The metal cart squeaked and squealed as it rattled its way to the elevator. A quiet ding announced the large bucket and the door opened. I struggled the old casters over the metal grating caused by the door and pushed the button to send me to the top floor of the library.
"Wait," someone said, and I held my hand on the black rubber strip that told the elevator not to crush the soft, fleshing people it was made to lift.
She entered the elevator, moving to my right and carrying a heavy scent of tangy flowers.
We smiled at each other as I let go of the door and pushed the button marked "2."
"Second floor, please," she said.
"Fiction and nonfiction, books of all kinds, and women's hosiery," I said.
Her laugh allowed me to forgive myself for the joke. If she had not, I would have worried if my brains sudden choice of "women's hosiery" was sexist and made her think the librarian was a crazy person she had trapped herself with for a fraction of her day. As it stands, at worst I was a goofy librarian with a cart, a description I could live with.
"May I?" she said, pointing to the cart.
I nodded and she leaned over the books, brushing a lock of brown hair from her view.
"I always like to catch you guys when you're about to put stuff up," she said to the cart, "All these things people just brought back. Things other people are reading. Gives me hope."
I cast a glance over the pickings, slim as they were. Mostly romance, Danielle Steele and the like. She picked up one of these, a man in overalls covered with patches while a woman stood behind him with a hand on her hip.
"NASCAR romance?" she said, her eyebrows rising as she showed me the cover.
"The 21st century pirate," I said.
The woman with the tangy perfume made an amused noise and put the book back, instead hovering over the few mysteries.
"Do you mind if I take a few?"
"Go ahead," I said, "lighten my load."
She picked a few, random titles I did not recognize. The soft ding of the elevator told of the second floor and I held the door for her as it rattled open.
"No thanks," she said with a wave of the books in her hand, "I got a few."
I smiled and hoped she had a good day. I may have even told her that, but the sound of the wheels as I pulled the cart free from the small box drowned out my thoughts. The doors closed and she waved, small and with her open hand. I waved back and she was gone.