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Rated: E · Prose · Contest Entry · #2237157
A minor act of vandalism leads to a precious moment of unexpected companionship.
The sudden, tinkling sound of shattering glass shook me out of my reverie with an urgency I rarely felt during the work day. Abandoning the books I’d been checking back in, I sped towards the epicentre of the noise, a few disrupted students trailing behind me; their interest piqued.

Rounding the corner of the science fiction section, I was confronted with the sight of sunlight streaming in through open air, motes of dust swirling from the jagged shards of glass the brick had made of a previously beautiful bay window.

I longed to give chase to the perpetrators I could hear shrieking as they spirited away, but instead set to work clearing up. As the bell signalling the end of lunch sung out, most of the onlookers disappeared to class. Only then did Michael appear like a shadow and set to work helping.

I wasn’t surprised - Michael spent most of his break times hidden in here, preferring to wait until the last minute to dash to class. I knew it was a tactic to avoid the bullies - but it didn’t hurt that this habit gave him maximum reading time. He reminded me so much of myself at that age. His preference was high fantasy, but since he’d read just about every book in that section, he’d eagerly begun branching out.

The second bell rang just as we finished. Eyes widening with alarm, Michael rushed to gather up his belongings. Motioning for him to wait, I pulled out the present I’d wrapped for him the night before. A small thing to me, but it had been my favourite book at his age, and I knew he’d like it.

He took it with a surprised look on his face, signed a quick “thank you” and dashed off to class.
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