TITLE: Charm Bracelet
GENRE: women's fiction
North Kensington Library
Notting Hill, London
March 1992 Midnight
The girl sat in the shadows weeping, her fingers edged with white as they clutched a copy of Jane Eyre. Stop crying, only babies do that. You're safe until tomorrow. She opened the hardbound volume, tilted it toward the light from the window, and began reading aloud. The sound of the familiar words calmed her, as did the precise, black letters and evenly balanced columns. Reading was better than the vodka her mother loved so much. Books never failed to soothe and comfort. Grateful, the girl took a pen out of her bag, turned to the very last page, and wrote in big, loopy cursive. Careful, future reader,
This is more than a simple story. For me, it's a portal to a better world, and if you love to read like I do, then we have a bond that lasts forever.
Or for as long as libraries exist.
A half-smile lighting her face, she studied the signature for a moment. If Jane were real, Daisy thought, she wouldn't like my scribbling in this book. Concentrating until her brain hurt, she pictured the governess on the other couch, and a few moments later, there the lady was. A figment of Daisy's active imagination, completely unreal, and yet, having any sort of companion was better than being alone.