The Book Girl
by Shawn Allen
“I think it’s sweet,” Jessica said, “comparing you to a book that’s still being written.”
Around the small table, Margret watched her friends nod agreement.
“Well I don’t. I know he wanted it to be clever and romantic. It really isn’t.
“Think about it: what sort of book does he think I am? A dusty old classic? A romance? Maybe a young adult story, maybe that’s how he sees me. Perhaps all I am to him is a single volume of Victorian erotica.”
She paused to take a sip of her espresso.
Susan, sitting across the table, said, “Well, when you put it that way…”
“It’s not just that! I’m so much more than a book; more than one story. I’m a whole library of books, whole worlds and lives and foreign countries. I’m a mystery, a travelogue, a story of great love and a tragedy. I am an entire history and a possible future. I can be a dancer, a poet, an embattled queen or a harlot. I might run a huge corporation. I could live in a trailer, or a mansion.
“There’s no telling who — or what — I might be today, and how that could change tomorrow.
“How dare he limit me to only one book for him to check out. What gives him the right to define me?”
Having made her point, Margret took another sip.
“So, will you see him again?” Jessica asked.
“Probably, but that little boy will have to earn his library card, now.”
Shawn D. Allen.