There were five more pages of notetaking before Merinette Dace Nadean zipped her school bag close and walked out of the library.
She needed a maximum of twenty minutes. Not much. After all, the library was near-complete empty with the exception of three students packing their bags near the front entrance, the figure of the librarian passing through the office door and the tip of a janitor’s mop poked behind a counter.
A little while later, the librarian walked out of her office and asked, “It’s time to go home,”
Merinette replied, “I’ll finish soon.”
The librarian glanced down at the time before she told Merinette to finish before the janitor arrives. Merinette agreed. She waited for a beat before the librarian disappeared off a corner. Merinette waited for a beat longer for either boot stomp or the wheels of a trolley to reach her ears. None. There was only an unbroken pause between the scribbles of her pen.
Five pages turned to four.
Four pages turned to three.
Three turned to …. Three could have turned to two if she hadn’t glanced at blinking lights switching on and off. Merinette figured it was that time already. The library’s brick walls lit up. Not all of it. Individual bricks turning on and off, sort of those Christmas lights that her relatives pulled out from the manor shed.
On. Off. On. Off.
They weren’t as bright as fluorescent, but their bright orange glow ticked the minutes away and, before Merinette set her pen on the last pen, she heard whistling from outside the library.
Better not be told off again, she thought waving goodbye to the beautiful nuisance.