Black Laughter (A novel)
‘Jack and Jill went up the hill, To have a bit of fun,
Silly Jill forgot the pill
And now they have a son
August 21st 1991, Washington D.C., U.S.A
It was raining.
That wasn’t a good sign.
Her mother had died on a stormy day just like this one.
As Enitan trudged down the dark wet street, shopping bag in hand, she shuddered. She dreaded coming out on days like these, days when the sky was gloomy and threatening. She noticed little children in their Wellington boots and raincoats playing in the rain and she felt anger well up in her. What caring mother would allow her kids play in such awful weather she wondered? She would never have been caught dead outdoors in such horrific weather had it not been for little James. She smiled as memories of him pervaded her thoughts. He really was a cute baby. And she’d brave any weather even this one for him. She had really begun to have strong maternal feelings for him but she had to admit she was still just getting the hang of it. She was far from being a perfect mom. What would the social workers think if they knew she had remembered just five minutes before his next meal that poor Jamie had run out of food? Well, they’d never know, she said smiling. At least she was a better mother than Jamie’s real mother could ever have been. She knew it was bad to speak ill of the dead but she just couldn’t help it. Sarah had always been irresponsible and allowing herself be lured by that no good ex-soldier had proven to be her downfall. She had gotten pregnant at 18 with her baby’s father nowhere in sight. The coward had fled as soon as he realized he was going to be saddled with responsibilities. Sarah had died at childbirth leaving Enitan her adopted sister with the responsibility of raising her son.
Enitan’s mother had won an American Visa lottery 23 years before and departed from her home country Nigeria where a civil war was brewing with her husband and unborn child. Her husband had died three years later in a car crash leaving her with a three-year-old daughter and hardly any means of support. They had been poor; Enitan remembered that vividly. She also remembered having to wear a tattered uniform to school and do without Christmas presents. Her mother had to keep two jobs and quite sadly she had died because of her job. She had been working in a tobacco factory and all the smell of smoke had finally gotten to her. Enitan shuddered again as she remembered the doctor’s diagnosis. “You have lung cancer and cannot be expected to live for more than three months.” She was all her mother had and her mother had never hidden anything from her. She had begged her mother not to leave her and had done all she could for her mother but her mother had left her. She had died one stormy day. Enitan remembered the storm and as she heard a sudden crack of thunder she jumped. Visibly shaken, it seemed her mind was transported back in time…
“ Hello can I speak to Dr. Harver?”
“ Dr. Harver is at home, he has cancelled all appointments for the day because of the storm.”
“ B…but he’s gotta come, my mother’s dying.”
“I’m sorry he cannot be reached right now, good bye.”
And the nurse had hung up.
Her mother had died with her head on her daughter’s lap…
Enitan gritted her teeth. Were doctors allowed to do that or was it because her mother was black? Tears filled her eyes as memories of the funeral and the days after came flooding back. The only other person at the funeral apart from the priest was a kind social worker who was to take her to an orphanage after. She hadn’t cried because mama would have wanted her to be brave. The priest had ended the mass and that seemed to signal the end of life, as she knew it. She had been adopted by a white family with a daughter much younger than she was and she had had a good life though devoid of human love and sympathy but who was she to complain. Her adopted parents had died soon after her 22nd birthday and some months later her wayward foster sister had died during childbirth leaving her all alone in the world for the second time in her life, well at least she had Jamie. She smiled through her tears. She hadn’t even realized she had been crying. It was something she hadn’t done since the day her mother’s heart stopped beating. Her tears mingled with the rain and as her smile made itself a crack wider, she found herself battling with the feelings of pain and dejectedness of the past and the lighter feelings of joy and hope of the present. Jamie had brought joy into her life, he and his cute dimple and toothless grin. He was her world. She had even stopped noticing the raised eyebrows she got anytime people saw the black woman with the blond baby. She was more than determined to be a good mother to him. For the first time since her mother’s death, she felt a sense of direction in her life. As she arrived at the grocer’s she realized it had stopped raining. The sun was bursting through the clouds with brilliant rays. That was most definitely a good sign. She smiled as she entered the grocer’s shop and it seemed heaven smiled with her.
