Locked in the Library (Week #15)

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Of course, I was on my study GRIND this week, so I decided to be so studious and go to the school library to study since they’re open for 24 hours, it’s quiet, and it’s free!! 24-hour cafes are expensive, and they’re also pretty busy at night since everyone else is studying too, making it impossible to find a place to sit.

Although it was a quiet environment in the library, I decided to put my noise-cancelling headphones on and listen to rain noises because that’s the only way that I could focus. Hours and hours pass by because I’m minding my own business, and suddenly, the lights start flickering on and off. That’s so silly. Someone must be playing with the lights. Either that, or the library staff are very courteous to students at night and were so kind to create such nice, ambient lighting for us to study in.

Almost an entire hour later, the lights start flickering again, but in the end, they decided turned them off completely. That’s silly!! I’m still studying in this library, and the only light left is my laptop light. Then, I decided to take off my headphones; it was dead quiet. I looked around, and I realized that no one else was around me. I guess I was the only one who decided to study at the library tonight. I got a little bit scared, so I decided that maybe now was a good time to leave. As I was leaving, I checked the time, and I was amazed to see that it was midnight! Oh, how time flies!!

As I approached the door to exit the library, I noticed a sign that simply changed the trajectory of my life. The sign stated: “Library Hours: 7:00 – 23:00.” I was shocked. Appalled. Dismayed. Horrified. The library was not open for 24 hours. However, there was still some hope; I saw people on the other side of the door, so surely, I could leave. I pushed the door, and it wouldn’t budge. I tried the other door, and it wouldn’t budge either. I was locked in the library!!!!!!! I thought about it for a second: the lights turning off and no one else being around me started to make a lot more sense. Of course, now I’m slightly panicking. If the library closed AN HOUR AGO, how am I going to leave? Firstly, I cannot speak Korean. Secondly, what if all the employees went home like normal human beings who follow the rules of the library and now I cannot be let out because they have the keys to the doors and I don’t? I guess I would have to sleep in the library overnight.

I tried the other set of doors, and they wouldn’t open either. I figured that I had to see at least one person because somebody was flickering the lights earlier. They had to be around somewhere. To my luck, I saw a custodian! When he saw me, the pure shock on his face alone made me feel a bit embarrassed. I asked if he could let me out, and he kept laughing at my unfortunate circumstance and even made a joke: “Were you sleeping the whole time?” In the end, he told me that he didn’t have the key. After trying to exit out the doors again in vain, he must’ve felt bad for me because he called me over again and brought me to a control room, where a staff member questioned me, informed me that the library closes at 11pm, and then let me out.

Although I was a bit embarrassed, it was actually pretty funny. Also, in hindsight, maybe the signs of the library closing were actually pretty obvious. I guess I’m just glad that I didn’t have to camp out in the library until it re-opened in the morning.

Moral of the story is that I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. The end.

Image #1: Me in the library

Image #2: The library when the lights suddenly turned off, and I was scared and shaking in my boots.