General Non-Fiction posted May 1, 2020


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Bittersweet

The Librarian Hated Me

by Amy Greta


The school librarian hated me. She was in her late 50's, lived alone with her four cats, kept her long gray hair in a ponytail, and wore polyester pant suits. Also, she never smiled.

I was her opposite.

On my first day at that school, the librarian issued me an overhead projector, but when I plugged it in, sparks flew from the outlet, the machine flashed and then emitted a burning battery smell. Without worry, I rolled the faulty piece of equipment back to the library for an exchange. I was immediately questioned about the incident, interrogation style, with a pointed finger and scowling eyes so far into my personal space that I could smell the librarian's stale-coffee breath. I was eventually told I would have to wait for a replacement.

When I took my class to the library, we were greeted with angry commands such as, "Hurry up and pick your books, I was right in the middle of something!" After a few weeks, my students avoided the librarian due to either fear or resentment, so I checked out books for them. Often the librarian openly criticized my selections, "I don't know why you picked this horrible book..."

One morning we had our monthly staff meeting in the library instead of our usual gathering place. We were to begin at 8:15am. After I arrived, I remembered we were supposed to bring our testing manual and I had forgotten mine. I raced around the corner to my classroom and grabbed the book. The digital clock in the hallway read 8:14 as I sprinted toward my destination. I made it back to the library right as the clock changed to 8:15.

The librarian was standing at the entrance with keys in hand and locked the doors right as I was about to open them. "Please, let me in for the meeting." I begged.

With a sarcastic smirk she looked through the door's window and replied, "The Meeting STARTS at 8:15 and you're not in your seat." Then she walked away.

I stood there in shock. Then, feeling defeated, I trudged back to my classroom, plopped down at my desk, and cried. Later, I told my best friend, who was also a teacher at the school, what had happened and complained about how the librarian was so incredibly mean! "What should I do?" I asked, "My students refuse to go to the library, I still don't have a projector, and she locked me out of the meeting! How can I get even with her?"

"Give her a box of chocolates," my friend suggested.

"WHAT?!? Are you kidding? Why would I buy that lady a gift?" I was confused.

"You can't get even with her. It'll just make things worse. She loves fancy chocolates, so give her some and kill her with kindness," she explained.

"Well," I thought, "it's worth a try." As I was buying the candy that night, I thought, "I can't believe I'm spending money on a present for this woman!"

The next day, I forced myself to become an actress and bounced into the library with a huge smile and a wrapped gift behind my back. "I have something for you!" I announced.

"What? Why?" she was caught off guard.

"It's Librarian Appreciation Day!" I lied as I presented her with the box.

"Oh my," she began, "nobody else got me anything." I kept smiling. "My favorite chocolates! Thank you," she said.

Before the day was over, I had a brand-new overhead projector in my classroom. Now, years later, I have an empty box of chocolates hanging on the wall in my classroom. At the beginning of the year, my new students always ask about it, so I tell them my mean librarian story. Then, whenever one of my kids wants to seek revenge on someone, I point to the box of chocolates and smile.
~~~



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