Kendall sat behind the checkout desk at the library, arms crossed and leaning back in her worn chair. She surveyed the patrons in front of her, watching them as they lost themselves in the various tasks one might expect to see people engaging in at a local library. She quickly got bored of that and promptly returned to finishing up the assignment she had been struggling with since arriving at work that day.
“Alright, I need a red 7,” she mumbled quietly to herself as she clicked the face down stack of cards on her computer screen. The king of clubs appeared on the screen. “Goddammit,” she whispered to herself, and with annoyance she closed out the Solitaire game.
She looked at the clock and exhaled deeply. She was only 22 minutes into her shift, and already she was hating life. Normally Solitaire could get her through at least the first hour of her shift, but today for some reason she just wasn’t feeling it.
“Maybe I’ll take my first break,” she said to herself, stretching as she stood up from her chair. She glanced around to make sure her supervisor wasn’t in the vicinity, then made her way towards the little break room on the other side of the library. Before she got there, she made a quick stop at the bathroom. She noticed that the doors on both of the stalls were slightly ajar and seemingly empty, so she went for the one that was furthest away from the entrance.
“Holy shit!” Kendall screamed, flinging her body against the wall opposite the stall she had just opened. Kendall had been met with a large, rather busty older woman, completely topless with shaving cream all over her chest and breasts. In one hand she held a razor, and the other a small pocket mirror. The girthy woman snapped her head towards Kendall and stared angrily at her, an intense fire in her eyes. A low snarl emitted dangerously from the woman’s mouth.
“I…why didn’t you…I didn’t mean to…” Kendall stammered, trying to find words, any words at all, that felt appropriate in this situation.
“GET OUTTA HERE!” the woman screamed shrilly at the top of her lungs. Kendall didn’t need telling twice. She bolted for the door, yanked it open, and came barreling out of the bathroom. As the door shut slowly behind her, she heard the woman grumble something about “sick perverts”.
Kendall pushed her glasses up on her face, tucked a loose lock of hair behind her ear, and promptly returned to her station behind the checkout desk.
Kendall was sitting behind the checkout desk, rocking back and forth in her chair, which only rocked because it was broken. She was completely zoned out thinking about…absolutely nothing.
“Ma’am!” a voice urgently called out to her, snapping her out of her stupor. She looked up in front of the desk to see a man standing there looking slightly uncomfortable.
“Uh…hi,” Kendall responded. “What can I do for you sir?”
“You know books, right?” the man asked.
“I know books?” Kendall repeated.
“Yeah!” the man said. “I mean, you’re a librarian, so I assume you’ve probably read most of the books in this place, right?” The man had an intense urgency in his voice.
“Um…well, I certainly haven’t read ‘most’ of the books. I mean, there are probably, like, tens of thousands of books in here. And also, I’m not a librarian, I’m a library technician. Big difference.”
The man looked her up and down for a moment, clearly assessing her worth in his moment of need. “Eh, you’ll do anyway,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders. “Listen, you gotta help me out.”
“Sure,” Kendall said reluctantly, getting all sorts of bad vibes from this dude. “What can I help you find today?”
“Nothin’,” he said. “Just need some advice.” He lifted the sleeve on his shirt and revealed his forearm, which was covered in scabs, bumps, and pustules of various shapes, sizes, and colors.
“Oh my god!” Kendall exclaimed, unable to hide her disgust.
“What d’ya think this is?” the man asked, pushing his arm closer to her. “You ever seen anything like it in one of these books in this place?”
“No!” Kendall cried out. “I don’t know anything about…whatever that is on your arm! Why in the world would you come here for that? You need to see a doctor, sir!”
“Ah, doctors don’t know a damn thing about nothin’,” the man replied vehemently. “That’s why I came here. Figured a book woman would be of more service.”
“A book woman?” Kendall thought to her self. “I could maybe see if I could look up what kinds of books we have on rashes,” Kendall offered as she backed even further away from the man.
“I don’t need no book!” the man said angrily. “Listen, I was hoping to talk to an educated, well-read member of the staff of what I consider to be a very prestigious public library. Now, if you can’t help me, maybe I should just take my business to another library where the staff members have actually read books and know things!”
Kendall stared momentarily at the man in disbelief. “I can’t help İstanbul Escort you!” she cried out. The man aggressively pushed the sleeve back down his arm and glared at her with indignance.
