I decided to just go the library after all. Maybe they could look up my card number, the way stores looked up discount cards at the mall?
Reading the book, I told myself as I drove over, was probably the best way to soothe Mina's…..Kyra'shurt feelings. It would prove to her that I really did have an interest in her, and in her books.
I got to the library, only to discover that I'd left the Crash Course list at home. "Shit," I hissed through my teeth. A young mother glared at me from where she was standing nearby, her squirmy toddler at her side. I felt a hot blush creeping into my face, and, ducking my head, swiftly walked to the teen section.
Stargirl. That was the book's title. Who was the author again? Jack…Johnny….Jermaine? No, no, no….
I headed towards the computers, going to search for it through the catalog. When I got there, however, a note taped to the screen greeted me: OUT OF ORDER. APOLOGIES.
I hissed out another expletive, this time issuing a glare from a volunteer librarian. The blush prickled my cheeks yet again. "Sorry," I muttered.
I returned to the teen section, scanning the books, hoping that Stargirl had the title printed in large, fat letters on the spine. I was halfway through the first row of shelves when I spotted a familiar figure curled up, catlike, in a chair. A laptop was on the table next to her, and she was reading a fat book.
Cautiously, like a zookeeper approaching a belligerent tiger, I walked softly towards the girl in the chair. Her eyes snapped up from the book and found mine. "It's you," she said, not unpleasantly.
"Oh, hey, Mi….Kyra," I stammered. "It turns out I didn't have a copy of, ah, Stargirl, so I came here."
Her head tilted slightly to one side, and a faint curve played about her lips. "Hm. So you really do intend to read them? It's Kai-rah, by the way, not Kee-rah."
"I mean, yeah, I'm going to read them," I exclaimed, a little too loudly and a little too enthusiastically. The volunteer librarian, shelving books, shot a forceful "Sssh!" at me. Kyra waved at her.
"It's okay, Leelah," she said softly. "Her kind doesn't go in libraries much, eh?"
Leelah laughed. I felt as though the book girl had stabbed me with a dagger, right in the ego. The class nobody, making fun of me? Ouch. But then, I recalled the "weird" remark I had foolishly made, and decided to let it go. For now.
"You know her?" I asked Kyra, gesturing to the librarian.
"No," she replied, "I'm psychic. I knew her name just by looking at her. Also, I found out that she has a golden retriever, an aunt named Trina, a secret stash of dirty romance novels, and her favorite sex position is-"
This time it was my turn to issue a (horrified) "Sssh!" followed by "Kyra!"
She laughed under her breath. Who is this girl? I asked myself. She seemed so different from the wispy, dreamy thing I sat next to in English. "What, embarrassed? Come on. The crowd you hang around, it's not like you've never heard the S-E-X word before."
That was going too far. "Okay, fine," I said. "You know what? Screw you and your books."
A flash over her face, a frightened shift of expression. "Wait! I'm sorry."
"Really?" I asked, my upper lip lifting. She nodded her head frantically, then seemed to remember herself.
"Yes. No need to get your pants in a twist. Stargirl's right over there," she said, returning to her book and waving vaguely at some shelves. "Can't miss it. 'S blue."
I stood there blinking for a bit, trying to make sense of her one-two personality shift, when I noticed a blush of her own tickling her cheeks. Hm. I shrugged, said "Enjoy the book," and strode off in the direction she had indicated.
From behind me, I heard a muffled "Enjoy the book, she says….like she's ever read it." But when I turned around, Kyra seemed as absorbed in her book as she had been when I first saw her.
I dismissed it as yet another one of her strange behaviors, and then I spotted it. Stargirl. Or, I should say, STARGIRL. All in caps, printed in yellow on a blue spine. I lunged for it like a wild cat lunging at a frail impala, attracting stares from some of the patrons. The damn blush came again. I meekly slid the book out from the others with a soft ssst, and surveyed the cover.
It was nothing special, really: STARGIRL printed in yellow on blue, with a green drawing of a stick girl underneath. The stick girl had a star over her head. Star. Girl. Clever, I smirked. I flipped the book over to inspect the back. Instead of a summary, it had, in gigantic letters, a quote. A quote from the book, I presumed.
What kind of person was this "stargirl", I wondered. Was she an alien? Yes, probably; an alien girl, from the stars. Star. Girl. Science fiction wasn't really my thing, but I was willing to try it for the sake of the fascinating girl whose personalities changed as swiftly as the wind.