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Third-floor collection

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Written by   259
1 month ago
Topics: Short Story, Mystery

I walked up the stairs to the second floor of the building. On the second floor, many bookshelves lined up opposite and towering. Some of them are even very high to reach, even though they use helper ladders. I started from the first row of shelves. I noticed the rows of books arranged there. I'm curious about the books that are up there. Very thick and seems old. Maybe rarely borrowed by visitors.

In my hand, there are still two books that I haven't put into place. My eyes kept turning to find the exact location of the book. "Looks like the end there", I said softly. I saw the order of the rows of the book. I immediately walked to the end of the bookshelf.

"Yes, here. Finally found ", I said happily. I immediately placed the two books. Before I leave, I reconfirm its position. "It fits". I quickly left the shelf and returned to the push table which contained a pile of books. I took the top book and looked at the number. "It's on the third floor, I'd better separate it first". I returned to divide the stacked books into two parts.

I took back the book that will be returned on the second floor. I count the book. "In fact, there are five books", I said slowly. My eyes went back to check the numbers on each of the books. Again I sort from the books that are located on the closest shelf to the furthest.

I returned to the row of bookshelves again and this time walked deeper. I put the books back into position. "One book left". I took the ladder to help put the book down because it was in a place where I couldn't reach it. Slowly I climbed the stairs. My eyes turned to the numbers on the shelf. "Here it is," I exclaimed as I found the number that matched the book I was holding. I carefully entered the book.

I took a deep breath. "It's quite tiring", I said softly. Today I am in charge of returning the books in this library myself. The time was eleven in the evening. Usually, I come home at ten, but because today there is an event in the library reading room so I have to work late. I pulled a chair near the clerk's table. I sat for a moment while watching the books that I will bring to the third floor.

My eyes looked at the one book that was piled at the bottom. Slowly I took the book and I put it on my desk. I saw the cover of the book cover was dull, dusty. "Who borrowed this book," I asked myself. I clean the dust stuck in the book.

I saw the number on the edge of the book. "Third-floor collection", I muttered. Judging by the year the book was published, the books I hold are rare books. Only certain circles have it. In addition, this book is rarely used by students. Usually, it is the old lecturers who borrow the book. Even then, only certain lecturers too. I myself am still confused why this book can get out of the shelf. Who is the person who borrowed it? To my knowledge since morning, I have not seen any records that indicate that this book is being borrowed. Meanwhile, if I look at the card that is on the back of the book, the book is recorded to have been borrowed for three days.

I opened the book page. This is a history book written by a historian who lived a hundred years ago. However, the date of publication was printed twenty years later. Actually, I've never read it. However, there are interesting things printed on the first page of this book. An opening sentence is a message from the author.

"Reveal the facts not the truth",

I paid close attention to that sentence. I seem to have heard of it. "Yes, I seem to have heard someone say that sentence", I said suddenly. My heart suddenly skipped a beat. I realized I had met and even knew someone who said the same sentence. "What needs to be done is to show a fact not the truth". That voice rang in my head. "Could it be him?", I asked myself.

****

Someone immediately approached me. "Can I ask for help", he said. He is a man in his forties. His stature is not much different from mine only he is a little thinner. I immediately got up from my chair and approached him. "Of course", I replied.

"I need this book," he said, handing him a sheet of paper containing the title and number of the book. I immediately checked the availability of the book and saw where it was. "This book is located on the third floor and belongs to the library's special collection," I told him. "Can I see your identity because it is not for general visitors", I continued.

"Can you help me? I am not one of the civitates here, "he said. I immediately noticed him. From their appearance, I could tell that he was an educated person. “Once again, apologize. You are not allowed to borrow the book, "I argued. Actually, I'm curious about him. The romance on his face is familiar to me. But, I don't know, maybe it's just my imagination.

"Please, I beg you. I really need that book. That book is one of the sources of my work. Can you help me ", he asked. "Once again sorry, I can not help. But if I may, I know what you borrowed the book for, ”I asked him. Actually, I can't bear to see it.

There is one interesting thing when I found out that he was eager to borrow the book. The book is one book quite phenomenal in my opinion. Compared to other similar works written at the time, this book had something different. I've never seen it myself. I found out from my lecturer when he taught a subject and one of the resources taught in class comes from that book. He said that only this book provides a comprehensive and balanced picture of the incidents of the rebellion one hundred years ago.

And now there is someone who is eager to borrow the book. My curiosity suddenly arose. Who exactly is this person? But never mind, now I stick to the rule, which is not allowed to lend special collections to outsiders.

"Please sir, this is very important", he asked. His face showed anxiety. He immediately took my hand. "Please sir, if you are willing to help me I will give you a good book. The book is very popular and you will love it, ”he said, holding my hand tighter. I thought for a moment about the offer. If that's what he promised I would be happy to help him.

"You're really going to give me a book," I asked him. I looked at his face closely. "I'm willing to help. But not now. Come at ten in the evening when the library closes. I will lend you the book you want to be provided that it is only read on the third floor not allowed out of this library ”, I said. His eyes immediately lit up. "Thank you, thank you, you are very kind. I'll be back at ten, "he replied.

***

"So why are you so interested in this book", I said, putting a thick dusty book in front of him. I pulled a chair and sat in front of him. "Have you read it?", He asked. Without speaking I shook my head. "If you have read it, you will understand," he said.

