He's one of our "regulars"...a 13 year old boy who I believe to be smart and polite - until he's around his friends.
Then he tries to be tough and "cool". Talks a little too loud, too fast, too hard.
Every Monday, he comes in and asks about the fines on his card - his card is blocked for having excessive fines, but without fail every Monday, he asks anyway.
As if hoping they will magically go away so that he can check out books.
He asks quietly while his friends aren't around, indicating that he wants to read, but obstacles stand in his way - both monetary and peer-related.
Just like every other night, he approached the circulation desk and asked, and the situation was explained just like usual.
A few minutes later, the circulation clerk stepped over and pulled him aside.
"The lady behind you in line said you sounded like an intelligent young man. She has paid the fines on your card so that you can check out books again."
His eyes got big, and a flush crept into his cheeks.
"Really?" He whispered.
She nodded and smiled. "She's gone now, but next time you see her, you should say thanks."
"Yeah. I will." He replied with a grin.
As he turned around, his friends caught sight of him, and you could see him morph from grateful teen to wannabe-cool-guy.
I love the goodness of this anonymous samaritan.
I love that he wants to read.
I love that he asks every Monday, needing to believe that this week was the week.
And I hate that he's trying so hard to be cool.
Because he would be cool...with or without them.