“They’re new,” he said. Then, looking at the frayed edges of the one he was holding, corrected himself. “They were donated recently.”
“A lot of Newlann,” she said absently, turning back to the stack and lightly brushing her fingertips against the author’s name.
“Oh, I noticed. I’ve never heard of her though.”
“Guess not. She is sickeningly romantic. I’ve read almost everything she’s written… but I’ve never even heard of Endless Denial.”
She kept him company for the rest of that evening. It was much easier work with her there and Tom stopped checking the time altogether. He enjoyed having her nearby though she talked very little. Her name was Eleanor.
Tom walked up and down the aisles of the library, carefully filing each book. Eleanor followed closely behind, eyes glued to Linn Newlann’s Endless Denial. Occasionally, she would fill him in on the plot, convinced that he was as enamored by the melodrama as she was. How could she think otherwise? Tom did appear to be interested in the plot, asking her questions every time she would share part of the story. In truth, he just liked hearing her voice.
It was 1:00 AM by the time he squeezed the last book in its place. He took his precious time pushing this particularly weather-worn paperback onto the shelf. He dreaded the end of his shift. With his hand still on the spine of the last book, he looked over to Eleanor who was leaning back against the E-H bookshelf. She closed her book with an air of finality and smiled at Tom.