If anyone were to ask his co-workers, they would say that Jerry was the best. Not only could he find any book, anywhere in the library, but he could recite the Dewy Decimal Code for the particular book.
Jerry was a 21 year-old young man. His passion for books had taken him from a young reader, to a young enthusiast, until now, where he was the Assistant Head Librarian of this major university. He had even dabbled with writing, but found it best to leave that to the professionals. One professional, in particular, had actually come to the library for a signing, and Jerry, though an employee, was at the front of the line. You guessed it: Albert Ross. His seventeenth novel,The Pen that created the Sword, was released, and Jerry had his hard-cover copy signed by the man himself.
But that was months ago. Today, we find Jerry in the Non-Fiction part of the library, stocking autobiographies of politicians. As he placed the books on the shelf, he noticed someone looking at him, through the other side of the book shelf. Jerry grinned. Laura was supposed to be in class, but had evidentially left early. What a scoundrel.
“Laura!” he declared, coming around the shelf. He was abruptly met with a shhh from students in the library. He lowered his voice, “What are you doing here?”
Laura’s smiled was so large it seemed as though it would spread beyond her face. “I wanted to see you. It’s our anniversary.” Her face suddenly changed. “You didn’t forget, did you?”
Jerry had worked for months on his poker face. The practice had paid off. “Forgot? No. No. I was just… ummm… I haven’t quite prepared yet. And I…”
The sudden spark of danger flashed in Laura’s eyes. Jerry knew he was playing with fire, but he needed to play the part. “Laura. I was just waiting to get ready for tonight after work. You know. Just figure it out as we go?”
The spark burst into flame. “Are you kidding me?” Laura bellowed. The shhh police sounded again, but Laura was too upset to notice them. “We’ve been together for years! And you were going to wing it? Are you serious?”
Jerry reached behind himself, and pulled out a book. “Well, we could read this,” he suggested, with a hint of a tremor in his voice. Laura’s eyes shot to the book, then back to Jerry’s face.
“The Heart of the Matter?” she questioned. “Another novel by your favourite author?” The exhasperation in her voice was evident. Jerry needed to hit his mark, and fast.
“Please,” Jerry whispered, pressing the book into her hands. “Just read the first line for me.”
Laura looked at him in disbelief. Then, shaking her head, she opened the cover and turned to the first page. Then her face changed. As she looked up, she saw Jerry down on one knee.
“Laura. Will you marry me?”
And with that, for the first time in Jerry’s life, he placed his life in someone else’s hands.