The Plight of the Book-Lover

My whole life is spent between the well-worn pages of musty books from the ancient library in our city. My hands are wrinkled from paper-cuts by turning the pages too quickly. My mind is sharpened and ever-wandering, walking the different worlds outside of the chaotic Earth I live in.

I look for the fantastical. I try to find every sign in me that I am not human, and that I belong in one of their worlds. Because, in my mind, every world that I see and read about is better than the one I live in.

I become an assassin who supports the new court. I become a witch whose power and intellect is frightening. I become one who brings down the Society with my Red resistance following behind my forked lightning flickering across the gray skies.

I become everything other than me. Because I cannot compare to the others around me, whose talent far exceeds their name. And my personality far exceeds my name and my talents, so I shrink down even lower, gripping the book tighter. If I cannot become the book, I am determined to be a character in the book.

I can see the last page coming. My heart squeezes, a small tear slipping from my eyes. If I were to end this book, I would be kicked out of their world, never to return again. So I desperately reread the book, over and over again, until the characters are so deeply ingrained in me that I feel like I am them. I pause at the heavy sentences, glare at the white wall in front of me, daring the tears to spill out. I scream and rage with the characters, hatred boiling up in me. I smile and laugh with the characters, wishing I could laugh like that in real life with my tight friends around me.

But my smile slowly fades as I realize that I don’t have tight friends. That I am, essentially, alone in the huge empty world.

I feel the characters represent me somehow. Each book I have read holds a piece of my soul, and if I were to read more, I would gain my soul back. Piece back my fractured soul, torn apart by the plight of different worlds.

I finally reach the last words, heaving a heavy sigh that disappears into the smoggy air above me. My heart squeezes in my chest, and I can feel a tear slipping out, not because of the book, but because I want to return. My hands quiver as I close the book shut and close my eyes, the world vibrant and shining like a star in the night.

I will return tomorrow, I vow.

Lots of love and keep reading!

-Jess

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