She got back home in record time and considering the time she’d spent musing about her past, it really was a record. She picked up Jamie from her neighbour’s house and thanked her. Mathilda was a nice girl and would have made a good friend if she had had the time to develop the friendship. As she unlocked the door, she stared critically at her home. It was clean and practical but not ideal for raising a kid. She wanted the best for Jamie and that would involve having to choose between always being there for him and going to med school which had always been her dream and which would eventually lead to a better life for she and Jamie. She was really confused but she couldn’t leave Jamie to pursue her dream. She didn’t want him to feel as alone in the world as she had felt. No, never! So in the mean time she had to be satisfied with working at the bookstore on Fifth Avenue. She had a good pay and her boss Mr. Brown was nice. She had gotten the job purely by luck or more likely God’s intervention. Her mother had always told her that luck was for gamblers. She missed her mother. She had been standing outside the store when she overheard Mr. Brown complaining about how much work he had to do now that his assistant had left to get married and she had offered to help. She hadn’t known then that it was a real job and she’d be paid for it, she had only offered because she loved books and Mr. Brown was nice. She’d been given the job and she loved it. She was even allowed to bring Jamie to work with her, as he was a favorite of Mr. Brown’s and a peaceful child. She also met very interesting people like Mr. Grant, an eccentric millionaire who shared her love for books. People said he was actually an earl but she’d never been one to pay much attention to gossip. Also there was Mr. Sule the funny looking Afghan who in a bid to learn the English language bought a new book each week but sadly enough that didn’t seem to help him. She remembered their last conversation…
“What can I do for you today Mr. Sule?”
“Well, I would like to acquiesce a book.”
“Acquire a book you mean.”
“Acquire, acquiesce, what’s the difference?” he grumbled.
“O.K., what do you have in mind? A romance, political novel or fiction?”
“Anything that has to do with men shooting themselves and presidents presiding!”
“What? Hmm… I think I know just the book.”
“Which is that?”
“Jeffery Archer’s ‘Shall we tell the president!’”
“I think that will do!”
As she sauntered across the room to get the book she chuckled to herself at how funny Mr. Sule made the language sound but as she returned to him she put her laughter in check because funny as he was, there was something menacing about him. She wondered if he had any family. Thinking of family, her thoughts left her job and returned to the problems at hand, Jamie was too small to really notice his surroundings but soon he would and she wanted them to be nice enough to look at by then. She had even considered getting married but had quickly dismissed the thought. She knew very few men and besides who would want to marry a black woman with a baby anyway? Her looks weren’t bad she said consolingly, only she hadn’t had time enough to take care of herself properly. She wore her hair in a tight bun at the nape of her neck, which made her look older than she really was and usually went devoid of make-up. Even then she still looked uncommonly pretty and had had more than once to whack a man with the tip of her umbrella because he wouldn’t behave himself. She wondered what life held in store for her. She desired more from life than a menial job as a bookstore clerk and single mother. She had often passed by the medical college at the university and would slow down her pace till she had taken in everything observable; from the view of students in a classroom being taught by professors to the dignified way all the medical students carried themselves along, as they walked purposefully about in their long white coats. She had wished again and again that she could be a part of them; she wanted to be a doctor, wanted it more than anything else in the world. She wanted to help the poor people in the world so that they wouldn’t have to suffer as her mother had done in the hands of doctors without human sympathy. But her dream seemed so far out of reach…
Jamie whimpered and she was taken out of her reverie as she looked down at him to see what the matter was. He smiled at her and grinned and then gurgled in delight as she took his finger. Her heart warmed. Jamie was family and she would give it all up for him.
She hugged him close to her heart. He was really a beautiful baby, blue eyes, blond hair, dimples and quite chubby. Maybe she could make him a baby model but the thought of so many people handling him and all those cameras and bright lights in his eyes put her off. She was sure Jamie would hate that. They both had no one else in the world save for each other. Jamie’s father was as good as dead and her relatives in Nigeria especially her mother’s estranged sister seemed galaxies away.
“Jamie! One day maybe, we’ll visit Nigeria. I’m sure it’ll be fun.” She said to the wide-eyed baby on her lap and Jamie looked at her as if he really did understand and smiled.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tomorrow may never come,
Live today, like it was your last,
Don’t let it slip away, hold it fast!
September 9th 2001, Washington D.C., U.S.A
“Jamie come here at once!”
“Yes mom?” A small boy of ten answered as he got up from the floor where he had been playing with an old train set and hurried along down the hallway to the laundry room.
