I was a serious child. I followed all the rules, and characters that got away with breaking rules in fiction drove me crazy. If there was a system of rules set into place I figured it must be for a good reason. I was the teacher-est of teachers pets, and I took pride in that, because it was one of the few things I could do well.
Nowhere was this clearer than in the library. It was my domain and all the books my well cared for subjects. You could find me there everyday in grade school and jr high. I always returned books back to their homes and was awarded the honor of taking home as many books as I could carry (sometimes more!)
But then, the dark eye of high school fixed its gaze on me (side note: High school, not as scary or as amazing as advertised) and I panicked. After all, who could think when you’re already hearing horror stories of trash cans and judgment? I did something I had never done before: I lost a book.
It shouldn’t have been a big deal and even after all my crying it wasn’t, the book was paid for and life goes on…
I still have that book. I found it some years ago and all the memories came flooding back. And by memories I mean guilt. I can’t help but feel that book, that paid for in full book, isn’t really mine. That red ink stamp on the inside page leers at my do gooding, library girl past.
Even though the school switched to being a crout school with a different name years ago.
Even though 6th through 8th grade is now integrated into the elementary school and there is no jr high where I live.
Still, I love this book, in all it’s dogeared shabbiness.
I wonder what 17 years of late fees would look like…