I walked in, soaking wet and shivering like a stray mutt. One of the librarians glared at me – I really had nowhere else to go. That was the first time I set foot in a library.
A string of events led up to that moment: The taxi that usually took me back home, left me behind so I had to walk – I was the only one who lived such a great distance from school. A storm caught me along the way – it poured mercilessly as I ran through the thick mud; the long grass attempted to trip me at every step as raindrops the size of pebbles pelted down on me.
“Kill me now!” I screamed out in frustration. The grass had finally succeeded in tripping me up. When I looked up I saw the library. I had seen it every day on the taxi ride home but now I was standing at the front door. The building looked homey, with a coat of cream paint on the walls. I gazed up into the dark, cloudy sky and let the brutal downpour wash off the mud on my face. I hesitantly stepped inside.
“May I help you?” the librarian, who was glaring at me, asked. My eyes caught a glimpse of the lady. I was too embarrassed to even look at her properly. When I Iooked down at my feet, I saw how muddy my Jack and Jill school shoes were.
“May I take shelter here?” I asked.
“Of course! And feel free to browse all the shelves,” she said. I had misjudged her; she looked more concerned than suspicious of me.
She handed me a towel to dry myself with and disappeared behind her high desk. She peered at me a few times, expecting me to take up her invite; I did.
The library was fascinating.
That day I never got a chance to read any of the books but every title stirred an emotion in me, from emptiness to intrigue, to shock and awe. It was a revelation to me.
The librarian handed me a library membership application form. “Fill it in and leave it at my desk tomorrow, okay?” she said. I took the forms with genuine excitement as she explained the process. I could not believe the library card would allow me free access to unlimited books.
Two weeks after that encounter I became the proud owner of a library membership card – my yellow card – my special something.