Little Piece of Paper

Little Piece of Paper

A Story by Abigail T

A very short story about phone numbers, boys, peer pressure, and bad handwriting.


Her eyes started to sting as she let them focus and unfocus freely. Finally she blinked, and glanced at her watch.  Three minutes. She had been staring at that piece of paper for three minutes before blinking.  After a few more blinks, she rubbed at them, smudging her mascara in the process, and creating two small streaks of black underneath her eyes.  Once she saw the little black marks on the back of her hands, she sighed and used her ring finger to dab blindly under her eyes for the streaks she was sure were there.  Her mother taught her once that the tips of every woman’s ring fingers are the softest parts of the hand, and the least oily.  So, if any girl must wipe under her eyes, she should use that finger to do so (though make-up remover is anyone’s best bet).

            Homework was sprawled out before her on the coffee table in front of the couch she sat on cross-legged.  She took a long look at all of the work she had to get done, but all of her friends had left, and with them they stole her motivation.  All they left her with was her tiny scrap of paper that read:


Hey! Give me a call sometime. ;)


- Caitlin



            It wasn’t even in her handwriting.  As her friend Hannah stated, Caitlin’s handwriting was a complete c**k-block (a phrase Caitlin was not too fond of). She took this to mean her handwriting was not terribly pleasant to read, or even girlish.  Hannah decided her own handwriting was much more suitable, and wrote the message out herself, tearing another slice from Caitlin’s literature notebook.  When Caitlin asked why Hannah was so keen on destroying her notebook, she replied that she was doing so because she loved her.  This seemed strange to Caitlin, because if Hannah loved her, she would stop this nonsense about giving her number out to the cute librarian boy, and just let her do the massive amounts of homework due the following afternoon.  But she said nothing, knowing her opinion in the matter would ultimately not be taken into consideration.

            Sure, Caitlin had not had a boyfriend in nearly a year, but did anyone take into account that perhaps she didn’t want a boyfriend at the moment? Not every twenty-year-old college student needed a boyfriend or girlfriend. In fact, they should be much more concerned with their studies.  After all, graduation was rapidly approaching, and the grades Caitlin made were going to matter more than the boys she’d kissed. She was positive future employers and graduate schools wouldn’t ask her about that rather short list. 

            She sighed and looked around the library as Hannah scribbled out a new message.  The cute librarian boy was located a few yards ahead and to the left of where she was, and sat behind a large fake-wooden desk, looking bored and indifferent as he spoke to a concerned student, his blonde head nodding at timed intervals.  Between him and Caitlin were huge stacks of reference material with shelves that reached towards the ceiling, and easily swallowed students between them.  The twenty or so Macintosh computers inhabited what little room the stacks did not take up.  Each computer was hooked up to high-speed Internet and was wirelessly connected to four printers located in the back.  Then there was the space Caitlin and Hannah were, which was a small nook with a couch, a few comfy armchairs, and several outlets to hook up dying laptops. That was located at the front.  There were five more stories above, but none of them had as comfy a study space as the first floor, so she never bothered to spend too much time up there.

            After a few moments of pondering her surroundings, Caitlin felt a nudge in her side, disrupting her thoughts.  Without saying anything, Hannah smiled and handed over the scrap of notebook paper she’d scribbled Caitlin’s number onto, gathered her laptop and other items, and left the library. Caitlin looked down at the piece of paper in her hand, and the front read “To: Mark,” which already caused her nose to wrinkle with distaste. Even if she were to give the cute librarian boy her number, she didn’t want him knowing that she knew his name! They had never spoken before, which meant that the only way she knew his name was through overhearing a beautiful brunette flirt with him a mere two feet away from where Caitlin stood a few weeks back. Having his name on the message was a definite faux pas, so she ripped it up.

            Not two moments after she started to rip it up, another one of her friends, Chloe, stopped by to presumably get homework done.  Relieved, Caitlin took out her copy of Ulysses and began to read from where she left off, offering a small smile to her friend that said I really am trying to get work done.  But, of course, once Chloe wondered what the little pieces of ripped paper were, and once Caitlin caved and told her, another attempt to write down a cute message and the number began.  First, Chloe made Caitlin write out the message, and just like Hannah, she laughed at her friend’s poor penmanship and wrote it out herself. 

            This was just becoming ridiculous.  All Caitlin wanted to do was read Ulysses and be prepared for class tomorrow.  She was expected to take a few minutes and present to the class a passage she found fascinating and explain why with regards to the book and course as a whole.  She couldn’t merely weasel out of it by claiming her friends were being annoying about the cute librarian boy she had yet to ask out. Why are friends always so eager to help when they are not needed? And yet, whenever she needed a ride into town, they were always too busy to help. What kind of friends think that obsessing over a boy was more important than driving a supposed best friend into town to buy a schoolbook or pick up a prescription? The kind of friends Caitlin made.

            With another nudge, a new piece of paper and message was presented, and with another roll of the eyes, Caitlin opened it.  This time it was covered in hearts and curly q’s.  She shot Chloe a disdainful look and ripped up the paper, causing more little rips to clutter the couch.  Chloe just shrugged, obviously giving up on the cause, and took out her laptop. Caitlin huffed and returned to her book once again, but she knew it was ultimately in vain.

            As luck would have it, she was right to be dubious of the cute librarian boy topic being dropped.  An hour into Ulysses (and about only ten pages later), Hannah returned to the library nook to see if Caitlin had gone through with handing off her number.  When she realized she hadn’t, she snatched the notebook Caitlin was using to take notes in, and ripped another chunk of paper out.  Caitlin knew there was no point protesting, so she let the notebook be taken away, and continued reading without a wince.

            A minute later yet another folded up piece of paper dropped in front of her eyes and disrupted her reading.  Without even looking at Hannah, she read the message, and decided that since it was written quite nicely, and since it was plain without any hearts or doodles, she would keep it and consider it.


            Thus we return to Caitlin and her mascara-smudged eyes, blinking at the most recent and final version of her number.  She knew the library would close soon, and cute library boy would be leaving. Did she really want a boy she didn’t know at all calling her and asking her on a date? Or did she want to continue having fun gazing at him from the cozy nook? She knew her friends only wanted to help, but all she needed help with was creating the presentation due to following day, and neither Hannah nor Chloe offered to help with that. She didn’t want a boyfriend; she wanted an A. Her decision was clear.  Just as the library monitor announced that the library was closing, she tore up the tiresome piece of notebook paper, threw it in the trash, and left to return to her dorm without as much as a final glance towards cute librarian boy’s way.

© 2011 Abigail T

Author's Note

Abigail T
this is an assignment i created for myself in which i exclusively use narrative.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


You write beautifully. Very good story lines, The readers what you wan them to see and we feel what the characters are feeling. You have amazing writing skills. Loved this

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


1 Review
Added on March 9, 2011
Last Updated on June 24, 2011
Tags: library, boy, study, peer pressure, girl, anxious, note


Abigail T
Abigail T

Amherst, MA

My name is Abigail, and I'm a recent college graduate now in the world to write fiction for young adults. I'm using this site to archive my work. more..

January - Jace January - Jace

A Chapter by Abigail T

March - Greg March - Greg

A Chapter by Abigail T

May - Heather May - Heather

A Chapter by Abigail T