Library Lunch Break

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I’m such an idiot. Where do I even start in here? I ain’t read more ‘n five books in my whole life. Walkin’ in here’s like goin’ to a new country without no passport. I don’t belong here. And the librarian lady with them ugly red-rimmed glasses and the butt-ugly beehive ‘do (Sorry, librarians. I know you ain’t all like that.) keeps starin’ at me like I’mma steal somethin’. Lady, I ain’t gonna steal no book. Might steal your lunch, but a book? You gotta be crazy.

But seriously. I ain’t even know what I was thinkin’ comin’ in here. Can’t read half of the titles, so how’m I gonna read a stinkin’ whole book? But I gotta know how to handle this mess. After last night, I need answers. And I ain’t about to do no internet search ’cause then people can see what I been lookin’ for. 

Mama like to say the only dumb question’s the one you don’t ask. But I’ve heard some pretty dumb questions, and I bet Her Highness in the glasses’d probably laugh in my face if I asked for help. I wish the devil and the angel on my shoulders’d both shut up. Can’t think straight.

Deep breath. Okay. I can do this. Lady, quit lookin’ at me ’cause I’mma steal your lunch in a New York minute. Just you wait.

Keep it cool, Marco. Keep it cool. 

Her lunch looks really good. I can smell the spaghetti and meatballs from here. Mmmmmm….and she got garlic bread, too. Why did I skip lunch to come to the stinkin’ library? I’mma hafta come up with a good excuse when the boys ask me where I been.

Danggit. Bell’s gonna ring in three minutes. I gotta find this book ‘fore class. Ain’t no way I’m explainin’ to no teacher ’bout bein’ late to class ’cause I wanted a book. Might think I’m smart and then make me work harder.

Two minutes. Need answers. My whole life depends on this. Ugh. I can’t find nothin’.

“Uh, Your Highness? I mean Mrs. G? I need a book ’bout how to make up to my girlfriend after tellin’ her she looks fat in her cheerleading uniform. You got anything like that?”


I’m still working on the interior voice of the character, so if you have suggestions, feel free to share below.

Click here to read the librarian’s point of view.

In case you missed it, here’s the prompt: A student walks into the library/media center at lunchtime.  What is she/he thinking?  Worried about?  Dreading?  Hoping or wishing for? What are the risks/stakes for him/her? Show us in a paragraph or two.


7 thoughts on “Library Lunch Break

  1. Nice job w/ the vernacular. I never would have guessed the kid had a girlfriend problem. I suspected something to do w/ a homework assignment. How do we get to the point that kids are afraid to ask for help? That makes me so sad.

    1. Glenda, it makes me sad, too. I’ve seen too many kids think that being smart makes them uncool, so they refuse to ask for help or share their knowledge. Somehow, we must show them that nerds are cool. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. The voice and the twist are cleverly done. I especially like the line ” My whole life depends on this.” Isn’t it true how teens exaggerate? The world of the kids I teach rarely extends beyond 10 blocks. Everything is immediate and huge. Well done here!

    1. Thank you. I was trying not to go for the obvious because I have a bad habit of making my writing too easy to figure out.

      They totally exaggerate! It cracks me up sometimes.

      Thanks for commenting!

    1. Thank you for your feedback, Kay! I’ve taught so many kids like Marco – lost boys of sorts who are really just teddy bears on the inside. And we educators often like to act like we have it all together, but we all know we don’t. I think that when kids see that, our relationships with them become stronger. 🙂

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