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Jamaican Book Thief - Just Being Funny

“Good luck with your project. I hope you make friends soon. And remember to return the book next week.”

Glasses. Braces. A backpack weighed down by books. Many would be surprised to know that I regularly ditched class. Yes, I skipped class to read books at the library. Insert montage of everyone who has ever known me saying “You too fooly nuh gyal.”



Rewind to nine hours earlier. As I walked to the bus stop, I reflected on the lessons from family worship. I don’t remember what we discussed; I just remember having the intense desire to make some grand charitable gesture. Activating my nerd/good girl super powers, I convinced the gatekeeper to let me out the gate and headed towards the library.

Here’s the thing: trashy romance novels were my guilty pleasure. Smut fiction wouldn’t have been my drug of choice, but that’s what the avid readers in my friend circle enjoyed. Mostly I read to laugh at the stupid decision these characters made in the name of love. Teenage me was vowed me to be like that. Cue all the romance character from the start of time laughing while watching a super trailer of my past romantic missteps. Anyway, my embarrassing addiction meant I sometimes skipped class to search the forbidden shelves without risking bumping into fellow schoolmates.

It took a moment, but I found a decent book and a private corner. However, my escape was interrupted by scenes of a grade-schooler struggling with the report. Judy lamented about being unable to finish her report because of her three o’clock curfew. She’d recently emigrated from Jamaica and as such did not have a library card.

Bax Cova! I found my good deed. I checked the book out under my name on a pink promise that she would return it the following week. Devine timing made me feel less guilty about skipping.

Until the following week. My word. My paragraph. You guessed it. Judy, the Jamaican book thief, never returned the book. Because of that, I was allowed one less book. Why didn’t the book gods bless my deeds?!

Not being to borrow books forced me to skipped class ever often. Beyond romance novels, I loved books, and a fine was not going to keep me from my weekly fix.

Sometimes I wonder if my library book fines were ever forgiven. I wonder I would do if I ever crossed paths with her.  I have half a mind to reach out to the Jamaican community via The Dutty Berry Show so they can find this bad Berrido and have her settle her debt.


What would you do? Tweet me using #JBFxOnicia


Created on St. Maarten. Based in Chicago. Onicia Muller (@OniciaMuller) writes, says funny things, and enjoys hanging with creative minds. Originally published in The Daily Herald's Weekender, Just Being Funny is a weekly reflection where Onicia laughs at life


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