Your heart pounds as you hold it in your hands. The excitement is unbearable. Its exhilarating. The cover is hard and shiny as the light of your nearby lamp glances off of it. It's unblemished and perfect and it's never been opened and it is all yours.
It emits a groaning noise as you bend back the cover for the first time anxious for it to expose all its secrets.
No one else has ever caressed the pages.
They smell fresh unlike those from a library that have the musty old odor. No these are clean, unbent.....no corner damaged, torn or folded back. The words swim in all directions and you are eager to soak them in. You thirst for the knowledge you hold in your hands.
You gently turn the first pages and gaze at the contents. You wonder at the mystery that the names of the chapters hold. What will happen this time? You guess at the plot but know that you cannot possibly tell the outcome. For a fleeting moment you think of turning to the end. No. You decide not to. Why ruin it for yourself? Then quickly you turn to the last page to glance at the last sentence.....then slam the cover shut. You cannot know.....not now.
You gingerly go back to the beginning. Perhaps there is a preface or dedication that your eyes can dance over. Then you turn to Chapter One and the words spread effortlessly through your open mind stirring thoughts much more meaningful than “On a dark and stormy night” could ever provoke. I'D NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW I WOULD DIE. They are the words that keep you going.....soaking more and more in until you almost cannot take anymore.
Its late and you know that you shouldn't read anymore. The digital clock tells you what you don't want to know. You need to put it down.....you need to let it go.....you need to sleep. You play the game. I'll read just one more chapter and then rest. But when you get to the end of that page you grieve for more. Then realize with dispare that the clock is correct. Reluctantly, you close what has become your best friend but not before tenderly placing a marker between the pages.
In your dreams the characters come to life and act out the story before you. They bring life to the words that you only just imagined. It plays out in your mind over and over.....your own personal movie. The actors are nameless with only the names from the tale to remind of who they are. They are real. You feel like you know them.....they are family.
You go through the motions the next day. Your thoughts always racing back to the story and where you left off. How could he do that to her? You thirst for the feel of the paper in your hands and count down the hours.....minutes until you can sit alone by your lamp taking in all the wonders the binding has to offer you.
At last you reach the end. You sigh as you plunge ahead. The last words echoing off the page. “And he leaned down to press his cold lips once more to my throat.” You are left dumbstruck. Its over, but you are wanting so much more. Somehow it makes you feel whole and clears out the fog at the same time. You are once again exhilarated. Wanting. Yearning.
And plotting your next trip to the book store.