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Her fingers glided across the books that lined the dark oak shelving. She knew she wasn’t supposed to touch them but she couldn’t help but to do so. They gave her a constant reminder of her mother. Her hand stopped on one of her favorites. The outside of the book was hard and cold to the touch; while inside the pages seemed vigil. She picked it up and cracked it open to revile the adventure that she wished was her own.
Her mother read to her as a child. Constantly finding herself pretending that it be her own reality. She sat down on the lavish leather sofa and fell into the story. Her eyes gliding from word to word as the bled on the pages. Each word she read she imaged as if her mother was reading aloud back in there little one room home. Her mother’s voice would fill every inch and crack in the house with this beautiful sound.
“You’re not to be touching those.” A sharp voice growled form the open door of the study. She jumped from the sofa and placed the book back into its crevice amongst the shelfs.
“I’m sorry, sir.” She replied softly. “I’m just finishing up in here.” Her eyes managed to linger on the man’s face. It was William Collins. He was the owner of the estate. He wore a button up, vest, trousers, and a jacket like most business men do. The only difference is William always wore brown. He also carried himself differently than any other man in the south.
She grabbed he cleaning supplies and went on to clean the rest of the study. William sat down at his desk and started to type. Every day she walked past his study and he was typing away. Once when William was out and not expected back anytime soon she slipped in to see what he was typing all the time. There was only one word on the page she saw.
She finished dusting and grabbed her things.
“You’re forgetting something.” William said as she walked to the door.
“Sorry, sir.” She looked around to find what she had forgotten.
“I don’t know about you but if I’m in the middle of reading a book I can’t stop.” William said has he continued to type. “Bring it back when you are done.”
She pulled the book out of its home on the shelf. “Thank you.”
“What’s your name?”
“Judith Hazel.” She turned and skipped out of the room and down the hall. She flung the cleaning supplies into a closet by the kitchen and ran out the maid’s entrance. Judith ran across the fields to the big oak tree at the edge of the property. Her hands stayed clutched to the book tighter than she’s ever held onto anything else.
Judith sat on the big root that came out from the tree. She ran her fingers through the pages as she found her placing. Although the sun was high in the sky and southern heat dragged on she continued to sit and read.