Sitting at my desk watching library patrons wander in and out, or sometimes just run through the common area on various clearly important missions, never gets old. I get to see so much of their lives, and so little, from my view at my desk. Slices of lives, that I wonder about, play with, use to amuse myself for the rest of the day. Like the girl who just turned down her boyfriend’s proposal. Why he did it in the library, I will never know. Maybe they met here. Maybe he was her tutor, or she was his, and they met here and somehow conversations about biochemistry or physics or Flannery O’Connor’s short stories blossomed into grabbing Starbucks afterward, or maybe going to that little, offbeat bookstore down the street. The one with the cats.Sanitary? Probably not. But petting cats makes everything better. And maybe they fell in love. Or something like love. But it looks like he fell just a little bit more.
Whatever their story, it led to today, when he proposed to her right in front of my desk–got down on one knee, pulled out that ring–and she said no.
Not quite the happy ending that I would have hoped for–especially when she told him that if he’d waited until next week, on her birthday, she might have said yes. You can’t make this stuff up, you really cannot. I promise, this happened. I saw it. And tried not to choke on my coffee and tried not to call her out for being the bitch that she was. Because anyone who tells their proposing boyfriend that he should have waited a week is a bitch in my book. And I’m not sorry. But I’m a professional, and it isn’t my job to get involved–unless maybe one of them wants a self-help book. Then I can help. But, unfortunately, they didn’t. He apologized, if you can believe it–apologized. God, I wanted to smack him and hug him at the same time, but I didn’t have either of those options. She left. He left. And now I can’t help but wonder what happened to them. I will probably never know. But that’s what it’s like to be the person behind the desk at the library.