“How many times do I have to tell you not to leave your felt pens in your pockets?” the young woman admonished warily.
“Sorry mom, I had to hide them from a boy at school and I forgot. I’ll never forget again honest!” he replied with sobriety written all over his face. He knew his mom ought to be mad because there were huge ink stains all over one of the sides of his pants. Why had he been so stupid? Mom had too much work to do already and this would only mean she would go to bed later still. Tears filled his eyes. Enitan noticed the tears on her 10-year-old son’s face and her heart went out to him.
“Come here honey, you don’t have to cry, mommy isn’t mad at you anymore” she coaxed as she dropped the clothes and drew him into her arms. She loved him dearly and seeing Jamie cry was almost too much for her to bear. Just then the phone rang. She disentangled herself from her son and ran to answer the phone.
“HELLO am I to speak with Miz Smith?”
“Oh Mister Sule! How did you get my number?”
“There are many things I know about you miz Smith!”
Enitan didn’t like the tone of his voice.
“So what can I do for you?”
“I just wanted you to know that there are people after you and your son.”
“What? Who? I never did anybody any harm, so why would anyone be after us?” she said with a slight tremor in her voice.
“It is partly due to me” he replied grimly
“You! What do you mean, you?”
“There are many things I cannot speak of but I must warn you as a friend that you have to leave Washington tonight. Speak to no one and tell no one where you are going, it is for your own good and the good of your son!”
The phone went dead and Enitan was left with the receiver in her hand and a dry feeling in her throat.
“Mom?” Jamie called as he walked into the living room. He could see his mom standing by the window, receiver still in hand and as he gazed at her face, he felt terror tear at him like he had never known before.
“Mom what’s wrong?” he shouted in alarm as he rushed over to her.
Enitan turned to look at Jamie and began to cry.
“Mom?” Jamie pulled his mom down to sit on the sofa and put his arms around her.
“It’ll be all better, I promise!” he said as he hugged her even tighter.
As Enitan’s tears fell silently, her thoughts wandered… Washington had been her home for so long, Jamie’s home. She had watched Jamie grow into a handsome young lad, had made friends around her never once imagining that she’d be forced to evict her home. It seemed like just yesterday that she’d carried Jamie in her arms and silently vowed to love and protect him and in the same instance had seen her dreams of becoming a doctor go up in smoke. She had worked hard at the bookstore and Mr. Brown had become like a father to her. Now she would have to leave it all. She would call Mr. Brown to say good-bye; she owed him that much for how good he had been to her. As she reached out for the phone she said a silent prayer to God to help her and had to restrain herself from cursing the horrible men responsible for ruining her life. She remembered a verse in the bible her mother had once read to her; ‘All things worketh together for good to them that love him.’ She felt better afterwards and gave Jamie a hug. “Everything will turn out right!” She whispered.
Jamie nodded and then returned his head to her chest.
Enitan dialed Mr. Brown’s home but no one picked up the phone.
She hung up and called the bookstore instead. The phone rang and rang but no one picked it up.
“This is strange.” She thought aloud. Mr. Brown lived alone and had no relatives living in Washington. His wife had died years ago and he seldom went out. His life rotated around his home and the bookstore. She replaced the receiver. This new development worried her. She glanced at the clock. It was three-thirty p.m. Mr. Sule had said she had to leave tonight. She had a few hundred dollars saved up. She got up, if they were to make the night train she had to work fast. First of all she needed to tell Jamie. She sat down again. Jamie who had been watching his mother closely felt a sense of doom as she turned to look at him.
“We have to leave tonight.”
“Where are we going?”
“Bad people are after us and we have to leave tonight.”
“What do they want with us mama?”
“I dunno. Honey let’s go pack, we’ll talk later” and the discussion ended there and then as Enitan hugged Jamie briskly but tightly.
As Jamie watched his mom hurry down the hall, he battled with the tears threatening to fall. Mother had always taught him to be brave and even when he had been bullied at school because his mother was black, he hadn’t cried. He wouldn’t start now he decided, as he robbed his eyes with his sleeves, squared up his shoulders in determination and followed his mother. He knew he was going to miss this old house and his friends Sally and Jacob but he’d write to them.