“Thanks for nothin’, lady,” he said as he turned and stormed out of the library. Kendall spent the next 30 minutes sanitizing her work area.
Kendall pushed a cart of books down the aisle and methodically returned them to their correct location. This was her favorite part of the work day. Not because she enjoyed putting books on shelves, but because the very back of the very last aisle of books contained oodles of trashy romance novels, which were secretly her favorite genre of book. As a matter of fact, they were the only type of book she actually read.
It wasn’t just that the end of the last aisle contained her favorite books that made her happy. It was also that she happened to know for a fact that this particular part of the library contained a blind spot on their security cameras. Kendall was often able to steal away a large chunk of her shift camping out there, with no worries at all about being seen by anyone on the camera. She also hardly ever saw anyone, guest or employee, venture to this part of the library, so it felt extra safe.
She parked her cart at the end of the aisle and began to scan the shelf in front of her. Her library had what she thought was a generous collection of trashy novels, and even though she had already read most of them, there were still a few that she hadn’t gotten to yet. She stopped her gaze at the last book on the shelf that she had read and reached for the one right beside it. She pulled it off and looked at the cover. There was a shirtless cowboy (there was always a shirtless cowboy) with a body that just wouldn’t quit. He wore a pair of tight jeans that accentuated a prominent bulge. A rope hung purposefully off his shoulder. Instead of a cowboy hat, however, he adorned a red Santa hat.
“Lasso My Love: Yuletide Edition,” Kendall read aloud. “The fifth installation in the Boone Buckhorn series. Mmmmm…yes,” she said simply, lowering herself down on the floor against the wall and making herself cozy.
As Kendall sat in front of her computer updating the late fee database, a cute little girl appeared in her field of vision in front of her. The little girl stopped in front of the help desk where Kendall sat and smiled sweetly at her.
“Hello!” Kendall said to the little girl, returning her smile. She estimated that the girl could be no older than 7 years old.
“Hi!” the girl replied. “My name is Katherine!”
“Well that’s a very pretty name,” Kendall said. “So what brings you to the library this evening, Katherine?”
“I’m looking for a book,” Katherine said.
“Oh okay,” Kendall replied. “Well, if you go through those doors right over there to your left, you’ll find the children’s section. What kinds of books do you like to read?”
Katherine thought for a moment. “Well, the book I’m looking for isn’t in the kid’s area,” she said. “I’ve already looked.”
“Oh, well you must be quite the avid reader if you’re already looking for books in the adult section!” Kendall replied enthusiastically. “What kind of book are you looking for, sweetheart?”
“Poisons,” Katherine said simply.
Kendall leaned in closer to Katherine. “I’m sorry dear,” Kendall said, “I don’t think I quite heard you clearly. What did you say?”
“Poisons,” Katherine repeated. “I need a book about poisons.”
“A book about…poisons?” Kendall clarified.
“Yes,” Katherine said. The sweetness that was originally in her voice had disappeared entirely, a harsh bluntness replacing it.
“I…uh…you mean like poisonous plants?” Kendall asked. “Or maybe venomous snakes and spiders and such?”
“No,” Katherine replied. “Like poisons you can buy straight up. Or maybe things you can find around the house that have toxic ingredients. Things that can be hidden in food discreetly perhaps. I’ve heard of arsenic and strychnine, but I’d like to learn about some more.” She spoke very matter-of-factly.
Kendall stared at the girl, mouth agape, unable to formulate a sentence. The girl stood steady in front of her, waiting patiently.
“Katherine, there you are!” a voice rang out from a distance. Kendall was broken out of her trance and looked over to see a woman rushing over to Katherine’s side. “I told you to stay close by!” the woman scolded. Katherine’s face turned to pure hatred as she looked sideways at the woman.
“Sorry, mother,” Katherine said with disgust. The woman grabbed Katherine’s hand and led her out of the library. After a minute or so of inner dialogue, Kendall sat back in her chair and continued updating the late fee database, deciding to never think about that interaction again.
“Chauncey!” Kendall called out to the man in the trench coat that walked swiftly by the checkout desk towards Kadıköy Escort the computers. The man didn’t flinch, nor did he stop. Kendall quickly got up and jogged around the desk in an effort to catch up with the man.
“Chauncey!” she said again as she approached the man from behind. She reached her hand out and tapped him on the shoulder when she caught up to him. He stopped abruptly and turned around to look at her, a look of complete confusion on his face.
