There was nothing special about the specific day she picked the book up on. She’d spent all day lounging in bed in a fit of laziness and procrastination, and had finally managed to work her way into a nice hot shower. An hour ago she’d been crying about this movie she watched where a man’s pain at the loss of his daughter led him to write angry letters to Love, Death and Time. There was something about that film – the haunting beauty in his pain, that moved her to tears and made her re-evaluate her own wasted gifts…
She cleaned up quickly; never underestimate the power of a good warm shower. She set her work desk in order and walked to the bookshelf to fetch her notes. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed its spine beckoning her quietly like it always did.
She sighed and picked it up for once. Gently, she turned it over in her hands, caressing the well-worn paper covers. She lightly brushed off the thin film of dust that had settled into the browned pages and traced her finger tips over the title. It wasn’t a spectacular book, The Night Circus, but it was a special one to her. A gift from her love when they’d only just started dreaming.
She flipped through the book quietly as she perched on the edge of her bed, and her hand stopped hesitantly at a large block of handwritten text towards the front of the book. Smiling softly, she read the words out loud for the first time in months, and the tears flowed freely again. They weren’t sad words at all. Rather, they were a testament to youth and love. Words of love, words of gratitude and words of hope, that had born her through the turbulent seas of stress and life. But then again, she always had been the kind of person who cried easily.
She flipped through to the end of the book… She never finished reading it, despite the fact that it was a very gripping, well-penned story. No, there was an entirely different reason for not finishing it. She didn’t…want to. You see, she was the kind of person who skipped to the end of the book before even starting the story, so she’d seen what he wrote at the end. They were kind words once more, and of course, dear reader, private ones that I can’t share with you in their entirety. But I can share a part of it with you….the ones that really stopped her from finishing the book.
“So many clichés about love hitting you when you least expect it… I fell right into it… while I am writing this in a very emotional state, I hope our love has not lost its intensity when you reach the end.”
The End…so much finality about those two words and yet so much left unsaid. Her eyes glazed over with tears as they lingered on those two words as she thought about how time had rolled on since. They’d broken up three times since, fought with their respective families, and cried countless tears. And yet no matter what, despite all the differences in religion, nationality, belief etc. separating them, no matter what… the intensity of their love never dipped. They were dreamers and were learning to believe whole heartedly in clichés so it’s okay for me to tell you that they loved each other a little more every day.
And so she didn’t want to finish the book. If she never finished reading, maybe…just maybe their love would never lose its intensity. Even though logically life didn’t work like that. Despite that. She just didn’t want to reach… the end. But some day, maybe just some day, she’ll read the book with her kids. It’ll be their bed time story, and she and her love will take turns to read it to them, and when they get to the end, they’ll read it together, and she’ll quietly smile down at her kids and her husband and laugh at all of this. Because by then, she’ll have her happy ending no matter what.
So reader, I’m sorry to tell you, that she dried her tears, and put the book right back in its neat little spot on her bookshelf, where it will collect dust once more, until she picks it up again years later, to finally finish reading.