Kaira has been a book-lover since childhood and this time a book really changed her life when a cute note kept by her was found by someone…


Dear Stranger,

Remember to smile
He found the note kept in the book. A faint smile appeared on his face. He had recently issued the book from the library out of curiosity but when this note fell off on floor, his curiosity for the book increased.

“What did you keep in the book in library?” Piya asked. Kaira was lying on her bed with her legs stretched on the pillow. She smilingly kept the book in her hand to side, “Just spreading smiles…Whoever will find will at least smile at my stupidity…No matter how bad their day is going on. Plus, it was on my bucket list.”
Piya jumped next to her asking, “And that was your favourite book?”
Kaira rolled her eyes, “Piya, how many times I have to tell you? Asking a nerd their favourite book is a big no…it is like asking you which shoe you like more”
“So you admit you are nerd?” she teased. Kaira replied with wink, “Yeah, cute nerd”

Mrs. Fisher came in the class with their test results. Kaira was doodling in her notebook. She gazed up and her heart raced faster. It was test results for the test she didn’t study. When her name was called, she expected to get low marks but she got the average. As she was heading back to her seat, she bumped into Tarun. She murmured, “Sorry”
He sighed and shaking his head went ahead. She loathed him.

It was not like they had any fight but his style and opinions repelled her. What made her hate him more was that he got highest marks in this test.

Piya was sitting with her legs crossed on the grass and listening to her music when Kaira threw her bag near her shouting, “That bozo got higher marks than me”
Piya laughed, “So what? It is not like you studied for it, maybe he studied”
“Still, I am supposed to get higher marks than him” she looked down at her paper, “At least him”
Piya hugged her saying, “Aww, someone is having their “competitive” side getting out”
Kaira replied, “Now on, I am getting better marks than him but…”
“I can’t understand Psychology”
Piya laughed, “So, start understanding it”
“Yes, I’ll go to library for this”
Piya nodded, “Okay”

Kaira rushed to library. It was supposed to get closed in an hour. She went straight to psychology section. She grabbed some books but when she picked the last book, someone else also pulled it. She looked up and saw Tarun standing there holding the other end of book. She narrowed her eyes, “Let go. I need this book”
He shook his head, “You already have so many. I am going to have this”
“No, you are not. I am having this book”
He threw his hands in air saying, “How about this? I read it till the library is still open and after that, you can take it”
She shrugged, “I don’t mind you reading it”
She gave him the book, “But I am going to sit with you so you don’t run away with it”
He nodded, “But we are going to sit somewhere else. I don’t want to be seen with you”
“Like I want to be seen with you” she replied faking a smile. They found a small corner in the far corner of the library. As he started reading putting on his headphones, she plugged in her music player too. When her favourite song started playing, she closed her eyes and put her head against the wall. He was engrossed in the book.
When the lights went off, he looked up. He noticed that it was half past the closing hour. She shook Kaira who was resting by the wall with her eyes closed. She took off her headphones asking, “What?”
He answered, “It is closed and I think we are locked”
“Are you crazy? They can’t lock us. They check before closing” she stood up brushing off the dirt from her skirt. He said, “Maybe they did but we didn’t get it”
He pointed towards their headphones. She cursed, “Shit!”
He took out his cell-phone. She shook her head, “Don’t bother. They don’t have network here”
They walked to the sitting area and slid in the chairs. He asked, “What should we do?”
“How would I know? I should have known something bad is going to happen when I sat with you”
“What? Excuse me, you are the clumsy one. Every time some or the other happens with you. I should’ve known it will happen with me too when you reached for that book too”
Kaira never wished for someone to be dead but in her mind, she was thinking about ways to kill him. She stood up. He asked, “Where are you going?”
She replied with another fake smile, “Far away from you”
As she walked to the literature section, she noticed that the book is gone. A smile spread on her face thinking that someone read that note and had smiled. Picking up the ‘Love Letters Of Great Men’, she sat on the floor switching on the flashlight of her phone.

When she didn’t return, he thought of finding her. He said, “But it is closed library, where else she can go?”

Unwillingly, he decided to look for her. As he was walking past the literature section, he found her sobbing. She glanced at him and wiped the tears.

