Once again Celeste found herself attending another public school. At the age of twelve years old, the little girl hardly spoke to anyone. Her main focus was passing her subjects and staying trouble free for the year. Celeste would visit the library every other day to sign out a book, then take it home and hide away in her bedroom to escape into another world. She loved entering the quiet library because of the smell of leather books and the librarian Mr. Hicks. He was a gentle man who adored working with children, and loved the daily function of providing children with the resources they needed to receive a well-rounded education. To Celeste Mr. Hicks was a walking dictionary who never failed to teach children research skills and help to develop children’s interest in reading. There were times Mr. Hick pulled books out for her to read, and then question her later about its contents when she returned the book for another. Her favorite book series were from a writer named Beverly Clearly called Ellen Tebbits.
Today she had a free period and wanted to return a book that took her more than two days to read. The story broke her heart and she found herself unable to read it at times, the novel was called Black Beauty. “Hello Celeste was hoping to see you today. How do you like the horse story?” Mr Hicks smiled at the quiet Celeste. “I’m a thinkin’ it was too sad for me to bare sir. It is a grand story mind ya, but I think I can’t read this story anymore, because I cry too much.” Mr. Hicks corrected Celeste’s speech, and said in a soft tone…”Awe, a young lady with a tender heart for animals, perhaps I think you should try this silly story about an imaginative young girl called Pippi Longstocking. Celeste reached for the book and smile at the cover. Mr Hicks smile and said in a whisper…”she is no ordinary girl, so watch out!” Her eyes rose with anticipation, “Thank ya kindly sir, appreciate ya helping me.” Celeste turned on her heels and found a chair to sit in and begin to read the tale.
Mr Hicks took a shine to the spitfire who never spoke unless spoken to. He also took note that she was a very sad little girl who was taller than most kids her age and preferred to stay alone because of her other differences. He knew she was like night and day compared to most students, but could never figure her out. The door to the library opened wide allowing several students to enter the peaceful atmosphere. The group of eighth grade boys immediately began to punch each other with play. Mr. Hicks approached the boys and tried to deescalate the situation in a civil tongue. “Gentlemen this is a place of quiet, and I would appreciate you obeying the rules.” Celeste lifted her eyes off the pages of her book to gaze at the troublemakers.
When Mr. Hicks controlled the boy’s they separated and went their way to search for a book. Celeste returned to her story ready to devour it. She was at a part in the book where she smiled at Pippi for her imagination, when a spit ball nailed her right on her cheek. She heard the boy’s laughter, and wiped the ball off her face, and continued to read her story. In less than five minutes she felt another ball hit her book. She cast her eyes around the large room library, and took note where the boys were hiding. Her eyes shifted to and fro over her book, and saw Mr. Hick was being bombed by the paper wet balls. A large rubber band laid upon the floor by an end table, she put her book down and reached for the object without being noticed. She quickly put together a little slingshot with the rubber band, and got into her backpack taking out a crayon and broke it up into a few tiny pieces.
The tender librarian became animated, and scolded the boys with heated threatening words. Some of the boys knew the adult would never tell on them, so they instigated the harassment further. Cool as a cucumber Celeste waited for the right time to hit her targets. She stayed hidden pretending to read her book. Her first target was a pimple face boy who was known to be verbally abusive to his other peers. When he told the librarian to shut up, she let the first piece of crayon fly hitting her target in the neck.
“Ouch, who did that?” the boy barked out holding on to his neck. Celeste didn’t look up she stayed focus without smiling pretending to read her story. “I am warning you boys to behave in this room, and if I need to address you again I will make sure you never enter the library.” Another one of the boys became brave and bellowed out, “Awe, your full of smoke, my papa helped build this room and I am….”Ouch.” he yelled out. Celeste hit the boy on the forehead with a small piece of crayon.
The boys started to scan the area of the possibilities who was making target practice upon their bodies. They looked at Celeste sitting peacefully reading her novel. They paid her no mind and gazed around the library at the other students who tried to stay hidden. Mr. Hicks interrupted the boys from further investigation and said, “get your books boys and leave please.” He turned on his heels upset, and left the group to find their own books.
That didn’t sit well with the boys not having the last word. A tall good looking lad who just joined their group decided to puff up his feathers to crow at the librarian. The minute he opened his mouth to speak he was bombed in the mouth by a piece of crayon. He began to choke, trying to expel the tiny object in his mouth. Celeste and other students gawked at the boy coughing up the piece. She wanted to chuckle but kept a innocent look. In the end the boys started to run around the room trying to find the joker who was hitting them with crayons. Celeste got up from her seat quietly leaving the library with a satisfying smirk upon her face, and as she passed by a garbage can, she threw the evidence away whispering under her breath, “Serves ya right ya little pecker heads.”
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