I awaited him at the top of the stairs, with a ‘look’ to greet him with. As he turned at the landing, I saw that his face matched my own. “Good morning,” I grumbled, emphasizing the fact that I was upset. “Mmm” he said, as we continued to glare at each other.
I moved out of the way, and waited in the kitchen, still ‘looking’ at him. “You are not allowed to be upset,” I said, “I am upset.”
“It is dark outside,” he commented.
“So hang your clothes inside.” Thursdays are his laundry days. I remembered that he changed it, so he could mow the lawn on the weekends when my husband wanted him to.
“But my sheets!” he exclaimed.
“Use the dryer,” I replied, “I guess it is necessary.”
“Anyway, you are not allowed to be upset,” I repeated, “I am upset!”
“They killed (her)!” I cried.
A smile broke out on his face as he understood. “Oh right!” he laughed, as if he wasn’t the one to suggest I read the books.
“It isn’t funny!” I told him, “I cried myself to sleep last night.”
He shook his head. “You are going to have a lot of trouble,” he told me.
My stomach sunk.
They killed her! How could they have done that? “It wasn’t right,” I said, as he continued to laugh at me. They are just words to him. Just a story. But when I read, I see. I am there. I live the story. Not just words to me.
When it happened, I began crying, with that ache in the pit of my stomach. I even started praying, as if God could/would change what happened. “Please don’t let her die,” I begged, as if it would change anything. As if it ever could.
They aren’t just words to me. The story becomes real as I read it. I know the characters. I love or hate them. I feel what is happening as if it were real, and ache along with them as if it were. It is what makes the story good. It is why I read them.
They aren’t just words to me. Not just words on a page that can be put down and forgotten. In the moment, they are as real as life to me, and with them I can experience far more than my limited life would have allowed. Besides, what is to say that I am not just some character in a book. What is life anyway, but a story that I am a part of?
But this? This was wrong. They shouldn’t have killed her. She shouldn’t have died. And it hurt me very much – almost as if they had taken my own pet from me, and killed her, too.