young man and a girl in Scotland. They meet in a library and fall in love with each other.

The boy is highly talkative and socialising. The girl prefers silence, solitude, seclusive and high privacy.

Their personality clashes come in between and the girl realises that in spite of deep love the boy will not suit the way of life she imagines and endears.

Ultimately, with a broken heart she tells him “ See Bruce! You can dance in a stage. But you cannot dance in a river. You can sing in a theatre but you cannot sing in a funeral. You can talk in a public place. But you cannot talk in a library. I am like a library. You know that you can NEVER TALK IN A LIBRARY”

They both depart in grave silence.

I chuckled ,breaking the silence in the library. I looked at the librarian whose eyes told me that I do not belong to the category of civilised gentlemen.

I chuckled because I felt that breaking of a true love affair for such a reason that one prefers silence and the other prefers talkativeness was silly, funny and foolish. I believe that love is knit with the fabric of endurance.  

I returned the book to the librarian and told him “ Please don’t keep this horrible book in your library” and walked out.

I know that Jessica my sweetheart will never react like the heroine of the book for silly things.

“ Hey Robert! I just am coming to meet you in the library as I know that you will be here at this time” Jessica took my hand and pressed it with warm love.

“ Hey Jessy! You could have called me over phone and intimated me about your arrival!” 

“ Oh! Leave it! I just like that started from home and came to meet you! You look bright! “

“mmmmm…..” I smiled.

We went to a shopping complex and purchased some fancy goods. We walked into a restaurant and ate and drank to our heart’s fill.

I looked at the western horizon. The setting sun looked beautiful and happy.

“ Do you really love me?” Jessica asked me one day.

“ yes! I do” 

“ Then why are you not talking to me? I talk to you a lot and you either keep mum or answer in monosyllables! You always look at the sky, the horizon, the trees and flowers. You always are thoughtful and I do not understand whether you listen to me or not”

I looked at her and told “ This is my nature”

“ No” shouted Jessica “ I want you to care for me. Talk to me all you think and you feel. I do not like people with dull attitude and introvert behaviour. Darling! You can do some amends and changes for my sake!”

I took her hand into mine and smiled.

Jessica invited me to a party where her friends all joined one evening. I attended the same. There was music and dance and everybody joined. There was a lot of fun and sound. I danced with Jessica for a while and subsequently preferred to sit on a sofa along with one of my friends discussing the Victorian literature.

At around one in the night the party was over and everybody left. Jessica and me were alone.

“ Why are you so rude?” Jessica asked me with a rising voice.

“ Rude? What?”

“ You slipped away from the party. You sat in a corner with a friend. All my friends and colleagues were asking me whether we both have a strained relationship. Is this the way to behave in a function of socialising?”

“ Jessie! Look! I normally do not mingle with people. You know”

“ You have to mingle with people. We are living in a society. Not in a forest” Jessica retorted and abruptly closed the door behind me.

During the days that followed our conversations grew shorter and her accusations about me grew longer.

One day I came out of the library and Jessica was waiting for me.

“ Look Robert! May I talk something practical?”

“ yes of course! You are welcome” I looked at her. She is beautiful. But her face is now knit of dissatisfaction and frustration.

“ I love you so much. But life is not just love. It is a long journey. We should live the life of a man and wife. But you seem to enjoy your own world and refuse to understand my emotions and expectations”

“ Jessica! Please! I mean nothing and my nature……”

“ I am sorry Robert! Let us not experiment a life of contradicting natures. Let us part with love remaining the same.” 

Jessica walked away.

I stood dumbfound for a few minutes.

I again walked into the Library.

A book was lying on the table.

I took it and red the title


April 30, 2021 01:48

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