Day 40: Library

We’re sitting in the corner with our backs resting against the white-painted bookshelves. Eleven-year-old Bernice, who comes every Tuesday for an hour and a half with a group of school kids to the library on the farm where I’m currently working, and I have been reading a story about a bear named Rupert who finds a magical cave. We’ve taken a break for her to ask me all the questions she can think of about my life:

Where do you come from?

How old are you?

Where are you staying?

Why are you here?

Do you like games?

I reply that I don’t have a husband when she asks me his name.

“Ok, then. What’s your boyfriend’s name?” she asks.

I tell her I don’t have a boyfriend. I turn the question around on her. “Do you have a boyfriend? Is he your boyfriend?” I ask, pointing to one of the boys who is playing chess a few feet away from us.

She shakes her head emphatically. “No. Boys are ugly.”