Mae wouldn't think of herself as head cataloger. After all, she was all they had left, to catalog items in the library. Audrey had too much to do with databases, company salespeople and ordering stuff, these days. Mae did spend a large part of her time in circulation, due to vacations and retirements.
"Man, you're all over the place." Ben told her, who was quite detailed about his work, but he was just a volunteer who checked in books a second time. He couldn't pass the test down at Family Video when it came to money, but he was here every afternoon to help out at the back computer.
Mae always took him seriously, but he was quite hard to take seriously. He might not have been all there. After all, he'd graduated school two years ago, but some how found a way to still take a class here or there at the high school, which always sent him down here.
If only he were normal, but Mae was beginning to think she didn't like normal all that much. She thought the young adult librarian might be a perv, but then again she didn't have any real evidence to prove it.
People were just crazy, but she did her best to cope. It was a long hot summer, and she never thought Henry was coming back. Now that he was..well, she didn't know what to do with herself.
There were endless thin children's books to catalog. She had a lot of catching up to do.
Cassie arrived at her terminal.
"Can you, do breaks?"
"Sure." She looked up at her, thinking it would be a nice break. She knew Cassie would nurse a bottle of water and sink into an old Nancy Drew book.
"Hey, are you coming back?" Ben asked.
"Probably." She'd let him think on that one.
She strolled out front.
At least, no crying babies, but the afternoon was filling up with teens. Some, came from the pool with wet hair and damp cutoffs, over their swim suits. Generally, the teen girls would navigate to Henry, while she usually got grouchy old men who wanted to know who she was going to vote for in the next Presidential election. But not today.
There was this striking Asian fellow at the counter. He didn't look very happy, but maybe he was the type who was all so serious. Maybe even a Ninja.
"Can I help you?" She looked at him, wishing she could think of something clever to say. She'd watched enough Korean dramas that she swore she was dreaming in the language. She mumbled something. Attempting, more or less to communicate in Korean.
The tall lean fellow laughed so hard, his even teeth showed.
"Um, could you give this to Cassie." His English was actually very good. He pushed the back side of the paper toward her.
"Oh." Mae cleared her throat. "Of course," All the guys loved Cassie. Only, Cassie would never acknowledge their existence. He walked away.
She turned over the paper, it was a bold picture of a fierce dragon. Mae knew if she gave it to Cassie, she'd toss it in the trash.
Mae decided she'd keep it for herself. She felt a little hurt now. Sad in fact. This was the way it had always been. It would be.
"Hey, I didn't see, you, take a lunch," Ben said when she got back.
"So." She didn't always have be nice to him. She shoved the picture in her top drawer. She'd eat her big bowl of ramen that she got from the Oriental grocery, when she got back to her little apartment. Maybe finish off that ice cream in the freezer... she should have thrown out weeks ago, but there had to be a little that was good under the freezer burn.
"I brought tuna." Ben smiled. He even had a sandwich for her from her favorite sub shop.
Her stomach growled instantly, like a bear ready to attack.
Mae made a face of disgust.
Ben smiled as if he did have the key to her heart.