A phone call in the library (short fiction)


‘Sign me up!’

The words shot through the otherwise quiet library. A few heads snapped into the direction of the voice, looking disarmed and annoyed.

Sarah-Jane, the interrupter of the calm atmosphere, looked around guiltily. She held her phone to hear ear; its ring had been on vibrate, and she’d spoken in hushed tones, so as not to disturb those around her. But when her friend, Fern, told her about the new Pilates studio that had opened near their flat, they both knew that had to enrol immediately, excitement overtook any sense of consideration. She mouthed a feeble apology at the closest person, who was still glaring at her. Sarah-Jane felt admonished and averted her eyes from his, although she could still feel them boring holes into her forehead. Ordinarily, she would not have been bothered by a fat, balding man’s opinion, but she liked to obey the rules of the library.

Turning again to Fern on the other end of the call, Sarah-Jane whispered, ‘When do the classes start?’

‘Next week. They’re booking fast. I’m on the site right now, so I’ll enrol us both in the Wednesday 4PM slot. Yeah?’

Sarah-Jane nodded, then realised that Fern would not see her. ‘Yes, sure,’ her whisper seemed urgent as she added, ‘Look I gotta go, I’m in the library.’

‘OK, great bye,’ Fern rushed the words together before hanging up.

Sarah-Jane lifted her gaze to Fat Balding Angry Man. He’d left. She chuckled to herself and went back to her work.



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