As It Seems: A Chill Semester
Rough and Tumble Librarian
Thomas is a wiry man of average height, with brown hair. He plays to his strengths, dressing well, with a kind of geek chic that makes him attractive instead of nerdy. He carries himself with a grace and athleticism that surprises people who expect the awkward and clumsy stereotypical librarian.
A bright child, Thomas grew up on the university campus where his parents taught. His mother was an English professor, while his father coached the school’s baseball team. Each of his parents made (what they thought were) subtle attempts to encourage Tom’s interest in their chosen passion, but he never understood why he couldn’t love both. Throughout school, Thomas pursued three things: knowledge, athletics and girls, not necessarily in that order. By the time he actually enrolled at the university he was already well-known to the faculty. They kept an eye on him like family, which turned out to be a double-edged sword. They were glad to help, but just as glad to dish out advice and meddle in his affairs.
“Oh Thomas, I don’t mean to pry, but do you really mean to date her? She’s a C student at best. You can do better.”
Eventually, it became something of a badge of honor for his professors to disapprove of his girlfriends. But that’s where his rebellion stopped. He worked his way through the university and graduated with a degree in English before getting his Masters in Library Science.
For Thomas, the decision was always easy. He knew he wasn’t good enough to go pro, no matter how much he loved baseball. He also couldn’t imagine leaving the halls of academia. It afforded him access to books and kept him on campus which means, at least for now, that it keeps him close to girls. Eventually, he’ll grow up and settle down, but he sees no reason to do that just yet.
Thomas moved into Hill Manor Apartments in June of 2002. He liked the place; it was a far cry from the wood paneling and old world design of his parents’ house, but the early 20th century architecture of the building felt familiar. Within a month, Thomas was recruited by Janice for the poker game. Another neighbor, Jack Keenan, was a student at the university, and Thomas knew him from the library.
And then there was that one night…
Like the rest of San Kaissa, however, he was able to put those strange events behind him, continuing on as one of CSUSK’s staff librarians until the new library opened. When that happened he successfully petitioned the administration to leave the old library standing, and offered to work as the head librarian there for significantly less than the job title requested.
He still has bad dreams, and his memories of the night have gone hazy, so he doesn’t recollect the events that occurred. Even the scars are almost gone, but the unrelenting sense that something will never be right again—that has not diminished in the decade between then and now.
Perhaps it never will.