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.