Bookworm Love

*An Editor's Choice of the FigmentInLove Contest. Cover by Writer* A fictional character gains a crush on a costumer in the bookstore but becomes jealous whenever the newcomer's attention is drawn to another book. ©2014

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1. Bookworm Love

“This was the very page; not where the storyline ends.”

—Taylor Swift, “Enchanted”

 

I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the sight—you, staring down at another book, not at me. Why would you want to pick that rusty old thing up, anyway? It was, quite possibly, the worst book I had ever read. The story was awful, the protagonist was artificial, and the dialogue was so fake it made me want to puke. How did it ever get published?

But the book still held your attention. You kept gazing at it, as if you were actually interested in reading it. Look at me! I shouted, not being able to stop myself. You couldn’t hear me, of course—books and humans didn’t share the same language—but I couldn’t help but try.

My heart was sinking. Why didn’t you pick up me? Did you even notice me? I couldn’t see how you wouldn’t; I was the hero of a glorious adventure, a tale of mystery and romance and self-discovery so exciting that you wouldn’t be able to put me down. I was likable, charming, courteous—nothing like the book you held in your hands now. I could make your life worthwhile. 

Look at me.

And suddenly, as if you had heard me, you shook your head at that dreadful book and placed it back on the shelf. “Eh, I’m not really into this,” you said. “Let’s see if there’s anything else to read.”

My heart rose. Yes!

I saw your beautiful face frown as you searched around for another story. I was practically bouncing up and down around the pages as you kept browsing; I could barely stand still as you neared me. You’re so close…

And then your eyes found me. Oh, they were such a handsome color! I giggled without thinking as you started searching through the book. After scanning the summary, you finally opened the book and read a paragraph. Then you read another, and another, and before I knew it you were flying through the pages with impatient hands, searching for more words in the wonderful story, your eyes lighting up with such excitement. Yes, yes, yes…

The book shut closed. 

My body went numb. What happened? Did I do something? Have I lost your interest? Maybe, somehow, you had sensed me talking badly about the other book and was turned off by my attitude. I’m not always like this, I began stammering. I’m a really nice person—

And then, something happened. You smiled, a wide grin spreading across your gorgeous face, your stunning teeth shining with happiness. “Oh, I am definitely getting this,” you said. 

I couldn’t help but smile as you brought me to the register. The process of being purchased seemed to take forever, but I was willing to wait; just being with you was enough for me. Even when you were done and began making your way home, being in your presence made me feel dizzy.

The day you bought me was the best day of my life. But the moment you finished reading me, the moment you said “I love you” was the happiest moment of my entire life. Because, even though you thought I wasn’t real and only existed in a fictional world, even though you thought we could never be together, you wanted me to be real, to be in your world.

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