I walk in stride with my mom down the path to the entrance. A shoe scuffs and footsteps slow behind me. I enter the library. I step to the side to let my eyes adjust to the change in light. It may only last a few seconds, but I notice the rush of air as the follower passes me. I hear him shuffle books around in the Holds section.
I move into New Arrivals. Mom and I browse the stacks, illuminated by overhead fluorescent lights that hum. I select two books and head over to Checkout. The machine beeps in recognition when I scan my treasured library card. Patrons checking out titles at other queues create a song of efficiency. I complete my transaction and tear off the printed receipt.
I turn my head left, right, left, searching for passing people. I step into the flow of foot traffic towards the Exit sign. As we walk outside, I clutch my novels and focus on the path ahead.