Enitan packed up hers and Jamie’s belongings in two suitcases and with a sigh looked at the house she was about to leave. She couldn’t take all her property with her even though she would have loved to because each item of furniture held a special memory. She walked around touching everything, memorizing everything with her fingertips. Tears ran down her cheeks but she hastily cleaned them as she heard Jamie’s footsteps. She had to be brave for both of them.
“Are you all set?” she asked him
“Yes mom” he replied. Jamie had on two coats and looked like a cute overstuffed teddy but she knew it would help him against the chill at night.
They looked around the house for the last time and sighed.
“Mom where are we going?” he asked,
Enitan had been trying not to think of that little problem but she knew she had to face reality.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
“Yes, New York!”
“But mom, who do we know in New York?”
“Nobody but we’ll make new friends and I’ll get a job and you’ll go to a new school. Everything will be fine.”
Enitan glanced at the clock, it was six-thirty and the sun had started to set.
“C’mon Jamie, let’s go”
As Enitan closed the door behind her she said a silent prayer to God. After locking the door, she placed the key under the foot mat.
“So that the landlady can find it!” she thought.
She glanced at the elevator just as she reached the flight of stairs and smiled. The landlady had promised when she moved in, that the elevator would be repaired that very week and now after more than ten years the out of order sign still hung proudly on the doors of the elevator. She was sure going to miss this house. As she passed Mathilda’s apartment she wondered if she should walk in and say goodbye but changed her mind when she realized that Mathilda would ask questions and might talk to the wrong person later. She sighed and walked past quietly. Jamie had been very quiet all the way down and she glanced at him. He had a strong look of determination on his face and she squeezed his hand, trying to tap into the strength of will she saw so evidently displayed on his features. They walked down the sidewalk towards the train station and all the while, Enitan couldn’t help looking over her shoulder as they moved farther and farther away from their old home. She hoped they weren’t being followed. How her peaceful life had been transformed into the life of one of those die-hard actors in the thrillers she had taken Jamie to see at the cinema, she just couldn’t understand.
At the train station she bought two one-way tickets to New York and was informed that departure time was in twenty minutes. Those twenty minutes where the longest in her life as her eyes darted nervously around, watching everyone, trusting no one. Her only source of comfort was Jamie’s hand in hers. At the highest peak of her fear and paranoia, she uttered another inaudible prayer to God and felt instantly relieved. Finally they boarded the train. They got a seat at the back and for the first time since the whole affair began, she relaxed a bit. The man sitting across her tried to get her into a lighthearted conversation. He could see that she was tense and made a joke about, Jamie looking like a chubby cherub sent to earth to take away the dead. Enitan’s face turned white at the thought of death and the man admonished himself for his apparent bad timing as Enitan looked away.
“God, please don’t take Jamie away from me!” She whispered as she hugged Jamie possessively. Jamie who had already begun to doze off woke up and looked at his mother worriedly.
“Honey are you alright?” She asked.
“I’m hungry!” Jamie replied as he snuggled into her. Enitan panicked. She had forgotten to pack any food and it was already way past dinnertime. The train began to move just as she considered running off to the grocer’s to get some food. Tears of frustration stung her eyes.
The man who had been silently observing them since he cracked the really bad joke saw a way to make amends.
“Hey lady, don’t cry.”
Enitan and Jamie looked up immediately. Enitan hadn’t realized she was being watched and Jamie hadn’t realized his mother was crying.
“I’ve got some food here that you can manage and you could buy more at the next station O.K.?”
Enitan smiled gratefully as he handed over a brown paper bag containing a sandwich, an apple and a can of juice. The man couldn’t help noticing how lovely her smile was. As the train left the station, Enitan said a silent goodbye to her old home and city and looked forward into the night as her future lay in front of her.
In life, when troubles come,
It doesn’t just rain, it pours
But after the rain the sun will
September 10th, 2001, Manhattan, New York
Enitan’s eyes flew open as she heard the coach master announce that they had arrived at their destination. She woke Jamie up and alighted from the train with the other passengers. The nice man who’d given them food was nowhere in sight and she felt sad that she hadn’t been able to thank him properly. She had walked down the busy road taking in her new surroundings. She glanced at Jamie and saw that he was doing the same. She spotted a café in a corner and walked towards it. She felt her stomach grumble and patted it softly. Food was on the way. At the café, she ordered hot, freshly baked doughnuts and some tea for she and Jamie and as she sunk her teeth into her first doughnut she glanced at her watch. Eight o’ clock already, eight hours had already gone by since she left her old world and started life afresh. She looked at Jamie, he seemed to be taking things well, and his inquisitive eyes darted about taking in as much of his surroundings as he could. Just then the sound of the television in the café, which she hadn’t even noticed before now, interrupted her thoughts.
