I found something strange today – on the back road behind old street. I can’t believe I never noticed it before. It was one of those crooked buildings, leaning slightly with age and a faded sign above the door which I struggled to read at first. It said; ‘Library of Memories’ Weird, right? It looked like one of those bizarre antique shops Gran used to like. I wanted to go in and look around, I used to love the smell of those places. But it was getting dark and Mum would have dinner ready. I think I’ll try to go in tomorrow if I get a chance. It’s been so long since I’ve found anything new in this boring town, it’ll probably turn out to be just as dull as everything else but I can’t help but wonder…what if it’s not?
I went in. I walked by after school and I just couldn’t help myself, I had to see what was inside. It was the smell that hit me first, a curdling scent filled the room it was like Gran’s perfume and Mums wine had been mixed together and sprayed into the air. Gross. I don’t think it was a real library, it didn’t have any books. Instead the shelves were full of tiny glass bottles all in different shapes and colours, I swear some of them winked as I walked by! With every step that I took the floor would creak and the bottles would shake a little sending a twinkle through the seemingly endless building. My limbs felt far too long and dangerous for such a delicate place.
I could only find one person working there. Tucked away behind a desk at the back corner of the room sat a young woman absentmindedly combing her hair. She looked like a painting we studied in art last year; all golden curls and watery blue eyes. She was the kind of woman boys in my school would fall over if they had seen her. Next to her was what looked like an old drinks cart filled with more of those bottles. She was tying small labels around the long necks as she stacked the bottles in neat rows. She was so meticulous, perfect bows and perfect rows….
When she finally noticed me, I suddenly felt completely inadequate. Stood there in my laddered tights and ink stained shirt I felt like a mess compared to the Grecian lady watching me. I’m so sick of feeling out of place.
I wanted to ask what this place was. But as I approached to speak, she simply handed me a bottle and gestured for me to leave.
I have it sat right next to me, the little green bottle; I’ve read the note so many times I know it by heart. But what does it mean?
“A memory’s a precious thing,
A tantalizing treat.
So, take a sip and try one out,
Who knows what things you’ll see.
A memory’s a precious thing,
It’s not a thing you keep.
If you don’t want to pay the price
Return on time to me.”
It’s weird, right? I should probably just throw it away and be done with it. I can’t help but wonder…what if I just opened the bottle. What harm could it do? I’m pretty sure it’s just an empty bottle. Besides, exciting things never happen in this town. It would be wrong to walk away from what is possibly the most interesting thing to happen here in a long time, from the only interesting thing that might ever happen to me.