Lunchtime in the library is usually a calm, quiet place for Chloe, Zoey, and me to chillax without worrying about CCPs, bullies or food fights.
But today we walked into the library and found TOTAL CHAOS!
There were piles of books all over the place, and Mrs. Peach was sitting in the middle of the piles, SOBBING!!
“Mrs. Peach, what’s wrong?” Chloe asked.
The sweet librarian looked up at us. “A pipe burst!” she wailed. “And all these precious books are RUINED!!”
I picked up a book and flipped through it. A chunk of soggy pages fell out. Mrs. Peach sobbed even harder.
“Okay, but they’re not ALL ruined.” Zoey grabbed another book that was just fine.
Mrs. Peach sniffled. “I was trying to sort the damaged ones from the survivors, but it was just too upsetting!”
Chloe tried to comfort Mrs. Peach while Zoey and I started sorting through the books. There WAS a lot of damage. But there were a lot of survivors, too!
When Mrs. Peach saw we were making progress, she let Chloe lead her back into her office to help her make a cup of tea. When Chloe came out, she closed the door gently behind her, like she’d just put a cranky baby down for a nap.
“I got her settled in and listening to an audiobook,” she said. “How bad is it?”
And the truth was…it was AWFUL. The books that must have been right under the pipe that burst were TOTALLY destroyed! But there were others that were just a little damp. Once they dried out, they might have slightly wavy pages, but that was all!
(The reason why I know this involves Brianna, a bathtub and her not-so-brilliant idea of a “floating library.” That’s really all I need to say about that.)
Anyway, we found some big boxes behind the checkout counter and piled the super damaged books into those so Mrs. Peach didn’t have to see the carnage when she came out.
Then we opened up the books that needed to dry out and spread them carefully on all the worktables throughout the library.
“OMG you guys!!”
Zoey and I looked up from our piles of books to see Chloe hunched over one of the damp books.
“Come here! Nikki…isn’t that your journalism teacher, Mr. Zimmerman?!!”
We rushed over. She was looking at a yearbook. And SUPER-DUSTY OLD yearbook. Westchester Country Day, 1982!
And sure enough – there was Mr. Zimmerman, the current advisor for the Westchester Country Day newspaper! Rude, snarky Mr. Zimmerman…all dressed up in a tux for a formal dance with his date!
“Richard Zimmerman,” Zoey read from the caption, “and Michelle Parker, the Valentine Dance king and queen!”
“Michelle Parker?” Chloe exclaimed. “Is that Ms. Parker, the history teacher?!”
Ms. Parker is even crankier than Mr. Zimmerman. Then again…maybe that makes them a perfect match! But in the photo, they don’t look cranky at all. They looked like a totally cute couple!!
It’s hard to imagine either one of them was EVER young like us. OMG. Does that mean that one day I’ll be a shriveled, bitter, angry person who lives to make teenagers miserable?!
“How’s it going, girls?”
Mrs. Peach wandered out, clutching her mug of tea like it was a life preserver. (Her mug said: LIBRARIAN: The original search engine.)
We explained our system of drying out the books, and downplayed the damaged ones, which we would carry out to the Dumpster behind the school.
“And what are you looking at there?” She peered over our shoulders. “Oh my! 1982! That was my first year as librarian here at WCD!”
“So is that…Mr. Zimmerman and Ms. Parker?!” Chloe squealed, pointing out the mushy picture.
Mrs. Peach looked closely. “Why, yes! Yes, as I recall, they were quite the item! Ah, young love…”
It was WILD. Mrs. Peach told us all about her early days as a librarian to some of our current teachers. They were OUR age once! I mean…I knew that in my brain. But…it’s kinda wierd to imagine!
Next time Mr. Zimmerman is flipping out about a newspaper deadline, I’m just going to picture him crushing on Ms. Parker!!
What’s your fav book to read (besides my diary 🙂 )? Tell us all about it in the comments!