“Don’t you hate being ignored? Denied, no matter how many times you put yourself out there. You change your hair, your cloths, your attitude, but nothing, nadda, zilcho!”
Said the pouting little blond thing to her sorority sister. They were your typical college girls. And, oh how their words matched my thoughts. The difference being that they had each other to voice their sorrows to, whereas I? I had only me myself and mind.
They were sitting in the campus library one night, more concerned with their gossip and whispers then with actual work. There were piles of books, untouched, stacked in vain upon the table between them completely unmindful of the world and people around them; two students trying to cram some outlandish amount of knowledge into there heads the night before their exam, only to be forgotten upon their grade, the young librarian student worker stocking books on the shelves behind them, and the lone male student sitting at the same table as them reading ’100 Detective stories’ with disengaged interest.
“I mean do I have to drop and spread for him to catch a hint and notice me?”
Continued the girl with exaggerated torture. Her friend shook her head with amusement.
“To coin a phrase; maybe he’s just not that into you, Katlin.”
Boy troubles, should have known. Why do they stress it? Why do they always need and want more? Why can’t they open their eyes to whats in front of them? Beside them? Around them?
“No, no, no!”
Katlin shook her head.
“I refuse to believe that. I’ll make him love me if I have to, Alison, but I refuse to believe that he can’t. Brad will be mine. Mark my words.”
Katlin held herself up now confidently, so sure of herself. Alison just fluttered her eyes and shook her head at her friend.
“Well it’s getting late Kat, best to get home and practice your spread eagle.”
Katlin looks to her watch, marked horror upon her face.
“Oh my god! You’re right! Brad always gets in around eleven!”
Quickly Katlin scoops up her books and pushes out her chair. The chair slams back into the Librarian who holds a pile a books so tall it blocks her vision, she doesn’t see the chair and is slammed into the bookcase. Katlin pays no mind and turns to go slamming into the male student who had also stood to take his leave.
Katlin calls in embarrassed surprise. His book is knocked to the floor. They both bend down to retrieve it, hands brushing cover at the same time. Their eyes meet.
Katlin breaths in a hushed whisper. The man smiles as he stands.
“No harm done.”
He brushes off the book as they no stand facing each other.
“See, good as used.”
He teases. Katlin giggles at the pun. Alison stands clearing her thought and breaking the moment.
Katlin exclaims and turns stepping over the librarians spilled pile of books, Katlin doesn’t even look to the girl, who knees over to pick up the pieces. Instead Katlin swings bag over shoulder knocking it into the girls head. The Librarian glares after the rushing girl just as the man steps over her dropping his detective book, mindlessly on to her pile.
Outside the Campus Library not much goes on. It is around eleven-o-clock at night and the students are busy getting into trouble elsewhere. The moon itself seems to be taking a break as the clouds of a coming rain block it and the stars glow. Katlin walks alone. She pulls her sweater tighter against the chill of the Autumn air.
Yes must be home on time. On time for another booty call. Another boy, but no more love. So many friends why choose to be alone? Mine was never a choice. Mine was assigned and delivered…loneliness must be the worst felling of all.
Katlin turns down the back parking lot of the Library. One of the streetlights is burned out which makes the night seem that much darker. Katlin looks to her watch. She skips, giddy.
“Tonight is the night!”
She sings to herself with a shimmy and click of her heels. Still oblivious to the world, and the people around her.
They may not see me,
She hears her name whispered in the darkness behind her. She stops.
She asks the darkness.
But I’m there. I watch, I listen,
“I notice you.”
Katlin turns only to be tackled to the ground from the shadows.
The next morning they find Katlin’s body in the parking lot.
“Choked into unconsciousness and then bludgeoned to death.”
Says Detective Reid Wright reporting for duty. He and his deputy sit in the library before the check out counter. It was someplace quite that they could get down to business without being disturbed.
Alison cries as Detective Wright reads the report aloud. Beside her sits a young man, a ken doll jock type. This would be Brad. He attempts to comfort the distraught best friend.
“Now, now Miss Moor, calm yourself. You said Katlin left the library around?”
Detective Wright asks calmly.
“A…around eleven exactly.”
Students still come and go quietly, quickly, as if afraid they’ll be fingered. The Librarian student worker remains calm and friendly behind the counter. But nobody wants customer service today. They don’t even want eye contact, however they still want gossip.
“This about the Campus vandles?”
Whispers one student in line to the one at the counter. The Librarian takes the one in lines book: ’100 Detective Stories’ The man from the night before.
“Did you see her last night?”
Detective Wright now asks Brad.
The boy jumps.
“No! I only came today…um…”
“Where were you last night Mr. Blake?”
Brad looks around, nervously clearing his throat. Chocking at the ball sitting tight in his lungs.
Alison puts her hand on his lap to calm him. She sits a little straighter.
“He was with me.”
Poor Katlin! Perhaps we were more alike then I gave her credit. Is it better to be known and seen, but used? Or to be forgotten and see?
“And that was?”
Detective Wright continued.
“Right after she left me here, Brad came and picked me up at the front.”
“On my cycle.”
“And you arrived at your place?”
“Around eleven fifteen. I live off campus, on 5th.”
“Time of death?”
The Detective asked his deputy without looking away from the kids.
His deputy stated. Both Brad and Alison breathed deep, relived and ready to move on with their lives no that it all had nothing to do with them.
Clear. Of murder, but what of sin? Something they’ll just have to live with I guess, but me?
The girl in line gasps at the answer to he question.
The man in line-from the night before- nods as the Librarian takes his book. She cocks her head at it.
The man is surprised to hear her speak. Their eyes meet.
I can’t live with this.
“Something the matter?”
She asks the man.
“With the book.”
She clears up.
He answers confused by the question.
“Well it’s just that I’ve noticed that you come in here often to read these detective stories but this is the first time that you’ve gone to check it out.”
“Is the Library no longer comfortable for you? You usually sit there,”
She points across to the chair that the man had sat in the other night.
The man answers slowly.
“Next to Katlin.?”
The deputy perks up upon hearing the name.
He questions, but her gaze does not falter from the man.
“You sat next to her last evening with this book.”
“That’s right, you bumped into her.”
Alison puts together.
“You even followed her out.”
Says the Librarian.
The man says, sweat now trickling upon his brow. His demener a forced calm.
“Say, where were you last night around eleven and eleven-thirty, sir?”
Detective Wright questions.
All at once the man turns to run but the officers at the door catch his arms.
“Officers. Arrest that man.”
Detective Wright orders standing proud, another job well done.
“You have the right to remain silent,”
The officers begin to read his his rights.
His is a right, mine is my curse. Only me, myself and mind.
The Librarian smiles to the girl in line.
Dedicated to Travis, may you’re memory keep alive the inspiration to be better…