A Plea for Silence
By Eloisa Lopez
The sound of the bell brought a smile to her face and silence to the library. She had spent half an hour dealing with student complaints and requests; thereby, her patience had been destroyed. Once the last student exited through the door, she sighed in relief and enjoyed the tranquility that remained.
As the librarian took out the moist sandwich from her lunch bag, she saw a student approaching the door. Her facial expression experienced a drastic transformation. The happiness she had reflected moments before vanished instantly. She saw a student looking through the glass opening of the door and she let out a sigh of frustration. The librarian then put her sandwich down and stood up from the three legged stool.
Meanwhile, Eloisa approached the front desk while looking at the ground as if avoiding eye contact. "May I use a computer?" she asked as she clumsily looked through her bag in search of her student I.D.
"Shouldn´t you be in class?" responded the librarian.
"I was testing. I couldn't come during lunch," said Eloisa while taking her I.D out of her bag. "I need to print an assignment,” she added, “it is due today."
"That is not my concern,” responded the librarian, “I am on my lunch break, young lady."
Eloisa looked at the clock while the librarian glanced at the open book in front of her. She had been reading the book since the previous day and was anxious to continue doing so during her free time. After concluding that Eloisa's stubbornness would not let her finish the chapter she had left on, she put it aside and let out a desperate sigh.
It was after receiving a second, "No," for an answer that Eloisa left the library, walking faster than usual. She headed towards the assistant principal's office.
Glad to see Eloisa gone, the librarian picked up the remaining half of her turkey sandwich and took another bite. It no longer had the same taste. Unwilling to let it go to waste, she took a final bite. Suddenly, the phone rang and once again she was interrupted.
"Hello," she said.
"Hello, this is Mr. Gonzalez. I’m calling to ask if you can please allow Eloisa, the student you just talked to, to use a computer and print her essay."
"Yes. No problem," she responded as she raised her eyebrows in disbelief.
"Thank you," he said.
Eloisa entered the library once again. This time, she looked straight at the librarian. The librarian stared back, too angry to speak to her. Without asking, Eloisa extended her arm, trying to grab a computer mouse from the front desk. The librarian was fast enough to grab it before Eloisa did.
"Excuse me," said Eloisa.
Putting the mouse aside, the librarian responded, “Students are allowed to print either before school or during lunch."
"I already told you I could not come during either time!" said Eloisa.
"That is not my problem," said the librarian as she walked to the back of the room with a stack of textbooks in hand.
Eloisa walked out once again. When she returned she was no longer alone. Mr. Gonzalez accompanied her. He asked the librarian to follow him into one of the conference rooms. Meanwhile, Eloisa grabbed the computer mouse and headed to the nearest computer.
"Please explain to me why you did not allow this student to print," asked Mr. Gonzalez.
"She came in without a pass, during class time, and to make matters worse, with an attitude," said the librarian, hoping he would understand.
After discussing the matter for several other minutes, they both walked out of the room. Eloisa glanced at them as she waited in front of the printer. Mr. Gonzalez smiled at her as he left the library. The librarian, on the other hand, avoided her. She picked up the other stack of textbooks from a round table and headed to the back of the library. Seeing Eloisa grab the warm sheets of paper from the printer to place them in her two inch binder, the librarian could not help but drop her stack of books with force on the intended table.
The noise startled Eloisa who began walking towards the exit, forgetting to place the mouse back in its place. As she watched this happen, the librarian's anger began to grow incrementally by the second. She narrowed her eyes, vowing she would make things harder for Eloisa the next time she visited the library.