You are 17. Your frail and beloved grandpa beckons you to his bedside.
“Do me a favour would you, son? “ He rasps.
You’re not used to seeing him in bed, and so weak.
“I’ve lost my lucky lottery ticket.“
His old hand grasps yours.
“Don’t tell your mum. She took my books back to the library. I left the ticket in one. And the draw is in a few days. Can you get it back for me? Would you do that?”
You nod. Of course you’ll find it for him - even though libraries and books are not your favorite things. But you’ll do anything for your grandpa. He’s your champion. He’s always rooted for you - and he can’t get to the library himself.
But something’s holding you back. So you don’t go that day.
You don’t go the next day either.
Or the next.
Finally, you make a move. After all, the draw is this evening. You owe it to him. After that, it will be too late.
Maybe it’s too late already, you think miserably to yourself as you mount the steps of the public library. You pause by the door, hand poised to push it open. Hang on – what was the book he had taken out?
What was it about?
Did it have a picture on the front?
Was it a hardback or a small paperback?
You can’t remember.
You can’t recall the instructions he gave. But your love for your grandpa drives you on. You push open the doors and brace yourself for the sight of stacks of books on towers of shelves.
Notices on the wall clamour for your attention.
The doors bang shut behind you.
People look up from their reading.
One lost lucky lottery ticket.
A thousand books.
Reading isn't your thing really...because....because....