the library card
When Adam was just a boy he checked out a book from the local library. A book on apples of all things.
He never returned the book. He got a number of notices sent to his house stating it was overdue and that there was a fine to be paid, but he was just a kid and was too intimidated to walk into the building filled with adults and deal with it.
Eventually the notices stopped.
Now, forty years later, Adam walks into the library again. It was time for him to face up to his past. Plus, the cost of buying new books is just too expensive. The idea of reading them and then returning them at no cost to himself sounds quite appealing.
He marches up to the man seated behind the front desk to begin the process of getting a library card. He explains his long absence from the building.
Librarian: So it’s been 40 years since you’ve stepped foot into this library?
Adam: Yes sir.
Librarian: Do you feel you’ve been rehabilitated?
Adam: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means.
Librarian: Well, it means that you’re ready to rejoin the library…
Adam: I know what you think it means, sonny. To me it’s just a made up word. A politician’s word, so young fellas like yourself can have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?
Librarian: Well, are you?
Adam: There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I couldn’t come in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that.
Librarian: You’re not just tellin’ me what I wanna hear?
Adam: No sir, no way.
Librarian: ‘Cause I just wanna hear the truth.
Adam: Well then I guess I am tellin’ you what you wanna hear.
Librarian: Boy, didn’t I just tell you not to do that?
Librarian: Ok then.
Two weeks later Adam got his library card in the mail.