“Breaking news, a three storey building in Washington D.C.’s suburbs was bombed early this morning. All the occupants of the building were killed and there are no witnesses. The Washington police are looking into this matter. They are yet to name possible suspects. Also a man, Mr. Brown was murdered yesterday night in cold blood. His neighbour discovered him this morning. No one has yet been arrested for this horrendous act and the police have continued investigations into the matter. And that’s all for now, I am Sarah Welsh and you are watching channel 7, have a wonderful morning…”
Enitan dropped her mug, spilling hot coffee over herself as the news she had just heard began to sink in. The waitress ran to her side with paper towels immediately and offered her aid amidst apologies. Jamie too seemed to be in a trance. He rose from the table and moved over to where his mom sat and put his arm around her. Enitan began to cry. “Dead all dead!” She said as she wept to herself.
The waitress muttered her sympathy while commenting on how violent the world was today. Enitan didn’t hear her as she was still in shock.
“Jamie they are all dead, Mathilda’s dead so is the landlady and Mr. Brown. What would have happened if Mr. Sule hadn’t warned us? Does he know who’s responsible? He must know. Innocent people have died all for our sake. Oh God!” she sobbed unable to talk any more and Jamie hugged her, tears in his eyes too. The nice old landlady was dead and so were Mathilda and kind Mr. Brown but why Mr. Brown?
“Mommy, Mr. Brown didn’t live in our building, so why was he murdered?”
Enitan stopped short. She hadn’t thought of that before.
“It can only be one of two things. Either they were so desperate to kill us that they killed everyone else we associated with, or…”
“They are out to kill everyone who ever had anything to do with Mr. Sule. That would explain him knowing about it and warning us, but is he in league with them?” Jamie asked. Enitan was surprised at how fast Jamie’s mind worked.
“Most likely. I never really trusted him.” Enitan answered tearfully.
“Don’t cry mother, everything will be O.K. We are safe now. Let’s find somewhere to stay before it gets late.”
“You are right Jamie, c’mon let’s go!”
They paid for the meal, packed up the rest of the doughnuts in a paper bag and left the café.
Enitan decided to look for a house first and then a job after. She asked a passer-by for the address of an estate agent and she was directed to the office of ‘Messrs’ Barley and Sons Estate Agents’. She walked in and was greeted by a ruddy-faced lad who looked like the receptionist or a clerk of some sort.
“Hello, what can we do for you?”
“Good morning, I am looking for an apartment in a decent part of Manhattan at an affordable price.” Enitan replied.
“You’ve come to the right place, we have just the place for you. Please step into our manager’s office” he said, pointing to a door at his side and promptly rang a bell to alert the manager of his unexpected clients before running in before them to brief him on what they wanted.
As they entered the manager’s office, both mother and son took in the surroundings. The office was decorated in Victorian style and was old and shabby but what struck you the most about it was how magical it looked with the sun streaming into it making it look beautiful and ancient instead of commonly old and shabby.
“Good day!” said the manager after clearing his throat.
“We have just what you are looking for at two locations. You make your pick.”
“Where and where?” Enitan asked
“There’s one on Madison Avenue owned by a nice old lady and another not too far from the World Trade Center on Parker’s lane.
“We’ll take the one on Madison Avenue.” Enitan replied. She had never liked noise and she feared that living so close to the World Trade Center would rob her of her peace. She looked over at Jamie to see if it was all right with him and he nodded. She paid for the apartment for two years in advance, collected the keys and took directions. Then she said goodbye, five hundred dollars poorer. She and Jamie took a taxi, gave him the necessary directions and in a few minutes where at number 42. There lay their new house old and imposing but yet nice in a comfy sort of way. They paid the taxi driver and entered the building. Then they took the elevator up to their new home on the fourth floor.
“At least the elevator is working!” Enitan exclaimed with a cheerfulness she didn’t feel.
She opened the door and they stepped into a new life. The apartment was dark and smelt musty but that could be remedied thought Enitan. The furniture was decent enough and on the whole the house just needed a few homely touches and it would be O.K.
