Fiery books

She was working at a library at a resort. The entire place still feels kind of strange to her. Why on earth would a resort house a library? It was not as if guests would borrow books and return them three weeks later. The whole purpose of going away, for most people, was to stay as much away from reality as possible. And for most, the ideal vacation would not involve books.

As she was pondering over this, she noticed a group of students arriving at the scene for their 3 days/2 nights camp. The students appeared to be of college level and were starting to get into formation for their first ice-breaking game. She walked to the end of the room to get started with her duties and her train of thought continued: Maybe this resort hosts a different kind of of customer base. Nonetheless, she was happy to be there. Being surrounded by the touch and smell of books was the best kind of job she has ever had.

The first ice-breaking game ended and students were moving around the room, filling the space with engrossed and excited discussions and conversations. Amidst the slight chaos, a voice shouted out.

Hey you! What’s your name? 

With natural reflex, she looked up towards where the sound was coming from. How silly of me, she thought, as she shook her head and went back to work. Nobody knows her yet, certainly not the students.

Hey you there sorting the books out, what’s your name? 

She shot up from her bent position in surprise.

“It’s Kelly”, she shouted across the room, slightly flustered. “Do you need anything?

The boy murmured to himself, “No, I just wanted to know your name“.

Of course, Kelly did not hear that and went back to work. How strange this morning had started out. She went to the reception area to wait for a box of newly published books that was supposed to have arrived 10 minutes ago. As she was preoccupied with the decision of whether to call the delivery company or not, she heard a loud thud. She swirled around and saw a pile of books scattered in front of the boy.

Do you need any help?” she yelled as she made her way to the boy.

No thanks, I’ve got it.

She bent down to gather some of the books anyway, and followed after the boy into the library. The boy took the books from her hands and thanked her. As she was about to turn away, the boy started firing words at her.

“Kelly, if we knew each other in high school, we would have been girlfriends and boyfriends. Our parents would have loved each other. But it’s not too late now. We are soul mates and we would have a perfect family together. You have to trust me. I…”

She took a step back and the boy was still rattling on. What is going on?? She tried to clear her thoughts and make sense of what just happened. She observed the boy for a moment. He has a pair of glasses, average features, not very tall, and has plain clothes. Generally, he is not the type of guy who will catch your attention.

Hold on a second“, she cut him off mid sentence. With her heart racing, she asked, “What are you trying to say?

The boy pondered for a brief second and cleared his throat, giving away the first hint of nervousness.

“I guess, what I’m trying to say is…would you go out with me?”

She was stunned. A million thoughts and warnings came to her head at once. He basically just declared love on you. That is not normal for someone you have just met! He must be a pervert or something. What excuse should I give him? No, I’m already seeing someone? No, I’m not interested? That is way too harsh.

The boy was still looking at her intently, waiting for her reply.

She opened her mouth and what tumbled out resembled a “yes”. If the boy was happy, he revealed none of that joy. “I will see you after work”, he said calmly before walking away.

What did I just do?? She secretly cringed on the inside. I should have at least said I will think about it and text you later. He does seem like a decent person, but did I really just agree to that? She breathed in deeply and came to a resolution. Okay, I guess I’ll give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, I will just back away like I always had. For some reason or another, he intrigued me.

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