Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Habitual Offender.....

I walk towards the door as it slides open. I walk slowly, with wobbly steps and guilty mind. I am scared as a mouse. I have been doing it often times, although I do not intend to repeat it so often. I do not really have intentions to do what I am doing but it happens on its own. It happens many times. Will the staff be angry? Will they take action against me? I do not want them to take any harsh action. I want to explain them everything. Will they understand my situation? Will they empathize with me? 

I have a whole bunch of books in my bag. The bag bulges through the corners. I stoop a little with weight of knowledge that the books have, with the weight of knowledge that I am late again to return the books. They have been fining me every time for the past umpteen visits. What should I do? Should I tell them that I am so greedy that I always take more number of books than I can read in a month?

A month? Thirty days? What was I doing all this time? I read some, I did not read some. I should have returned the books on time. I am late. By two days. Late be two days again.

I reach the counter. I return the books. She looks at her computer. She looks at me. She again looks at the computer. She again looks at me. This time furiously, very very furiously.

She summons someone on the phone.

I am shivering. I am sweating. I have taken out my wallet. But she does not ask me to pay fines. She does not return my library card.

Is it done? I ask nervously. She asks me to wait. Her voice is stern.

A woman comes. They both talk. They have a secret talk. I am shrinking all this time.

They take the card and cut it. I scream. I try to stop them. They start calling me by something very disgraceful. They call me 'Habitual Offender'. 

I protest. It is a stigma I cannot live with. I am not an offender. I am a mistake-r. They do not listen.

Your right to read books, to loan them, or to visit the library have been forfeited. You cannot enter the library anymore.

I am about to faint. Everyone is screaming at me. Everyone is calling me Habitual Offender. The cacophony of blaming voices slices my spirit. I cannot live without my books. I am dying.

Screams. Sweat. Horror. Loss. 

I wake up. It was a dream. It was a nightmare. 

I look at the time. I have to go to the library today. I hug my books. I kiss my books. I hug them again. 

I am alive. 

1 comment:

  1. Loss of what is most dear to us is the most scary nightmare. Subconscious fears? Or guilt feeling?

    But you wrote it amazingly well. It grips.