Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Owner of the Secret

After that, it seemed as though I was popular. "How did you do that, Rachel?" people would ask. I'd shrug, and say "You know, Susan did all the work." They never believed me. Some people would come over to me and ask if I could embroider their homework in gold. At least Susan wasn't mad at me for stealing her glory, and she got some credit, too. "And you really discovered the library on your own?" I got that question all the time. "Yes", I'd say. People always came over to me after school and said "Hey Rachel, do you think this is good enough for a book?" The trick was, even if I didn't like the book one bit, I'd put it on the shelf of the library. The next day, it would look pretty and new and shiny. Soon enough, everyone in our class had written a good book. One day, the teacher comes over to me for a talk. "Rachel," she says "I really like what your doing with the library. Somehow, I thought you'd keep it all to yourself. Of course, you were thinking about it, weren't you?" "What?" I say, alarmed. "Well, haven't you figured it out yet?" I think about what she just said. "I found the library when I first started teaching here. We had a few funny contractors who came to look for mold. They took weeks, and one of them wouldn't keep their mouth shut about a secret compartment. I think they were planning to build a sort of prank headquarters. Of course, no student could have easily found it. The lock was at the bottom of the door, not attached to the locker. A metal container held it. Until I found it, at least."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rachel & Co. Publishing

Susan and I agree to show most of the class the library. Even the teacher!
We line up at my locker, and almost everyone in line looks puzzled. Susan can't have told many people. A few people bump their heads, but after that... well, it's really dark in there. I guess when it gets overcrowded in a hallway, it gets over-dark in a hallway. After that, though, we are careful to walk in lines. Then, we reach the library. It's the usual excitement. Then, Susan leads everyone to her special book. "Whoa," says Joey "that like totally has your name on it." "Who published it for you, Susan?" asks our teacher. "I don't know." says Susan. She looks at the spine, the cover, the table of contents, the index, and all the while, there's our teacher, staring at Susan. "Susan," she says in a fakely sweet voice " do you know where to find that information?" Susan flips through the book, then shrugs. "Class?" "The back of the cover!" shouts our class in one chorus. Then, the teacher takes the book from her hands. "Well, Susan, it was very nice for Rachel to publish this book for you." "Wow!" Jenny snatches the book away. "You did that?" I shrug. "Awesome!"she says.

Cutting Corners

I feel crushed. It seems like Susan thinks I'm... mean. Like I'm trying to hold her back or something. Maybe I am mean. Was it selfish to keep the library to myself, then tell one person, and make them conceal it, too? Well, yeah! Maybe a lot of people knowing about the library isn't such a bad thing. Right then, Susan walks over to my desk, and asks "Did you lose a pair of scissors?" I look in my desk. Well, she didn't mention anything about the library. Well, of course she didn't! Why would she? "Oh, yeah. Thanks." I'm thinking she is going to hand the scissors right over, but no. She drops them, and motions toward the floor. I bend down, and then she drops down with me. I shrug, about to get up, and then she snatches hold of my arm. "Listen," she says "I'm really sorry about what happend yesterday. I just got mad." I probably should have said something back, but I didn't. I nodded and smiled, took hold of my scissors, and sat back down, to see the teacher peering at Susan crawling across the floor, and, strangely enough, smiling.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The next day, Susan and I talk about how she should not tell anyone about the library. "But if I can't tell anybody, what's the use of writing the books?" I think about that question. She is right. "Because if you don't write, the library will... dissapear." "Dissapear?" "Dissapear." Then Susan takes the book out and flips through it. "Okay," she says "I won't tell anyone." "Hey, you still have the book?" She hands me the book, and I flip through it, just out of boredom. I yawn. Then, I notice something. In the place of all the scribbles and doodles, are somewhat pretty illistrations. "Wow.", I say. "What did you do to it? It's... pretty. I mean, it was pretty before, but now it's prettier." " I swear, I didn't do anything to it. I kept it hidden in my back pack all night, 'cause I didn't want my mom to think I was vandalizing school property or something like that." "Oh. So... do you want to go put it in the library?" "Well, I was kinda' thinking about showing the class before we took it back. I mean... I did write it, right?" I pretend like I don't hear her, but I still think about it. "Susan... I don't want to show anyone the library, or even just one book of the books. Why can't it be our little secret?" "Because I don't like keeping secrets, okay?! I want to tell my friends." Just then, the bell rings, and Susan hurries to show the book to her friends, which apparently I'm no longer one of.

Secrets to be Kept

Lunch after that is pretty normal. We eat. We work. We work some more. Math after science and before social studies. Add a bit of whisperring, a few giggles, and that's pretty much the rest of the school day. After school, I walk over to my locker. I get my stuff, just like everybody else. Then, Susan walks over to me, along with three other girls, and says "Hey Rachel! Let's show them the uh... secret." Then, as if I couldn't already have figured it out, she walks over to me and whispers "You know, about the library." "Actually Susan," I say "I don't have any extra time after school today." "Oh" she says, sounding dissapointed. Then, Susan, and Ashley, and Sabrina, and Mark, all walk away. I take out my notepad entitled "Friendship Sails", and write out one sentence. "If they cannot conceal their own secrets, do not trust them with yours."

The Rough, Rough, Really Rough Draft

The next day, Susan shows me the book. It's already half written! What a disaster! The cover, in the same gold embroidering, says not "Princess and the Pea", but "Princess and the Carrot"! "Princess and the Carrot"! I peek through the book, and I find beautiful gold text all throughout it. Among the text, in red and blue crayon, are these horrible doodles and scribbles. Some of the American flag, some of two people making "Kissy Faces", and some of which you couldn't tell what they were! I sigh a long, miserable sigh. "Do you like it?" Susan asks. "What do you mean?" I say. "I love it!"