“Uh…yeah?” he said with annoyance.
“Do we really have to go through this again today, Chauncey?” Kendall asked with exasperation.
“What are you talking about?” Chauncey asked. Kendall rolled her eyes.
“Please don’t make me call security again tonight, Chauncey,” Kendall pleaded. “I’ve had a really awful day and we’re so close to closing time. If you could just please not make me call security, that would be great.”
“Why would you call security on me?” Chauncey asked, sounding immensely offended. “I’m just trying to use a computer to check my email real quick, then I’m gonna leave for my big business meeting.”
“You have a ‘big business meeting’ on a Friday night?” Kendall asked skeptically.
“Yes, I’m meeting with a very important client and I’m in a HUGE time crunch,” Chauncey said as he looked impatiently at his bare wrist. “So if you will please stop harassing me so I can check my email and be on my way, I would really appreciate it.”
Kendall sighed and shook her head. “Okay Chauncey,” she said. “But I’ll be watching you.” Chauncey glared at her, then turned and headed once more to the computers. Kendall hung back a bit, standing behind an independent rotating book shelf so that she could watch him from afar. He sat down at a computer that was furthest away from her, typed out something on the keyboard, and clicked the mouse a few times. Then, within a matter of seconds, he reached his hand into his trench coat and began moving his arm in a slow and methodical pumping motion.
“Goddammit Chauncey!” Kendall exclaimed quietly, slapping her hand to her forehead. She went to her desk and called security. Moments later, they arrived and ushered Chauncey out of the library. Kendall rushed over to where his computer was to make sure that any porn he had brought up was properly closed out.
“What the..?” she said to herself as she leaned over his computer and looked at the bank of images on the screen. “Lego Hillary Clinton!?” Kendall read aloud, seeing the words that Chauncey had typed into the search bar. Kendall quickly closed out the browser and squirted some nearby hand sanitizer into her hands. “Fuck this day,” she said to herself, deciding in that moment to go clock out a few minutes early.
Later that evening, as she did every Friday night after work, Kendall pulled her car into the driveway of her brother’s house. She found her work weeks so exhausting that by Friday she simply didn’t have the energy to make the drive all the way to her house from work, and instead would always camp out at her brother’s house for a while before going home, since he lived considerably closer to the library than she did. She parked her car behind his, got out, and trudged up to his front door, opening it without knocking.
“Hey, Kendall,” she heard her brother call out from his living room.
“Mmpf,” she grunted in response, tossing her keys on a side table before rounding the corner into the living room. As usual, Joey was sitting in his recliner, his face lit up by the light on his cell phone. A basketball game was on television, the volume turned down really low. A frozen margarita sat on a coaster right in front of Kendall’s “spot” on the sofa. She plopped herself down on the couch, kicked her shoes off, and grabbed the cold drink. The sweetness of the margarita mix, the sharpness of the lime, and the coolness of the slushy ice as it fell down her throat immediately set her at ease.
“Good margarita tonight,” she said simply, taking another large gulp. She braced herself for the impending brain freeze, and when it passed she took another big slurp.
“It’s always a good margarita when I make it,” Joey replied. Kendall rolled her eyes, but didn’t say anything. He was right, of course. Joey made a perfect margarita. Every Friday when she got to his house, there was always a fresh one made and waiting for her. She looked over at her brother as he took a sip of his beer, still completely lost in his phone. Then she looked at the television screen.
“Who’s playing tonight?” Kendall asked casually, not really caring about the answer. She squinted her eyes and leaned forward, studying the logo in the middle of the basketball court. “The…Reindeer?”
“Ha!” Joey laughed, still not looking up from his phone. “Yeah, sis, the Milwaukee Reindeer are playing tonight. They’re going up against the Chicago Cows.”
Kendall glanced sideways at her brother. “Really?” she asked seriously.
Joey Kartal Escort looked over at her stoically. “Yes.” He returned his attention to his phone.
Kendall leaned back comfortably into the couch and propped her feet up on the table in front of her, casually sipping her drink. “Well I had a shit day that really capped off my shit week,” she said.
“Aw, man,” Joey said nonchalantly.
“I hate my job so much,” she continued.
“Hmm,” Joey mumbled quietly, still staring at his phone.
