He grew up learning right from wrong.
He was a well respected boy. Always saying please. Always waiting his turn in line.
His mother was strong and he always listened to what she had to say. Besides one night. He saw her, he felt her from afar. A girl that’s energy represented volumes of intriguing mystery.
He could hear his mother in his head, “Son, never judge a book by its cover.”
He was guilty. This girl. She gave him a rush of rebellion. He felt it deep in his chest. Like an anxious kid in a candy store, he was now a knowledgeable man in a bookstore.
His judgment gave an immediate reaction of warmth in every part of his body. He couldn’t help it. He was pleased. Drawn in.
He didn’t need to run his finger down her table of contents to know a seductive one existed. He didn’t need to skim the first page to know he was hooked. He didn’t look at the back to find a price. He didn’t care about the price.
He knew in that moment that she was priceless. He was judging her leather bound style. Her bind unbreakable. Her depth was intimidating and he liked this even more. He knew the boys wouldn’t have the courage to try and decipher her. But he was a man. A man that had time and patience to learn her.
She grew up learning what she was worth. She was a smart little girl. She saw and heard far more than any child should go through. She had a challenging childhood, the kind that made her grow up faster than most. At a young age her delicate pages became torn, rough at the edges. Her passages gained a depth by young experiences and obstacles.
Her father was a representation of all the men in her life. The ones that stayed for short periods of time. The ones that said “I love you” but didn’t love themselves. The ones that never picked up a book. Her father was a runner. Maybe that’s where she gets it from.
Besides one night. She saw him, a man, tall enough to reach her.
Legs that would catch up to her if she took off running. He gave her a rush of vulnerable stimulation. She could hear her father in her head, “Daughter, don’t become too attached.”
She took her story and ran from anyone that wanted to quickly indulge in it. She secured herself. She placed herself out of reach to protect herself from temporary love. She was used to being the book on the highest shelf but in this moment she was a woman out in the open.
She wasn’t scared of heights. The higher and more elusive she could be was the definition of her comfort. She was used to sitting high, looking down on what ifs but never pursuing. For the first time in a long time, she reached out. At that moment she didn’t want to be touched in return.
She wanted to be read. She wasn’t interested in being leafed through like a quick read. She craved a deeper sense of pleasure.
He felt studious. He wasn’t interested in a quick read and he knew she would not be one. There was something to treasure he thought, forever. He desired his own interpretation of the measurement she hid in the pages of her architect. He was interested in understanding, explanations, and an analysis.
They relate in knowing that a story desires to be read and a reader desires to be satisfied.
They both knew what they wanted, what they needed. They searched for so long and the moment came. Like each others missing pieces they gravitated and were pleasantly surprised when they met in the middle.
He took her in. Her edges were rough, her pages were ruffled. He hoped that she didn’t distance herself to hide these flaws he found so beautiful. He was in awe of the character she had.
He swayed her into comfort. She became open and accessible when she realized she had found the reader that admired her beauty for being all that she was. All that she could be.
As days passed, he spent his time digging deeper and deeper. He began to discover and admire each and every one of her pages. The existence of her story became a part of him and he wondered how he lived without knowing it before.
Her delicacy was exposed. She was soon devoured by his eyes and hands with gentle respect. She was becoming known. Known and loved. She was taken in slowly. Her bind lied across his grasp and he read. He didn’t miss a word. He was learning why she was the way she was.
He didn’t rip out any pages that were too real, too raw, too difficult to handle.
He held her with ease. He took her as she was. He read her with no expectations and accepted everything that came next. He would underline and highlight. Fold the pages in places he wanted to come back to and comfort her where he thought she needed it then.
She pressed her lips into his. Sharing information again and again. Their intimate details consume each other. Each chapter is sealed with affection.
He knew her difficult pages would become easier to read because it was in the pages to come that she would meet him. And he would meet her.
He reads up until the present moment.
Her spread is now known. In this moment he lets her story settle into his entire being. The lights go out and he runs his hand down her bare back. Her back alone tells a story no book on his shelf ever had the spine to carry.
Author: Sadianne Hess
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Photo: Bonnybbx / Pixabay