And now for the second chapter of The Librarian. Hope you enjoy the read!
Raised an only child under the stern watch of both her mother who taught kindergarten and her father who worked at a local lumber supply store, excitement and drama were not part of Isis’ previous reality. Family vacations consisted of an annual week-long camping trip to the same campground in the Fraser Valley. With the same families camped nearby, they ate the usual greasy food from the same concession stand. Isis reluctantly hung out with twin girls, year after year, until one fateful summer.
For instance, Isis could not fathom the silly games Emma and Ava insisted on playing, over and over again. So, Emma and Ava would spend most of the holiday making fun of Isis, and devising ways to make her life miserable.
“Hey four-eyes! What’re you reading now?” demanded Ava.
“Yeah four-eyes! What’re you wasting time on now?” taunted Emma.
She never minded the girls’ bullying because her nose was buried in a book ninety percent of the time, whether on vacation or not. Even when the twins coated her beloved “Pippi Longstocking” paperback in acrylic paint, Isis just shook her head sadly, then short-sheeted their beds when no one was around for her own amusement.
But, the girls’ antics crossed the line when they pushed Isis off the dock one afternoon, before Isis had begun swimming lessons.
“Why don’t you go swimming for a new book over there!” yelled Ava as Isis flew off the wooden wharf. Gasping and flailing, Isis could only look up through the water in terror at the twins distorted faces, lake water burning her lungs. Fortunately, her Dad came running down the dock, pulling her to safety. The twins were banished from their camp and Isis gladly resumed the pleasure of reading books in peace. However, she never did learn how to swim.
Back at home, obedience ruled Isis’s past life, and the familiarity of each passing year lent a certain comfort and security. For Isis, books served to fill a sense of adventure, vicariously, from the safety of her reading chair, or the nook in the school library. Why venture away when she could journey into the stories of Meg Murry in A Wrinkle in Time, or Lyra in The Golden Compass. None of the children in school paid any attention to the mousy girl with her nose stuck in a book; she practically blended in with the tan carpeting.
Father made sure Isis spent every spare moment studying and completing homework assignments.
“Isis, I never got to go to school and education is more important than anything.” Never mind that her Dad spent every waking moment glued to war movies on the television.
Upon graduating high school, Isis dutifully enrolled in a Master of Library Science Degree at the University of British Columbia. It made sense to her frugal parents she live and study at home.
“A penny saved is a penny earned,” her mother perpetually recited in a sing-song voice. Her parent’s budgeting habits rubbed off on Isis, who rarely ate out or treated herself to concerts or trips abroad. Not that those things mattered to her in the least as she preferred the quiet words of literature to the noise of a world where she felt ill at ease. Suitably erudite, Isis was immediately rewarded a post to the Kelowna main library upon obtaining her degree, which ultimately led to the unfortunate crash and her new existence.
Stay tuned for Chapter 3…