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The Library

It takes Jack a while to find the book. Not that he minds really, its almost calming to sift through the volumes of stories whose pages are dusty and water damaged and burnt. Jack’s the only one who bothers to come in here anymore. No one wants to read the stories, too painful he guesses. He pauses when he finds a book engraved with his parents names and smiles grimly. ‘Maybe later.’ he thinks as he puts the worn leather bound book down. His fingers glide over hundreds of other volumes, most with names he doesn’t recognize and sighs heavily when he finds names that he does know. A tear glides down his cheek when a red paperback catches his eye. It’s newer and the engraving is fresh. ‘Megan and Isaac’ is stamped on the cover in black cursive. Jack slams a fist down, disrupting dust and toppling over a couple books. “Dang it. I told you two to be more careful.” He growls. Anger courses through him and he really wants to throw the book across the forgotten library, or bury it under the other thousand volumes. But he knows that the library has a way of making you read the books you need to and that on his next visit it’d probably the first book he saw. Sighing, he tucks the paperback under his arm and continues his search.

He finds the book he’s been looking for under an alarmingly yellow hardcover that looks to have a hundred chapters. He places the yellow monstrosity to the side and picks up the maroon volume under it. Jack rubs a sleeve over the cover and reveals the title, ‘Amelia’. A slight smile spreads across his lips. “Gotcha.” He whispers. Jack knows the rules, no books leave the library, so he goes to seek out his favorite chair in the back corner.
He gets there with difficulty, all the books perched precariously on shelves and lamps making him move slowly. But Jack makes it eventually, and plops down into the chair causing a cloud of dust to erupt. The dust sends Jack into a coughing fit that lights his ribs on fire. Finally his cough stops and he rubs his chest in pain. “I’m getting to old for this.” He grumbles. The library rumbles in agreement. “Shut up.” Jack replies and the library shifts uncomfortably. With an eye roll, Jack tucks Isaac and Megan’s book next to him and opens up the maroon cover of Amelia’s book. His knowing fingers find chapter 15 with ease and open it up carefully. It’s his favorite chapter, entitled ‘The Wedding’. Jack laughs as he reads through it, remembering how shocked her dad was when Amelia finally told him who she was marrying. He remembers the way Amelia lit up as he said ‘I do.’ and how Megan looked like she was going to cry with happiness and Isaac’s speech and how Elliot danced like a fool with Sarah at the reception. The memories flash before Jack’s eyes with each word he reads and the first genuinely happy smile he’s smiled in a long time crosses his face. He finishes the chapter with a sigh and closes his eyes. He’s tired, the trek to and through the library had taken a lot out of his 78 year old body. Jack decides to take a nap before he reads Megan and Isaac’s book to find out what happened.

But Jack never gets to read the book because he never gets to wake up from the nap, not really anyway. When Jack wakes up, he’s 25 again and dancing with Amelia.
And somewhere a library sighs and inscribes another name on a maroon colored book, waiting for another visitor.



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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm
Very nice! Good job! Please read, rate, and comment on some of my stories. It means a lot to me! Consider it your act of kindness for the day.
 
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