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A Simple Room

Loosely Inspired By An Austin Macauley Prompt 'a student discovers a hidden room in a University Library'

By Marc OBrienPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
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Peter The Peteeatrick Panda created by Barry University Graduate Marc O'Brien

Back when nurses wore innocent white uniforms, freshman Mick Caring trudged through the new year melting snow. Hands in the pocket, knapsack over the shoulder, the full-time student hopped up the University library stairs, opening the knowledgeable gateway metal door.

Showing identification, the nocturnal workers paying off financial aid snickered, “she’s up on the fourth floor.”

Smirking at the upperclassman, Mick proceeded and boarded the elevator transporting him to the health care periodical collection which he claimed had comfortable study compartments. Stepping out, strolling towards the spot he traditionally claimed, feeling mature and prepared to review all the lecture notes distributed earlier in the day, the successful display warmed the cold environment.

Giving a wave, Mick caught Stephanie Cave’s attention, wondering if her soon-to-be fiancé would return after earning his Major Athletic Achievement bachelor’s, “Why didn’t you go to the big game?” Mick softly inquired.

Silently showing him the large text book and shrugging her shoulders, Stephanie physical gestures honestly responded, “That is too bad,” Mick pulled out a yellow hi lighter before sitting down opening the required reading, “How To Survive Second Semester Freshman Orientation.”

A few minutes passed and not a pin dropped creating a cemetery atmosphere that encouraged Stephanie to imitate the music video which played on the social campus center television by strutting across the scholastic setting.

Leaning on the table, staring into the impressible first year youth’s Stephanie asked, “have you ever been in the room?”

Peering up Mick needed clarification, “where is your future husband?”

“Putting final touches on his Major Athletic Achievement bachelors,” Stephanie explained.

“And then what?” Mick performed his novice communication skills.

“Turn professional,”

“And what about you?”

“Don’t you want to see inside the room?” Stephanie tempted giving Mick a green light to follow her down the Pediatric reference aisle, “did you see all the books ‘they’ wrote about children?”

Taking a second acknowledging, both sides Mick heard the comment while watching the senior pull her keys out, “I have these since I am an assistant to the professor dean.”

“Does that mean you know a lot?”

“I know enough,” Stephanie replied revealing the room’s contents.

Turning the lights on Mick observed floor mats and toys spread out, making the area a grammar school fantasy land. “Mick, you have to keep it all simple,” Stephanie told him, “always remember that.”

“What do you do in this room?” The inquisitive talented mind requested.

“To find our inner peace, we get out of our stuffy uniforms, put on our scrubs and be kids again.”

Reflecting upon the statement, Mick listened, “this keeps us not getting how can I say,” she paused, “old.”

“You don’t want that,” Mick confirmed.

After the private tour ended, Mick picked up his belongings and headed back downstairs to face real world weather elements. Once the coast cleared Stephanie pressed the down button then engaged in conversation with the late-night staff.

“Did you show him the room?” Stephanie’s sorority sister pushed for the truth,

“Yes, gave the reporter, the old keep it simple routine.”

Laughing, the group all concluded, “let’s be honest, when we need our guys, they come with a supportive attitude.”

“Yeah, ain’t that the truth,” Stephanie childishly remarked, blinded by her engagement ring.

A few blocks away Mick Caring had the radio tuned to the big game climatic presentation. Cheering when his school had more points the apprentice journalist heard Stephanie’s future husband address the collegiate career issue of ‘if he grew up too fast’, “no, I am just here playing a game, still a kid inside.”

Spring sprung, tassels and graduation were granted signaling Stephanie’s wedding bells to take the stage. Overnight autumn arrived and Mick found himself flipping through a colorfully marked up published work sold in the bookstore, when suddenly a freshman nursing student stepped out appearing, needing guidance.

“Are you looking for something?’

“I am so lost everything is so big here,” she explained.

“Do you want to go inside the room? I can show you how to keep things really simple,” Mick offered a friendly gentlemen service, giving back to the academic community.

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About the Creator

Marc OBrien

Barry University graduate Marc O'Brien has returned to Florida after a 17 year author residency in Las Vegas. He will continue using fiction as a way to distribute information. Books include "The Final Fence: Sophomores In The Saddle"

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