Weirded Out

Susan just stands there, staring at all the books. I haven't even told her about... about being the author. "Susan," I say "I need to show you something!". "What?" she says. "Come on, Susan!" We walk over to the aisle closest to the door, and I show Susan the title page of "Princess and the Pea". "That's weird!" she says. "Susan, calm down." "I'm not upset! I'm excited. This could be fun!" Then, Susan grabs the book off the shelf, and walks away. "By the way," I say to her "you're not gonna mention this to anyone... right?" No answer.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Revealing the Secret

I tell my parents I will probably be late getting home today. When they ask why, I just tell them I would like to try to catch up on homework after school. Sure, it's a lie, but I have to tell them something. They don't know about the libarary, because I don't want them to tell me I can't go. After school, Susan and I meet by the locker. I've decided maybe I should tell her about the library. "So," she says "what's this about?". "I want to show you something." "What?" "I want to-" "I heard you!" "Shh! Follow me." "Okay." We walk down the secret passage. "What the... I guess this makes up for the library."


"Susan Rozero?" I rack my brains for any memory of the name. Then, I remember! "Princess and the Pea!" How could I forget? So, at lunch time, I make sure to order the same thing as Susan, that way we can sit next to each other and talk. Eww! Big mistake! Not only were there five people in between us, she ordered a corndog! Yuck! So, lunch was a failure. At least we had a conversation at recess. I learned that Emily Oakor is Susan's sister. Now Susan and I are sort of friends. I still didn't tell her about the library, though. I still feel like it's supposed to be mine.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feeling Blank

So, here I am, staring at the blank book that is "Beauty and the Beast". I take out another book entitled "Princess and the Pea". I flip through it, and discover that it is blank as well. Then, I have an idea! I look at the title page. "Written by Susan Rozero. Illistrations by Emily Oakor." Okay, now I'm just irritated. Those two get credit for writing a book nobody can read! I make a small mark on the top left corner. It stays on the top left corner. It isn't a magical absorbant-of-ink book! Why did they have such a hard time writing it? Then, I look up at the clock, and discover there is no clock. So I decide that maybe I should go back to school. I have nearly forgotten the experience in the library, when my teacher calls attendance. "Ernie Hill?" "Here!" "Robert Cruso?" "Here!" "Susan Rozero?" "Here!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Secret Within the Secret

I look around, and it seems nobody's noticed a thing. I step through the secret passage's doorway, shifting my bookbag to hide the source of my dissapearance. The hallway isn't very long, but what it leads to? That's unbelievable! Rows upon rows next to rows books! "Is this a library?" I wonder. "Maybe... Oh, it has to be a library! Or maybe it's a book collection!" I start to walk in between aisles. I notice a thick book on the shelf. The title reads "Beauty and the Beast". Immediately after being removed from the shelf, it falls open. Then, I notice something strange. The pages in the book. They're all... blank.

The Secret Locker

Summer is over. I walk into the new school building for the first time. Everything about this school is big! From the lockers, to the doors, to the floor tile. I meet my new teacher. She's nice, but her rules are strict. Very strict! We walk into the library. I can't believe my eyes! This room is smaller than the bathroom! I'd be surpised if there were even five shelves of books. Besides, their all boring topics like "The History of the Southwest"by Emily Emm, or "Who Invented the Ice Cream Cone? The True Story!". So, anyway, we leave the library. We finish our tour after being lectured on how "You should never bring gum to school!" Then, we get to see our lockers. I open the door to my locker, and you'd never guess what was there! A combination! Then, I see something else that amazes me. A keypad! At first, I think it's a calculator. But then I mess around with it a little. One... I can't find a plus sign! Two, enter. "Beep". Then, I have an idea! I press the numbers on the combination. 5,3,8,2. "Click!". "That's it?", I wonder. I press on the opposite side of the locker. Slowly,quietly, the blue passage creaks open.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Library

Riverside: Girls sitting in a ... Digital ID: 100863. New York Public Library I sit at a table, reading a book. Then Annie gets up to have a look. She sees through the window, a brightening sun. She laughs at the birds flying one by one. We rise from our table, and join in the laughter, as three birds fly by with another right after. As a stern looking woman peeks up with a frown, we hear a loud “Shh”, and a “Please keep it down”. Once again, I sit at a table, reading a book.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


It is summer. I am at the pool with one of my friends. As I put sunscreen on, I look up. I see the hot sun, bleaching everything in sight. I hear the noise of a crowd, and a beating in my ears. I sit on the blazing cement, engulfed by the warmth of my towel.
After standing up, I walk over to a steep pit. I stare down at the cool liquid below me. Cautiously, I dip one toe into the water. It feels cold on my skin.
Then, I slowly walk over to a long, white board. There is no line to wait in. I tune any other sound out of my senses, and I hear nothing but my own thoughts. I am alone. I run swiftly to the end of the board, and with one strong jump, I am sent vertically into the freezing water.
I do not feel heavy, or light. One motion and I could easily reach the top. But I do not move. My toes scrape the rough cement bottom very lightly, and I notice that my oxygen is running low. I could still float to the top if I wanted to, but instead I pull my arms down quickly, sending me to the surface.
I swim for what seems like miles until I reach the ladder, and climb onto the warm ground above. The wet experience is over. I walk over to the board once more. I must feel the whoosh of the water once again.