Perhaps I was just afraid of being read, did my fear manifest itself so clearly?
Was that the reason that although I always thought of myself as being full of colour and intrigue, no one would ever go past the first few pages.
Yet there I stood, all this time, on that shelf, I was sure I was in the right section, that’s always a worry, that you’ve been labelled incorrectly or are hidden amongst the encyclopedias that no one wants anymore, but that wasn’t me.
Every now and then someone would pull me down and browse through my pages, some were gentle and gave a little smile, some would seem exasperated, some perplexed, I began to worry, what was so wrong with my contents that on each occasion they would reach back up and place me exactly where I had stood for so long.
I was very self aware, or so i thought, but the reality of each person is seldom shared with others.
And then one day she walked in, it was her first visit, graceful yet so unaware of her beauty it was refreshing, her eyes were full of intrigue but she had an apprehension inside her, as if she already knew what she wanted wouldn’t be found here.
She lent forward to the lady behind the counter and whispered in her ear…the old lady chuckled, “Are you sure that’s what you want dear, we have so many wonderful things for you to read.”
She nodded, a playful twinkle in her eyes.
“Hmmm, I don’t think anything like that exists anymore dear but you can have a look”, the old lady continued.
Then, the strangest thing happened, some call it coincidence, some karma or fate, some would say it was dumb luck, I’ll let you decide, but as she danced amongst the hundreds of books, pulling them down then returning them to their original place one by one, eventually, as she began to lose hope, she suddenly stopped…looking intently in my direction, I was now very aware of my worn corners and torn cover, she reached up and gently ran her finger down my spine.
As she pulled me down from the shelf, blowing the dust from my cover I felt a warmth that had deserted me many years ago, I waited…but nothing, she didn’t poke at my torn edges, or move me to the side to get at something else or even ask how much I was. She sat herself down right there and turned to my front page…we spent hours together, an emotional rainbow overcame her as she turned my pages, I was intoxicated by her desire to go further and further and see what more I had to offer, I was so confused, what so so exciting that she couldn’t put me down.
The sun had begun to set on that day as she put me lovingly into her bag, she tossed the receipt into the bin…there was no way she would be returning me she thought to herself as she smiled.
And so here we are, some time has passed and although my pages still don’t always have the answers, she whispers to me regularly that I was exactly what she had been searching for.
The truth is, she was the only one that could ever have chosen me, she was the only one who realised that half of my pages were blank not because I was incomplete, but in fact were blank because I had been waiting for her, so she could finally write her own story; which was what she had desired for so, so long.