“Let’s unpack our bags” Jamie said in a resigned tone and Enitan felt sorry for him. Change was hard on even grown-ups not to mention kids. He was being very brave. Enitan walked over to him and gave him a big bear hug. They hugged each other for a long time deriving strength from the other’s closeness. Then Enitan tickled him.
“C’mon little man, Let’s explore the rest of the house first!” She said laughingly
“O.K. Mum!” Jamie replied in a much lighter mood.
The house had two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bath and toilet. The kitchen thankfully had some modern gadgets like a dishwasher and a microwave oven but it seemed they would once again have to do their laundry across the hallway where she’d noticed a small sign that read: ‘laundry’.
In less than half an hour, they had unpacked and when they were hungry, Enitan brought out the rest of the doughnuts and they took it with some water.
Next on Enitan’s mind was finding a job but first she decided to find out who lived in the apartment opposite hers. She took Jamie by the hand and walked over to her yet unseen neighbour’s door and knocked.
“Who is it?” A feminine voice asked after the third knock.
“Hi, I’m Enitan, Please we just moved here and we would like to…” Before Enitan could finish her statement, the door flew open and a woman in an apron, carrying a sleeping child beamed at them.
“Hi, I’m Monica, c’mon in!”
Enitan and Jamie walked in and took in their surroundings. The house was comfortable and as the woman with red hair tried to make space for them in her living room amidst the toys, books and shoes littering the room, they couldn’t help wondering just how many people lived there.
“I’m sorry about the mess. I haven’t had a moments rest since my husband and son left the house this morning. The baby’s been crying all morning. You see, she’s cutting her first tooth. I’m grateful she’s finally fallen asleep”
Enitan nodded and smiled.
“I remember how restless Jamie was when he passed through that stage. I forgot to introduce him. This is Jamie, my son!”
Jamie smiled and made a mental note to ask his mother what ‘cutting her first tooth’ meant.
Enitan noticed the confused smile on Monica’s face but made no move to tell the story of how she came to have a blond son.
A delicious smell of oven made pastries filled the air, at the same time dissipating the uneasiness that had come with the momentary silence.
“It seems my chocolate chip cookies are ready. Will you join me for tea?” Monica asked a little too brightly.
“Is it tea time already?” Enitan asked, glancing at her watch. It was one o’ clock. Time flew so fast, she sometimes wondered.
“Yes it is and I won’t take no for an answer!” replied Monica walking towards the kitchen.
Enitan looked around for Jamie and saw him standing beside an aquarium eagerly watching the exotic fish frolic in the water.
During tea, the slight unease between Monica and Enitan disappeared and Enitan learnt that Monica was a mother of two, a full time house- wife married to a construction worker. Her son was about Jamie’s age and had gone to the nearby community school. She encouraged Enitan to enroll Jamie there and Enitan asked her if she knew where she could get a job. Enitan explained that she had worked in a bookstore and Monica suggested looking for a job at the Harper’s Community Library, which was some blocks away. She even offered to look after Jamie while Enitan was away and Enitan was more than grateful. She explained to Jamie that she was going to look for a job and would be back in a few hours. Jamie didn’t mind he was quite contented to stay at Monica’s house and watch the fish.
Enitan said her goodbyes and returned to her apartment to freshen up.
“I really must look my best!” She muttered to herself.
She pulled out a light blue French-cut suit from her newly arranged wardrobe and laid it out on the bed. Then walked into her new bathroom and switched on the taps. She really didn’t have time for a bubble bath so a quick shower would have to do. She undressed slowly taking just a moment to appraise her figure in front of the mirror.
“I’ve lost quite some weight!” She said as she noticed her flat tummy and protruding collarbone.
“Must be all the stress I’ve been under lately!” she said aloud.
Enitan was out of the shower in record time feeling refreshed and in a lighter frame of mind. She dressed up quickly, combed her hair and decided for a change, to let it down. She made a mental note to get some make-up for herself from the stores; after all it was New York…
She walked briskly, only stopping briefly to ask for directions to the library though she needn’t have, because right in the corner was the most imposing building she had ever seen. It was old and grand, definitely a library! She took a deep breath as she walked in through the gigantic doors; she knew instinctively that she was going to love her new job, if she got it- that was!