Stickler by Iftekhar

By Iftekhar, Year 8

Written as part of Factory Feedback

It’s an ordinary librarian job, but there’s so much to organise, Hermoine thought as she drove to work. She was looking forward to fixing up the adventure section and maybe even taking a peek into the latest book by J.K Rowling.

“Good morning, Charlie,” she beamed. “The adventure section is still a little disorganised, but you may fancy the mystery section. There’s a new book by the fifth aisle located on the top right and it’s about a boy discovering a new land by walking through a door.”

Charlie, not interested in mystery, smiled and quietly walked towards the children’s section. Hermoine, thinking he got confused, started to follow him to show him the way, when she suddenly received a call.

“HOW COULD YOU?” It was Hermoine’s sister, yelling at her for forgetting to put the safety gates up for her son.

“What? I didn’t forget! You are clearly mistaken.”

I woke up at five in the morning today, got out of bed, brushed my teeth for two minutes, had a five minutes shower, got dressed in five, ate breakfast in fourteen minutes and thirty seconds and drove to work in twenty minutes. I felt like I forgot to do something? I finished my daily routine and I was driving to work. What could I possibly be forgetting to do?

Neee Nawwww! Neee Naww! 

The sounds of the wailing sirens were deafening but they wouldn’t be able to compare to my sister’s voice.

“HOW COULD YOU!” My sister was screaming at the top of her lungs. I was never considered to be the one who was to remember things. Here I am responsible for my nephew falling down the stairs because I didn’t install the safety gates. I guess installing the gates wasn’t part of my routine so I didn’t check my notebook as I knew where I had to be at a specific time.

I just stood there wondering what I could say to my sister. I haven’t ever done anything that has caused this much damage. I knew the fall was short, maybe a meter high. But who knew? Maybe my nephew’s legs weren’t fully capable of it. A few days ago he was running around the house and now here he is at the hospital, in pain after just learning to walk. I did feel bad for him but I didn’t know how to tell his mother I was.

I tried to calm myself down with some memories of my mother’s soothing voice.

“James, listen, just because something was like this at the beginning doesn’t mean it will end the same way,” said mother.

“If something was like that at the beginning, why does it have to change? Why couldn’t it stay the same from the beginning to the end?”

I was three years old when I first realised that some changes were for the better, and some were for the worst. At that time, the change – my sister’s birth – was for the better. This time the change was for the worst.

“Sarah, I’m sorry I didn’t install the safety gates. I truly am. I simply forgot I had to as I don’t check my notebook on Wednesdays.”

“Not checking your notebook on Wednesday is not an excuse for what has happened. I understand you like to follow the regularity of each day being familiar to you. You should try to change things up and start doing new things, things you aren’t familiar with. It will help you surpass situations like this.”

Factory Feedback was created with, and generously supported by, the Dusseldorp Forum.

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