Coming of Age Contemporary Fiction

It was May 1979, Maya had just finished her homework, she was on her last term studying her A levels in Mathematics, English and History. The school she attended was a mixed comprehensive school, Maya was looking to attend sixth form for before heading on to university to study mathematics, history and politics. As soon as she left the Mathematics block, Mr Greenock, the head Maths teacher gave her the title of a book that would help her, lucky for the school, he had its' own library block for staff and the general public. Maya had just finished her last lesson and headed for the library, she got the book, 'The Works of Archimedes' Maya stayed in the library for awhile reading the book and decided she had to take it out to study more of it.

The next couple of weeks, the book was still in her presence, it had not dawned on her that she had to return the book, but she continued with her studies for her exams were due soon. With studying and reading different books, this one book was the only one out on loan from the school library, and after two years had past, and she received the grades acquired for university, she began to apply to them. It took nearly year before she was accepted in the city, and was excited for she was the first in the family to finish school and head out to university. The whole family were excited, Maya even got a grant to buy any books that she may need, even though she accumulated a number books from teachers past and present.

The day came when Maya packed her bags, her parents drove her to her accomodation at the university. They all hugged and said their good byes, leaving Maya in an old victorian style room, only two floors, the ground was concreted, and the room had a musty but sweet smell. Maya unpacked her clothes and placed them in the wardrobe, and then unpacked all of her books she had acquired and put them on to the book shelf, one of those books was the 'The Works of Archimedes,' Maya looked through the book again and noticed the date when the book should have been returned, September 1979, and the date was September 1984.

Maya began to think, 'Oh dear it is a bit late.' She made some enquires, and it transpired that the school library no longer existed, the school it self had changed hands and changed its' name. So, Maya thought there was no way of returning the book. She thought long and hard on how she could return the book without it becoming an embarrassment to her and her livelihood. As she was due to begin her studies, she put the thought in the back of her mind, meanwhile, she was still using the same book for her upcoming degree course.

Maya had reached the pinacle of her studies, four had past by as she was preparing for her finals and on to graduation. She could not wait, back in her accomodation she had lived for years, preparing to pack everything away, it dropped on to the floor, the book, she sat on the edge of her bed and started looking through it, and it was as though she was seeing it for the first time, at the date it should have been returned, and then scrolling through each page as if viewing for the first time, and the memories on how this book was first introduced to her by her teacher, now, on the verge of graduating to high honours, with this book, it would not have been possible.

Maya placed the book down on to the bedside table, and began to make some enquiries on the phone. It was not going too well, because by now the library no longer existed, and after much infuriating discussions, she was told the book could no longer be returned. The book was well illustrated with enough knowledge for a beginner, it was too good to send back, not that she purposely for got to send back at the correct date.

Several years had passed, Maya was in a high paying job with the government, she had already acquired a luxury apartment and high powered vehicle, and in a relationship ready for marriage. Her partner, David, was in their living room sorting out books to their new library, and as he came across her book, he uttered,

"Maya, I think this book has expired to go back."

"Yes," replied Maya, "I have tried desparately to send it back, but the library doesn't exist anymore, the school has changed hands and changed its' name, and after all the desparate phone calls, I was told to keep the book."

"Well, it is a very good book to treasure."

"I know."

Maya looked at David and the both smiled at each other, nothing much more was said about the book, it was replaced on the top shelf of their small library.

As the years passed by, Maya and David were married with three children and moved into a detached home in an exclusive affluent area. Their lives were better, the children all going to private schooling, and mostly, Maya was working from home, while husband David was busy in the city. They became a family again at weekends and holidaying abroad. They had a hired housekeeper to help out with chores around the home, particularly the study area, the housekeeper, a young woman, Sabina, who was studying at university, needed the money to keep her head above water while at university, in conversation with Maya, she explained how she was struggling with keeping up knowledge of books. When Maya asked her what she was studying, Sabina replied,

"I'm in my second term degree in Mathematics."

Maya looked at her and strolled towards the book shelf and reached for the ladder to get the book down, she presented the book to Sabina,

"Take this, it has served me well, I am sure it will help you."

Sabina took the book and smiled,

"Thank you! thank you very much, this book...."

She didn't finish her sentence, but Maya knew what she was about to say and smile ahead of her.

April 26, 2021 07:24

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