“Those books. You’ve read them all?”

 

Yes. I’ve read them all. I’ve devoured the woven words and placed them in my shelf of memories, safe and to be remembered, always.  I’ve spent warm and breezy afternoons, piously making my way through hundreds of books in old, dusty libraries, the membership cards stacked neatly in the smallest zip of my favorite bag. I have held them in my hands, tracing its shape, taking in the infectious smell and read and re-read the blurbs, storing it in my shelf of memories, under the section that says ‘Yet to be’. And then after hours of choosing, for I am afflicted by the thought of ‘take them all’, I have arranged the chosen few in a haphazard pile and walked to the old man with little gold  specs upon his crooked nose, placing the books atop the counter with relish. I have watched the man issue the books out to me, with my eyes sparkling and my excitement uncontained; inexplicable.

 

And, as the sun gives way to the moon, I have sat in my cove, three yellow lights shining down and lost myself in different worlds, of warriors and of forlorn love, of magic and of evil hearts and of murder and heartless souls. I have climbed hills in enemy territories and lost my beloved in war. I have cast spells and have been cast upon, a terrible agony all around and I have seen blood and terror and felt the fear and nonchalance, seconds apart. In moments, I have felt so much and with the flow of words, I have sensed it all. I have lived so many lives, lost in my haven that I have lost track of the world beyond, the real one, here. But, can you really blame me? For losing myself in a world where the hatred, the vexation and the love and the mess isn’t mine? A place where I can go, feel and return from, the consequences lost in the world apart from mine. Solace. I find solace in it.

 

I have felt with the turning the last page of a story I have come to love, a terrible press upon at my heart like daggers, sharpened and fashioned with broken glass and metal heads. For with the end of one saga, my mind can already smell the dampened air,  and feel the polluted thoughts rushing back in from transition of worlds, surreal to real. And my thoughts know. They know that I must change, from the person in this story to a person in mine. With sighs and reluctant to resolve, I must comply. And so, I climb out, get onto my feet, hold another collection of pages, tracing its shape and feeling its story and just like that I’m gone. Falling again, deeper and faster, into an abyss of calm, a new world to see.