“I’m either bored out of my mind, or I’m having to interact with the dregs of society,” Kendall continued. “The days feels like weeks and the weeks go by like months. I get no job satisfaction whatsoever. Some days I just wanna quit, but I don’t know what else I would do. I’m already 30 years old, do I really want to start a new career now? Is it too late for me? Am I trapped?”
“I dunno,” Joey replied noncommittally, clearing not putting any thought or feeling into his answer. Kendall gave her brother a dirty look, which honestly felt like a waste since he wasn’t even bothering to look at her.
“I have AIDS,” she said simply.
“Dag,” he replied, not even flinching.
“Joey!” Kendall whined loudly as she launched a pillow at his face. “Listen to me!”
“I am listening!” he said, finally putting his phone down beside him and looking at her.
“What was the last thing I said then?”
“Uhh….” Joey began, trailing off as he thought. “Something about wanting to be a maid?”
“Idiot,” Kendall said, shaking her head. “I was saying how much I hate my job, how I feel trapped by it, and how I don’t know if it’s too late to change careers.”
“Too late?” Joey replied. “What are you talking about, Kendall? You’re only 30 years old. I mean, I realize it probably feels weird being in your thirties, and…well, me still being in my twenties, I, of course, can’t relate to that.”
“You’re 29, jackass!” Kendall replied.
“28 and 11 months!” Joey corrected with resentment.
“Anyway,” Joey continued, “You have plenty of time to change careers and explore something new. I mean, it’s not like you have a husband and children to get in your way or anything. Hell, you don’t even have a boyfriend. You don’t really have anything going on socially at all. You’re completely free to do what you want!”
Kendall glared at her brother. “Thanks for the pick-me-up, Joey,” she said sarcastically.
“I’m just saying, you don’t have anything stopping you from going back to school or switching careers or…whatever it is you wanna do.”
“What if I don’t know what I want to do?”
Joey shrugged. “Then maybe start working on finding something outside of your job to make you happy. Like quilting!”
“I’m not a grandmother, Joey!” Kendall replied.
“Of course not,” he said. “You have to have kids first before you can become a grandmother, and as we’ve already covered, you’re nowhere near that.”
“I hate you,” Kendall said, leaning back and facing the television again.
“Aw, I’m just messing with you!” Joey replied. Kendall ignored him. She took another sip of her margarita and set it down. Then she pulled her book out of her back pocket and turned to where she left off.
“What’s that?” Joey asked. Kendall looked at him, then at the book, then back at him again.
“A book?” Kendall replied mockingly.
“I know, but…” Joey said, trailing off. He leaned forward and turned his head sideways to look at the cover. “Why is that dude shirtless? And why is he carrying a rope?”
“He works on a ranch in Montana, so he always carries a rope just in case he needs it for something…ranchy,” Kendall replied. “And he’s shirtless because…well, it’s hot outside where he works.”
“But why is he wearing a Santa hat?” Joey asked.
Kendall scoffed. “Because it’s Christmas. Duh!”
“It’s Christmas…AND it’s hot outside?” Joey asked with disbelief. “In Montana!?”
“Well…you know, with global warming and all…” Kendall began, trailing off.
“Oh, okay,” Joey said mockingly. Kendall returned her attention to her book. “Aren’t you embarrassed to have your coworkers see you check out a book like that?” he asked.
“Didn’t check it out,” she said, her eyes still glued to the page.
“Ha, what…did you steal it or something?” Joey asked with a chuckle. Kendall raised her hand and rocked it from side to side in a “sort of” gesture. Joey’s mouth dropped open. “Did you really steal that book, Kendall!?” he asked.
“Not exactly,” she said. “I mean…I’m gonna put it back. So I just…temporarily stole it.”
“Naughty girl,” Joey scolded playfully. Kendall just shrugged and continued with her book.
“So what, you’re just gonna read?” he asked.
“Yep,” she replied simply.
“Wait a second,” Joey began, his eyes suddenly wide with shock. “Is there sex in that book?”
“God I hope so,” she said.
“Are you really going to sit there and read sex scenes with your brother in the room with you?”
“No,” Kendall replied. “I’m trying to get through all the stuff in the beginning that leads to the sex parts later on. I’ll save the sex scenes for when I’m home alone later this weekend.”
“Why do you wanna do that?” Joey asked. Kendall looked up from her book and looked at her brother, raising one eyebrow purposefully.