Growing up in her small town, people were always quick to judge Jessie. She was in to punk music as a teenager so not at all a fit with the usual suburban stereotypes found in her home town. It was full to the brim of those that wouldn’t say boo to a goose and were happy to fade into the shadows.
Her expression of herself was simply too much for them to comprehend. Maybe their jealousy was caused by the fact that she was able to and they never felt comfortable to. Bullying her for her choices took the limelight off them. It had been a clear diversion technique to not have their pitfalls highlighted. `Sad when you think about it, to be scared of your own shadow’ she thinks to herself.
Jessie’s grateful to them in a weird way as it resulted in her putting her head down, burying it into her books, all of her studies. She flew through her exams as a result, focused on where she would end up, away from this little town and its’ hypocrites. As it turned out, the more she studied, the more her love of books grew. So many of those in her school were surprised to learn she
grew up to be a librarian, the exact opposite of what they expected. They wrongly assumed from her outer appearance she would end up in a Rock Band playing a bass guitar. Who’d ever expect a punk chick to be a `quiet refined librarian’, think they obviously never got taught the lesson of not judging a book by its cover.
Some of the bullies found it hilarious when they frequented the library and saw she was working there. Even at the age of 28 they were still childish, whispering to each other, sniggering and pointing. “Grow up”, Jessie thought to herself “How old do you think you are, five?” Honestly, the sight made them look pathetic. She felt sorry for them and the little they had grown as a person. She simply turned away and chose to try her best to ignore them. Think they found it funny that she had ended up in a job they saw as beneath them and looked down their noses at. But Jessie was happy with her life choices and that was all that really mattered.
Sure her clothes choices, makeup, hair color and style were a bit out there to the point it `blew their tiny minds’. But she was comfortable in her own skin, whereas they clearly still weren’t even all these years on in the future. Jessie’s boss at the library Sylvia’s happy for her to wear whatever she likes to work as she saw her passion for all literature when she hired her. She was so impressed with her scope of knowledge across all genres that what Jessie wore didn’t even come into the equation in her eyes. She could see beyond the outer cover, see the inner content, she didn’t need the index to find her way around the scope of a person. Sylvia’s able to see the person in their entirety she’s well-read so her mind is not closed off to others and their intricacies.
Focusing on her work, once she’s emptied the book trolley of returned books, Jessie goes back to the desk. Trying not to judge them she contemplates `why the bullies are in the library as she knows for a fact they have no interest in books, she’s seen them pick up books, glance at the outer cover then read the last lines to see if they’d like it’. Jessie finds this behavior with books difficult to comprehend as she loves the suspense of not knowing where the story will lead. The whole journey to uncover the end’s the best part for her. `Why would you want to spoil that by knowing the conclusion?’ she puzzles.
They interrupt her train of thought slamming a book down on the counter to get her attention, rather than having to ask properly like a grown up would, `no please, no thank you’. Just moaning to each other they now completely blank her existence, Helen complaining to Jill that `she had to come in to such a boring, mind-numbing place to get a book for her little sister as her mum made her’!
Jill’s response `I know Hel we could be off doing such fun things together, making much better use of our time than wasting it in this dump.’
`Hel is right’ Jessie thinks to herself `she did make my life Hell, she was the ring leader the instigator of all of it. The spitting of chewed up paper through straws at my hair in English class, the jibes behind my back as I walked along the corridors’.
As soon as Jessie stamped the book they snatched it back from her and walked out, not even stopping their conversation or glancing back. Jessie paused for a second contemplating `how devoid they’d been of all consideration for others, no shred of empathy. Hel clearly not even giving a thought as to how much her mum must have had to deal with, to have to ask her to come get something for her little sister'.
Jessie on the other hand had learnt the value of the little things in life. How all interactions with those who she meets throughout her day will have a knock on effect spreading out to all the other people those persons themselves then go on to encounter that same 24 hours. Applying her philosophies even down to the way she cares for each book. How delicately she wipes the dust off those that had not been checked out for a while. She knows one day someone will want to take them home and she wants to prep them ready to give each book the best chance of this happening. Books were like little people to her, she couldn’t stand the thought of them being neglected, undervalued and left on the shelf. She gave every book the same level of respect, no matter how big or small, whatever the subject, they deserved a chance to be read, to be seen and heard.
She would never judge a book by its cover.
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I like this story! Great work!
Thanks so much I really appreciate the feedback x
I like the character and how even though she's outwardly big with her clothes, she's more of an introvert with people. Good job!
Thanks for your feedback, it is very much appreciated, glad you enjoyed it. Sorry for the late reply x