Wet umbrellas were rushing through the city that day. The people below them were wasting money as the cars waste fuel. There was one person, though, who valued art and science more than new shoes and fancy food. Carrie liked books. She’d spend her time reading and composing music, as well as attending media courses at the university.
Driven by the will to take control over her life, now that she was approaching her thirties, Carrie had become a library regular and was serious about her future. The Forum in the heart of the city was her next stop after the university courses finished. She could relax there and meditate about life in general and talk to like-minded people.
Having forgotten her umbrella, Carrie tiptoed across the maze of puddles that had been building up on the streets, covering her head with a folder. The building she was approaching was majestic indeed, giving a good reason for people to gather around it and in such days, within it, for protection. The stairs in front of it looked like waves and the massive glass structure which covered the top of the Forum reflected the sky. There it was, the face she’d been eager to see all day. Samuel waved at her with a smile.
“Is it perfect weather for a good book?” he asked and gave Carrie a friendly wink.
“Yes it is. What do you have for me then?” the woman grinned shyly.
“Oh, I just happen to’ve found this marvellous autobiography,” Samuel said. The smile on his face began to fade away mysteriously, as if the book reminded him of something unpleasant. The wrinkles on his face became tense, revealing old emotions which had worn out the man’s spirit. He had been working at the library for two years and his friends would describe him as calm and innocent. His skinny body looked like a scarecrow blown away by too many winds. He looked deep into Carrie’s eyes, looking for an oasis of youth and energy. She was not a beautiful woman, one would say, but her face burst with light and cheerfulness.
“You need to read this,” Samuel insisted as he handed her the rather thin book. An uncomfortable feeling passed through Carrie’s body. The usually laid-back and funny guy she thought he was had turned worryingly serious and weird. They had been good friends for the past year, but it seemed like Samuel wanted more from this relationship.
Carrie took the book and tried to appear busy so that she could leave the Forum without giving clues that she was feeling uneasy with the way things were going with Samuel.
“Thanks a lot for the book, Sam. I’m afraid I have to go to the gym now, as I have an appointment,” she lied. Carrie wasn’t a good actress and definitely not keen on sports.
“Ah… alright then,” he replied with heavy sadness in his voice, “And do read the book. Will you?”
“I won’t forget, I promise,” she said with her mouth half-closed.
Carrie left the Forum in a rather bad mood. Pigeons had started to populate the stairs as the sun revealed itself, shining gloriously. The rain had stopped and people were strolling around the area. Deep thoughts disturbed the woman’s mind and the options she seemed to have about her life began to narrow.
A soft breeze lifted Carrie’s blonde hair in the air. She realised she had no good place where to go now. Before she could think of anything else, two strong arms pushed her on the paved floor and stole the book she was carrying, leaving her shocked and unable to speak or move. The man wearing a black leather jacket was trying to run away as fast as he could, but it proved to be too crowded around the Forum. Two police officers caught the man on the spot.
“He stole… he stole a book…” one of them said in a slightly sarcastic tone.
“Yes, he did. He stole a book. Why did you steal the book, eh?” the other one replied and almost burst into laughter.
Carrie rushed to the police officers and stared at the criminal. She was struck and amazed.
“Tom!” she said in an almost dead voice. “Tom!”
“Miss, do you know this man?” one of the officers asked.
“Tom, why did you steal the book?” Carrie insisted. She was still shocked and could barely control her emotions. The man had a massive body and a scarred face.
“I’m her ex-husband,” he finally said and turned his face away from the crowd which had been gathering around the scene. “Carrie, who gave you this autobiography?” he continued.
The two of them went back to the library to sort things out. People started to fade away as the sun set and the wind blew harder through the dead leaves on the ground. Carrie felt a weird kind of fear building up in her mind as they approached Samuel.
“Sam?! Oh, Sam, I should’ve thought it’d be you!” Tom shouted in a familiar manner.
“Wait. What’s going on?,” Carrie said and lifted an eyebrow.
“No, don’t!” Samuel cried and asked Tom not to say anything. Despite this, he went on.
“Oh, Carrie, it seems that my brother wanted you to know a particular thing about me by asking you to read this autobiography – my autobiography.”
Samuel sighed, knowing there was nothing he could do about it – Carrie was about to find out the truth. “Yes, we are brothers,” he confirmed. The woman couldn’t believe her ears and now, that the point was mentioned, her eyes. “But this is not the thing which I wanted you to know about your ex-husband,” he continued.
“Sure, Sam, go on, tell her,” Tom said in a rather angry tone.
“Carrie, read the back cover”
She smiled as she read. Now she could congratulate herself for having divorced a famous ex-drug dealer.