When the paperwork came in, when everything came back signed with my name on top of it all, I didn’t know what to think. I knew I’d done my homework, I’d looked through every little nook and cranny, I’d asked Lex for help as much as I had dared and that was it, I was now the new owner of the building the library was housed in and it was under my care. I would have to get it fixed up.
I already had all the documents I needed. I knew what was needing fixed and what was not. I knew in which order to get it all started and I wasn’t all that worried. I had contacts left and right, I knew people who knew people and it was just a matter of getting in touch.
The first thing I did was take that one sheet of paper where I’d listed everything that needed done to get the library in tiptop shape and I looked it over. I put numbers next to everything that needed done, setting then in order of priorities. Next to those lines I wrote down names, those of people I knew I could get in touch with who would get me the folks I needed to get the work done.
One thing I knew and I had to keep in mind is that the work had to be done carefully and that we couldn’t really close the library for any large amount of time. One day here, another day, the work had to be done while there were folks around and that was the one thing I would focus on.
When Lex looked over my shoulder as I worked at my desk, getting names and information set down before I started my calls, he smiled lightly and kissed my cheek. There was a murmured ‘congratulations’ and I chuckled before going right on back to what I’d be doing.
Of course the library wouldn’t be fixed in a weekend, it would more than likely take few years but I wasn’t worried about it. So long as I could get the electric system rewired, I would be in a good place. It was the one thing that worried me the most. The constant and more frequent days where the system merely failed were not comforting.
Most of the necessary work was to be done from the inside so I knew the workers I hired would be able to work even during the colder months and that gave me something to look forward to. Any work required to be done on the outside of the building would have to wait until spring and summer again, those I set last. It gave me some hope that things would actually not get too delayed.
When early evening came and I had made a few calls, gotten more information and more names to help along with this project, I put it all away. I knew from experience that if I tried to rush everything, I wouldn’t really get anywhere. I would burn myself out before any of the work had begun and that’s hardly the way the project was meant to be handled.
Lex knocked on my office door and I looked back towards him, rubbing my eyes somewhat. He chuckled at the sight of me and offered me a smile. “Company’s in, unless you’d like to skip out on the meal and get some sleep?”
My puzzled look seemed to amuse him more than anything else, he started grinning at me as my ears picked up the sound of quiet discussion just one room over. “In case you forgot, which it seems you have, today’s Friday.”
He let that one hang in the air and I blinked, trying to get my mind to wrap itself around what he was saying. What was so important about- oh! “Oh hell I forgot.”
I moved to my feet, groaning as something in my back popped. I had been hunched over my desk for most of the day and my back was now telling me that it had not appreciated. I couldn’t do anything about it at that point but a good hot soak would help me later on, after everything. “Which also means you get to tell the good news to Armin tonight instead of whenever you thought you would.”
I blinked at him again and he laughed, shaking his head before he stepped back out. Of course! The good news. The library was in good hands now and I would do all I could to make sure it would stay standing and in perfect shape for as long as it was possible of me (forever in a way, really).
Finally I stepped out of my office, closing the door. I stretched, muttering as my back reminded me again that it would now pain me for a while because I hadn’t been in mind to at least try to sit up straight instead of hunched over at my desk.
Despite my absent-mindedness, the supper turned out to be a perfect blend of tastes from all over the world. Now and again, instead of picking a them, we’ll have a ‘everyone brings something’ setup. Of course we decide beforehand who’ll bring what part of the meal, just not what kind it’ll be, just to be sure we have at least a main course and dessert and not all appetizers or all desserts.
The news of my taking over the library was welcomed with open arms and Cyrille’s questioning look was met with a quiet explaining as to what had been going on lately, how the library was in such poor shape that it was hard to believe it was being taken care of at all and that I’d worked to get at least that much going for it so it wouldn’t just fall apart.
Armin’s reaction warmed me, made me realize just how much he did care for the building, despite how poor his working conditions have been over the years. He really is a book-person at heart and I’m glad to be able to offer him that much. It’s a lot of work but it’s going to keep me occupied and I know Lex will help me whenever the need will arise.
We had a toast of delicious grape and pomegranate juice along with the rest of dessert. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was but it was delicious and the twins were grinning ear to ear as we all dug in. They looked pleased as can be. I can imagine that it is from both the news of the library now being in good hand and the ability to show off their developing cooking skills. I couldn’t complain.
When all was said and done, dishes cleared away, everyone settled into the movie room. Cyrille looked amazed at the setup and I had to remind myself that it was his first real visit and his first shared meal with us.
I don’t remember much of the movie, what I do recall is that Lex nudged me awake once everyone else had drifted off back to their own place. I must have drifted off at some point, I barely even recall what movie we were supposed to watch at all. Not that it matters much, I’m sure no one minded that I did.
My day was a long one but it was one filled with good and hard work. I made good progress on getting the names I needed for the library and before too long the work would begin. The electricity would get fixed up, the heaters would be changed, the shelves, one by one, would be done over. I was looking forward to everything that would get done to better this place. Those who read need a place where they feel safe coming to and I knew that lately, people had been avoiding the library because of its poor condition, because of how it looked as though it was beginning to fall apart.
I’ll fix all that and do so much more now.