Library Cabbage – A Short Story

“Gosh, why so many people,” the librarian girl says to herself. She is on the quiet floor top of the library, spending a whole hour looking for the correct place of a book around the shelves, pulling a little cart after herself. A few minutes later she finds herself standing in front of the books of Confucius and Sun Tzu. “Shun Chu,” she says, looking at the cart to see if the name comes across there too. For her relief, she finds The Art of War then puts it back to its belonged place. There is chaos amongst the books. They’re not placed in alphabetical order. She is solving the problem now. She is struggling.

A student shows up next to her. “Please don’t ask a thing,” the librarian girl prays. The guy sits down to a computer 5 metres from her. He takes off his coat, turns the computer on and pulls out some books from his rucksack. His hoodie has the Italian flag on. “Great, a foreigner,” the girl whines. The Italian guy logs into his Facebook account to chat with someone.

Another guy comes in, wearing sunglasses. Despite the whole floor is empty, he decides to sit down next to the Italian. He pulls out something unusual. A lunchbox. The Italian is typing with no hesitation, he doesn’t realise someone sits next to him. Leather jacket guy opens the box and pulls out a whole cabbage. The librarian girl can’t stop watching until he takes the first bite.

The crunching voice fills the quiet floor. The peace of silence and thus the studying-hour ends for those few who are fortunate enough to be on the same floor. The Italian guy stops typing, freezes like a good old Windows Vista, not knowing what to do next. Leather jacket guy makes himself comfortable in his chair then pulls out his smartphone to watch some crazy Swedish guys screaming in the kitchen on YouTube. “What the actual fuck,” the librarian girl thinks. The Italian shuts down the computer, trying not to draw any attention, grabs his stuff and leaves without a word. Leather jacket keeps eating his cabbage. His laugh fills the quiet void of the library. Clearly, everyone can hear him now. “What a wanker,” the librarian girl says to herself, trying to find a solution. She is not brave enough.

‘Excuse me,’ she says to him, but no one can hear her. Another loud moment later, she tries again.

‘Excuse me!’

The crunching stops. The Swedish guys yell “hacka löcken” and leather jacket bursts into laughter. The librarian girl thinks her action was an act good enough. She is pulling the cart away to the lift and goes to another floor. Within minutes, the floor goes empty. No one says anything to leather jacket guy. He remains comfortable, eating his cabbage peacefully. All he ever wanted was a quiet and safe place to eat in. His heart has found peace now.

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