No One

I love libraries. Something about the quiet space and the vast amount of books calmed me. It gave me the space not only to read but to think; or perhaps not to think.

The library enforced an eerie silence. My chair red, velvet, supporting me with grace. How lucky am I to have such a beautiful place I can visit? That can give me peace of mind? This was the only place I could find that.

This time I decided to pick up a book from an area which never got a visitor. It was the furthest corner of the library where it even changed it’s dark wooden book cases to flimsy metal ones that no one even bothered to glance at. Something about that interested me. You would think at a glance that it was just a sorting area for books. A place librarians left books they haven’t shelved yet. But it never seemed to change. It always looked untouched.

Picking up the first book I saw I challenged myself to read it without even looking at its cover or the blurb. It was something that had crossed my mind the week before during my English lit class, so I thought fuck it, why not? Something different I guess. Usually I’d have a genre or topic in mind. But this time I didn’t I just grabbed this soft grey, leather bound book and walked over to a quiet reading area a few rows over.

The peculiar thing about this book was that it looked like any other book. Nothing really popped itself out at me. I wouldn’t have read it if not picked out of complete random.

I opened it and the inside felt exactly the same, minimalistic and plain. The stereotypical and most basic formatting a book could have. Not that it pushed me away from reading, it just made my curiosity grow even more.

Page by page I read thoughts that grabbed me almost perfectly. Words describing the self. The self is but an image that we create and many people have several images that depend on the people we speak to. For example our parents may see us as calm collective and sensible; as our friends may see us the complete opposite. The bad influence, the chaotic, the trouble which was fun to them for a while but not something they would stick around for too long. The words rang true to me and hit a nerve. They almost made me upset, upset as-well as happy to have found that someone would write so accurately to how I see people that see me. I flipped the page to a more barren page, one that had only one question. One I couldn’t answer.

Who am I?

Did they mean, who the author was? Who I was? Or was it some random mumbo jumbo that just tried to sound profound?

I flipped to the next page to find the answer and here is what was written.

‘He sat on a chair, red, velvet and graceful. His long black hair tied in the neatest of knots and his beard shaped just under the chin.’

I began to sweat slightly at the first description but it carried on.

‘At first glance his eyes were a boring brown, the same as the contents of this book. Basic. However, with some hidden charm… enough to be seen as interesting.”

“Surely not,” I spoke quietly to myself.

‘The next page will show you yourself, your better self,”

Grabbing the next page I realise it’s weight. It wasn’t just paper, it had something attached. Opening it I see it’s a reflective page. A mirror.

Looking deep into the reflection my heart begins to tap harder against my chest. It was then I noticed, my own image peering over my shoulder, into the mirror inside the book and straight into my eyes.

I drop the book and look behind me.


No one.

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