I watched him turn page after page. His eyes are fixed on every writing written there. I just stopped watching his movements. I let him concentrate on his work because there were only two hours before midnight.

Tired of waiting, I turned to my desk. I double-checked today's files to make sure there weren't any mistakes. I took a novel that was on the table. While waiting for the boy to finish, I'll spend time reading this novel.

"What time is it", I suddenly remembered that it was late at night. I put back the novel I just read. I got up from the seat and looked towards the corner of the room where the boy was reading a book. "Where is he?", I exclaimed. I don't see it. I immediately went to the table. "He's not here". I looked at the book I just finished reading. Still lying on the table. The book is open. I took the book and I returned it to the shelf.

"Where is he?", I asked. My eyes looked around the room. I traced every row of shelves and tables. I can't find that person. I looked at the clock on the wall, it was twelve o'clock. Feelings of confusion and anxiety immediately haunted me. I'm afraid that person took something from the library. I immediately left the room on the third floor after I made sure no one was there, including the bathroom. I keyed the room and I stepped down to the second floor ..

I quickly returned to the shelves on the second floor. Actually, I had locked the second floor before but to be more sure, I'd better check one more time. I entered the room. A dark atmosphere enveloped the room. I turned on the main light and immediately I walked to check every corner of the room. "Nothing," I thought. "Is it possible he already came out without my knowledge", I thought. I'm worried again. The night began to hang. I immediately turned off the room lights and I key back the room.

***

"So you are a historian," I asked to be more sure. The man nodded. "Yes, right. I wrote historical events that occurred in the past for future generations to know, "he said. “You know how difficult it is to write a complete history. There are many obstacles and obstacles that are not only in terms of the historical context concerned. However, as a science, history must be written objectively. Whatever the conditions, "he said.

The man looked back at the thick book in front of him. “In history, we don't have to prove the truth of an event but put forward facts. What is the use of truth but there are no facts in it? It is not history but a 'story'. To find facts, not the truth. Unveil the facts, not the truth, ”he said at length without taking his eyes off his book.

"But what if the facts cause shocks for the community. Historical facts are contrary to what has been perceived so far, ”I asked curiously. "That's the art. Which one do you choose truth or fact? In the trial, the facts presented were not the truth. The thief feels righteous in stealing from a bad person. This is true in his opinion, but the fact is whether he believes that the victim of a thief is evil, ”he said.

I paused and waited for his continued words. He resumed his conversation, “Let me explain it more simply. Which comes first chicken or egg. This is a classic question. The fact is that chickens come from eggs. In fact, eggs also come from chickens. Both are facts. Then which one is correct. You don't have to say these two are right. Truth is the individual's perception of the brain and senses. If I say this room feels cold. Do you just accept it ?. It's true that this room is cold according to the brain and senses I have but not yours. To be clear, the fact is the room temperature is 18o C. Whether it is cold or not, leave it to the perception of each.

I listened to the explanation cluelessly. Some of the words were a little difficult to digest. "Then what do you do with the book," I asked, pointing to a book that has been opened three-quarters of its part. “This book will show you a historical fact. Not the truth that many people have understood so far, ”he replied with a smile.

He finished reading the book and put the copied notes back into his bag. "It's twelve o'clock. According to the agreement. I'm done with my work. Thank you for your help ", he said. "Oh yes, may I have your address. As I promised, I'll send a book to you. I hope you like it ”, he pleaded. I took out a small sheet of paper and wrote my home address. "This is my address", I said, handing him the paper. "Thank you again", he took the paper in my hand and immediately headed for the exit.

"Remember what I said. What needs to be done is to show a fact not the truth, ”he shouted before closing the door of this room. I'm still stunned to see him leave. Unique person, I thought. Until now I don't know his name. Every time I asked he was always evasive. He argued, there are times when the name is only a bias to see a fact that obscures the truth to be digested. Immediately I returned the thick book and I turned off the room lights.

***

I read the author of the thick book. The opening sentence was clearly like the boy's words. "Wait a minute", suddenly I remembered something. I immediately left and headed for the third floor. I know for sure I'll find the answer there. I arrived on the third floor and immediately headed for the second-row shelf from the front. "Here," I exclaimed. I immediately took a ladder.

I took a book that was located at the top of the shelf. This is an old memoir. Dust printed on the cover. I immediately cleaned the book. I carefully put the thick book on the table.

I opened the table of contents. I found the page I wanted. The page contains pictures of ancient times. It is estimated that the shooting took place a hundred years ago when a major uprising broke out in this country which involved many important figures. Until now, confusion of facts and truth of this incident still often occurs.

I saw photos of the perpetrators of the rebellion and its victims. In addition, there are illustrations depicting how rebel groups cruelly and sadistically tortured the country's top officials. I saw the year the illustration was five years after the incident occurred. Again I opened the next page. Again pictures, photos, and illustrations of the rebellion that I got.

I turned to the last page of the chapter. "This", I was surprised. A black and white photo was printed there. I take a closer look at the photo. "Right, there's no mistaking it," I said. I pay attention to the shape of his face, nose, eyes, and hairstyle. Also a second photo beside him with the same person but with a different way of dressing. "Could it be him", I asked myself.

“Is he really that man. He is real or just my illusion ”. My mind rages. "Obviously he held my hand yesterday", I said to myself. "So he's the person who wrote the history book".

End

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Written by   259
1 month ago
Topics: Short Story, Mystery
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