I was awoken by the stretching of my spine and the quick turning of pages ripping slightly where they meet my already worn binding as you search for that one page that speaks to you.. I’ve seen your face too many times to relocate. Sometimes it grins down at me, full of pure joy, others it wrinkles and warps like dropped paper wet with falling rain. I’ve seen it change into that funny face you get when amazed, shocked even, and I’ve seen it darken with such anger. Most of the time your face is at peace, so gentle, eyes focused. You bite your lip in concentration as you read through my pages. I like the viewing of your face. Sometimes I don’t see it for so long, and I begin to wonder if you’ve gone on without me.. But soon, I know your eyes will trace my words again and I’ll think you’ve come back for me, like you always do when your world just isn’t enough for you. I must always remember that you leave more often that you come. My pages grow ragged, they’ve become so worn. My spine begins to split and crack with each visit of your eyes, every touch of your hands. I know one day, one day soon, it will simply……...fall apart.
You know my story so well it's as if it was written by your own hand. I wonder how you picture me, always so creative. I wonder sometimes what the words inked upon my paper sound like in your mind. Whose voice do you hear as you capture each of my 26 letters forming them into words? Your father’s? Who vanished when you were young and left nothing behind except his first name that you've held between the two of your own since birth. Now gone and building up a new family, who are unaware that he will leave them too, just as quick as you. Your grandmother’s? Who’s too old to do the simplest tasks that she calls upon you for help on a daily basis and you can’t bring yourself to deny her and she thanks you with her shaky voice. Maybe you hear your own voice, calm and quiet, almost foreign, for you didn’t know the sound of it without the familiar trace of anger always held behind your tongue.
I remember the day when I was still tucked away and kept a secret, but never too far from sight, that you spoke of me for the first time among the others of your world. I savored the sound of my name as it escaped from your lips as you spoke of me that late winter day… I will never forget the catch in your voice as you told the bits that were laced with such sadness, of the tail that was us, the red rush that filled your cheeks as you told of the moments behind foggy windows and flashing red and blue lights reflecting on your rearview mirror during the late hours of the night, the too sweaty of palms where I was almost dropped because of the nerves that wrecked through your body started to take over as you walked those icy front steps to learn what would become of you.
As you rummage through me to your favorite page or maybe your least favorite, your eyes still hold that same glisten that I caught looking at me as I was perched upon a shelf in an old dusty library, unsure of whether or not to give such a tattered book a chance to be read. I peer out through a lowercase “o” sitting in snuggly in the word “summoned” taking in all features that are you. I catch your eyes start moving down, down through my letters and words. They bring peace to you, just as they always have, and I will forever be glad that you came to me. You always do when you have nothing else to lose yourself in. I watch you waiting, waiting for the ever so anticipated shove back into the dark to finally come, where I will wait for you once more.
I don't see it, not today. They become glazed over, no sparkle in them at all, once so vibrant I was convinced they held the world and wonders of many galaxies in their electric color. Now, to the same shade overlaid with too much gray and sorrow. Today your eyes stopped moving, fixed on one spot. The spot that is stained from where you dropped me running to your car in hopes of escaping the rain, where I fell open and scraped the gravel ground beneath your feet. It rests just after page 164 lower right corner under the line speaking of how jealous I was of the night sky being able to watch you as you sleep in the most vulnerable of ways, the ways I am not able to witness for I wait behind a closed cover awaiting daybreak for the turn of yet another page. I move under their transfixed gaze, shoving my palms against the paper. You're not looking at me, you're staring blankly into space, you're looking through me. Your face is set, grim, angry. So angry that you let a single tear fall onto my surface and you think of the events taking a toll on your life. The destruction of a family trying to hold itself together with nothing more than lies and promises said to keep peace but merely meant to be broken. I hide under a capital ‘M’ of the word “Monologue” in hopes of staying dry as more wetness enters my world. I hear the shattering of glass as you push the lamp off its home atop your corner room desktop, the rustling of paper being thrown, now flowing through the air because of the anger that took control of your hand. Footsteps rush from the hallway and just as I peer around the corner of my shelter in the hopes of signaling for help, I’m grabbed, cover shut and thrown into the dark that I’m all too familiar with.
Second to minute, minute to hour, hour to day, day to weeks, weeks to years. I skip through my pages and jump through my many letters taking me to and from all the places I love and hate. It's been long since my pages have seen the light of another world, I've been accustomed to making my days on my own imagining the warmth and the breeze over my ink, reminiscing on how I use to have that sense everyday. It's been years since my cover has been open or for I feel as if the time frame is close to that, suddenly the all too familiar stretch of my spine wakes me from my slumber being taking in the curve of and uppercase “U” of the word “Unfortunately” I race between the lines, I dive between spaces and hurdle over every letter that crosses my path as I scurry to the the top of the print in hope of catching my favorite view, so ecstatic that you've returned returned once more for me, but…… It's not your face I see. I coward under a lowercase “e” of the word “evitable”. It's the face of another one from your world, one with light blonde hair, almost blinding when hit with the overhead light source, cheeks dusted with the careful placing of many freckles and eyes so light they must be made of the early spring skies, holding so much curiosity, hands so gentle being sure to watch for loose pages and the fraying spine. The first page is turned and a breath escapes from my lips as I peer down and my ink starts to fade from under my standing. You notice it holds no type, neither the second nor the third. Build, Create and Destroy me. I race to the last page in hope to leave one last message for those grayed galaxy eyes.
My Dearest Reader,
I am a semicolon, my story does not and will not end with you;