Amelia was frantic. She’d looked everywhere, but couldn’t find it.
Frustration was getting the better of her. ‘Where did I put it!’ she said out loud.
“For goodness sake!” she stomped her foot in exasperation.
And she’d told David about it too. He’d been waiting weeks for the letter to arrive and she had texted him from the post office the minute she had it in her hand. And now she’d lost it!
It was still in its blue envelope, somewhere. But where?
Amelia sat down, took a deep breath and backtracked her steps. It had been one of those meandering work-free days. After she’d dropped off the kids, she picked up the mail, had done a bit of shopping, gone to the coffee shop, and then to the library.
She’d put the bundle of mail into her carry bag, then gone through it at the coffee shop before she opened her book to finish it.
She closed her eyes and pictured the scene, and suddenly, remembered. It was in the library book! She’d put the letter in the book to hold it open while she checked the rest of the mail. And then without thinking, moved it to the front inside cover as she finished the last chapter. Full of satisfaction at having read a wonderful story, she then blissfully closed the book.
Glancing at her watch, Amelia grabbed her keys and headed back out to the car.
She made it with 15 minutes to spare before the library closed. Stepping up to the front desk, she tapped her fingers impatiently.
“Yes, what can I do for you?”
“I dropped off a book earlier, and left a letter inside the front cover.”
“Name of the book please?”
“Pearl In A Cage by Joy Dettman.”
“Just a minute.” The librarian clicked at the keys, blinked at the screen and looked up.
“The book is out.”
“Oh no! I need that book – the letter’s in it. How can I get it?”
“Well, you can’t. Not right now. We’re about to close. I can ring the borrower tomorrow if you like and see if it’s still there.”
“No! No! No! I need it now!”
“I’m sorry, I can’t help you.”
Amelia closed her eyes and let her chin drop. How could she be such a scatter-brain, she thought as she left the library. Lost in the characters of the book, she’d returned it without a second thought.
How was she going to tell David? Driving to the local pool to pick up the kids after their swimming lessons, she tried to put it out of her mind. She would have to face the music tonight, but there wasn’t a thing she could do about it until tomorrow.
It was still warm out and the car was full of happy children-chatter, so they stopped off for ice creams all round – she needed it more than the kids! It was either that or chocolate!
And then she headed for home.
As they walked up the path to the front door, Amelia admonished herself once again for being so careless…. until…. she saw something stuck in the screen door.
It was a blue envelope.
© Inara Hawley 2017
The Writing Exercise for this piece:
The character needs a particular book from the library