15 year old Avril was searching through the book shelves at the public library. She'd been waiting for hours to get in, because some stupid book signing was on. She really didn't care to question which book and which author; she just needed to get inside.
But the only people they would allow inside were the ones who held that book and were standing in the queue to meet the writer.
Avril's frustration grew, she had just three more days to finish her English literature assignment, and under normal circumstances, she wouldn't care much for it. But this time, the stakes were high. She needed to pass the term and if this assignment were not up to the mark, she wouldn't know what answer to give her mom.
Avril needed matter that would make her assignment stand out from the rest; the teacher had instructed her to look up books in the library and assured her she'll find a lot of stuff there. She waited a half hour more and finally, the people were being sent away; apparently the author had finished his signings for the day.
Avril rushed in through the doors of the library and went straight to the section she knew would give her some quality matter to write on. So there she was, perusing through the shelves of the library, searching for anything she could write about, that would make her paper stand out from the rest. She'd been at it for almost an hour now, but nothing was really good enough for her and it was beginning to frustrate her.
"Hey" came a deep male voice from behind her. She turned around to find an elder man, probably around her father's age, standing there.
"Can I help you with something?" she asked him, still confused why this stranger approached her in the first place
"I was going to ask you the same thing" he said with a smile.
Avril laughed "No no, I'm good"
"doesn't seem like. You've been scanning through the shelves for over an hour now, I've noticed."
He took a step closer to take a look at the book in her hand and said "What exactly are you searching for?"
"I need to submit my English assignment in three days and I don't have anything. And it's as if the universe wants me to flunk English too. There was some stupid book signing thing happening and they wouldn't let me in and I've just been waiting and waiting for it to get done with."
"I see. You know I could help you with your assignment, if you want…"
Avril didn't know what to make of the situation. Who was this man and why was he offering to help her with her assignment.
"I'm sorry, who are you?"
"I forgot to introduce myself," he laughed and put his hand forward to shake hers and said"My name's Richard Castle"
Avril shook his hand and said "I'm Avril. You said you saw me looking through the books for over an hour, what have you been doing here for over an hour?" Avril was growing suspicious.
He laughed again, looked down to the ground and then back at her and said, "You don't know who I am do you?"
Avril said "Am I supposed to know?"
"No no, let me introduce myself again… I'm Richard Castle, the author. The one who was signing the books here today…"
Realization dawned on to Avril. "Oh…"
She didn't know how to react now. "I'm sorry…"
"Hey it's alright. You have every right to be angry with me… I've told these guys a million times not to stop the public from using the library when I have signings, but they just won't listen."
"So it's not your fault either…"
"But I still feel the need to make it up to you. So, will you let me help you with your assignment?" he asked. And Avril had a sudden thought flash through her head.
This guy is an author, and from what she read on the posters outside, his latest book was a best-selling one. He would really be of great help to her… and it would definitely be something different from the rest of the class assignments.
"Okay… I think I could use your help…"
He smiled… and Avril noticed it was a very charming one indeed. And then he looked around and back at her and said. There's an empty table right over there. Why don't we go sit and we can start off."
"Sure" she said to him and they walked off towards the table.
Avril was in the elevator up to her apartment, her mom and dad was probably home by now.
The time she spent at the library had been very fruitful. Richard Castle, who insisted she call him Rick, had answered so many of her questions and gave her a whole new outlook towards writing romance novels... and now she was sure that her assignment would have some weightage against the others.
Rick had been very helpful, he even offered to meet her again tomorrow to proof read her work and maybe add some more information. He gave her his number and asked her to call or text him if she needed any more help.
She had asked him about his family too, just out of curiosity. He told her that he was a single father to a girl her age, and that his mother lives with him in his loft. He sounded like such a charming man, that Avril was surprised when he said he's single. She would have probed more into it out of pure curiosity, but she decided it would be rude to get inquisitive about his personal life.
She turned the lock in the door and opened it, and entered her home."Mom? I'm home."
"I'm in the kitchen sweetheart" came her mom's reply.
She took of her shoes and kept her bag down near the couch and went in search of her mom.
"Hey mom" she said and got on her toes and placed a soft kiss on her mom's cheek.
"What was that for?" Kate asked. It was rare to have her daughter show affection that way… nevertheless; it was just what she needed to lighten her mood. She'd been having a terrible day at work.
"Nothing. I'm sorry I'm late."
"Well, where'd you go?"
"I was at the library…"
She was just about to tell her mom everything that had happened there, when their attention was caught by her dad who had just entered the kitchen.
"Hey… Where have you been all evening?"
He asked, while walking to the fridge and taking out the bottle of orange juice to take a sip. the tone in his voice showed that he really didn't care.
And Avril even noticed her mom busying herself, not making eye contact with her dad at all, and she seemed to be banging the dishes a little louder than necessary as she prepared dinner.
'They must have fought again.' Avril thought to herself.It had become an everyday thing now.
"I was at the library…"
Again, her trail of words was cut short when her dad's phone began to ring.
"Just a minute" he said and went to pick it up.
Avril huffed and then helped her mom set up the table for dinner.
Avril found it useless to try and tell her story tonight. So she decided to just forget it. Both her parents seemed pre occupied. She'd just have to wait until one of them was in a better state of mind.