The Land of NeverWas

Where all the "Might Have Beens" live

the book

the book smelled of her. the scent of her perfume arose from it and intoxicated my mind until it formed an almost physical presence of her in the room. i could see her standing there next to me, watching me, watching my face as i studied her gift. her mouth was formed into a crooked half-smile as she studied me, as if completely confident that i would love it. and i did. at that point it didn’t even matter what the book was about, all that mattered was that it was from her. i stroked the cover as if it were her face.

i didn’t read it immediately. i flipped through the pages quickly and let them fan the scent of her perfume into my face. and then i dove in. the story was beautiful and painful and sweet and happy and sad and all the other things many stories are. but i was attached to this story in a way i hadn’t been before, not even with my own writing, because i was trying to see it through two pairs of eyes: hers and mine. but even the author’s words didn’t grip me the way her notations did. they were short, cryptic to me, but i knew for her they had pages of meaning. i wanted so badly to unravel that meaning, but, unlike the book i held in my hands, i couldn’t crack them open to get to the inner content, i could only stare at the hard outer covering.

i closed the book and held it up to my face to take in the scent one more time. and as i did i fell in love with her a little bit more.

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