He asked, “Everything okay?”
She nodded placing the book back in the shelf. She asked, “What do you want?”
He didn’t want to admit that he was worried about her. He licked his lips saying, “I was thinking, if you have anything to eat?”
She shook her head, “No, I don’t have anything. And you should know eating in library is prohibited. So, you should go away now before anything else bad happens to you”
He walked closer saying, “Hey, I don’t mean to say that in that sense”
She rolled her eyes, “I don’t care what you meant. Just go. I don’t want to be with you”
“You think you have a choice? I am the only one you could talk in this big library”
“Then I don’t want to talk. I’ll be happy reading” she took out another book from the shelf. He sat next to her saying, “Fine”
She was reading while he kept watching her. She knew his eyes were fixed on her. Shutting the book, she asked, “What?”
He replied with smile. “Nothing. You are so quiet when you are reading and you seem calm”
She looked up at him. He seemed different. He was different than the regular guy he is on other days. She noticed he had dimples when he smiled. She smiled and this time, it was not fake. She said, “Well, can I tell you a secret?”
He nodded. She replied, “I am living my dream”
He was confused. She smilingly said, “I dreamt of being lost in library”
He laughed, “What kind of person thinks of getting lost in library?”
“I do. But I never thought I would be locked with you. My dream just became a nightmare”
He replied, “Well, you were not my first choice for locked-up partner either. I always dreamt if I ever get locked in a room, it would be with Priyanka of Social department”
She put her face in her hands saying, “I didn’t wanted to know that kind of information”
Opening the book, she said, “Why don’t you finish the book you came in for…we are here for the night, I think”
He nodded, “Yeah, I think I should do that because as per our deal, you are going to take the book”
She gave laugh, “Yeah, I am going to”

Dear Stranger,
Have courage and believe that sooner or later something you believe in will happen.
The note fell from the book Kaira picked next. She smiled thinking there was another person just crazy like her. It was ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. She started reading it while walking back to the sitting area. She found Tarun dozed off with the books open on the table. She hit him with the book saying, “Hey, if I am not sleeping, I am not letting you sleep either”
He asked, “What kind of punishment is that?”
She took out her notebook and scribbled something. He glanced at the book she was reading. He asked, “Hey, you are reading this? May I take a look?”
She nodded, “Yeah, sure”
He picked up the book and saw there was nothing in the book. He asked, “Did you find anything in this book?”
She shook her head releasing what he was talking about. She asked, “Did you keep anything?”
He said, “Yeah, I wrote something. Actually, I found a note in one of the books. It was kind of cute. And it made me smile even though I was having rough day. So, I thought I should write something like that for a person who is having rough day like me. You sure you didn’t find anything?”
She shook her head avoiding the eye contact. She shut her notebook and glanced at his notes. Pulling her chair closer, she said, “Umm, I don’t know how to say this…but swallowing my pride, I am going to say this…will you teach me? I don’t understand psychology.”
He looked up. Her eyes were shining in the moonlight which came through the nearby window. He said, “Fine, it is not like I have anything else to do”

After a while, Kiara walked around the library with him. She was saying, “You know even though every person has different, we somehow find a similar trait with people we least expect with”
He nodded, “Yeah, sometimes people have similar personalities too”
They walking to the Maths section. He said, “I was thinking why do we don’t like each other?”
She shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe because I always thought you were better than me and because of the competitive side, I didn’t like you that much”
He turned to her surprised, “What? I am not better than you. Come on, you are so much better than me. You have survived so much and still you are standing here”
She walked ahead, “Dad walking out on you is not a big thing. I mean, it was big thing for me but I knew sooner or later, he will leave”
“How did you know?” he asked. She replied, “As a kid who has seen fights all the time in her house, I knew sooner or later, they will break. I was there for my mom because she needed me and people think it was big for me too but it is really not a big deal for me”
He didn’t know how to respond. She asked half-turned, “Why you didn’t like me?”
He replied, “It is stupid reason”
She laughed, “Oh, come on, I told you my reason. You have to tell me yours”
He scratched the back of his neck, “Umm, cause I had a crush on you”
She started laughing, “I want the real reason not a joke”
He walked closer, “It is the real reason. I had a crush on you so I started hating to make those feelings go away but they only grew stronger. I used to criticise you to make myself hate you but couldn’t do it”
She was stunned. She swallowed and said, “Wow, that…is… wow”
Turning around, she walked to the literature section again. He asked, “Okay, so I have a question for you. Why were you crying earlier?”
She took out the book and gave it to him saying, “I just wished someone could love me like this but I know my untrusting behaviour will never let that happen”
He said, “Well, you just have to believe that you will get that. Sooner or later, it will happen”
She smiled, “And till then, remember to smile”
Something struck him. He asked, “Did you write that note?”
She turned away, “What note?”
He rushed back to the sitting area and took out her notebook. It was the same handwriting. She had followed him. He asked, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
She replied, “I thought you will think of me as a crazy person who write crazy notes to people through books”
He laughed, “I knew you were crazy when I fell for you”
She smiled. He walked to her and hugged her. He pulled back asking, “When we get out of the library, will you go out with me?”
She said, “I thought you wanted go out with Priyanka from Social”
He laughed, “I think she can wait”

In the morning when they got out, watchman was scolded by Librarian for this careless mistake. Even though, Kaira and Tarun still fight, they fight in their special way…through notes.