I bought love. It was old and used. Haggard after passing through careless hands.
It cost me 4.99 and there was no guarantee it would last. Perhaps it would simply be a fling. Or a one night stand. One time enough.
As I flipped the cover, I relaxed into my seat. I let my heart read through my eyes. And deeper and deeper I fell in love with what I could see on every page.
I bought love. And the love was strong. To this day it remains close, patiently waiting for my attention as it sits on my shelf. And every once in a while I pick it up with a smile. Smooth it with my hands. And open my heart.
A black vanilla ink upon musky pages. Suitable for all. A perfume to stimulate the heart and mind.
The initial scent of salty tears fades gracefully into whispers of a freshly healed heart. The dark odour of pain and sorrow is harmonized by the spice of anger that bursts from gleaming swords.
To soften it, wafts of sweet smiles and honeyed laughs.
And finally a top note of hope that soars with each page turn, released with a crinkling sigh.
When there was nothing else, she turned to the pages. To the lines and lines of black on time-stained white. The words that sat in understanding solitude, waiting for eyes to awaken their most vivid images.
When tears marred her vision, she would flip the cover open and seek solace in the pages’ musky embrace. In its tales and laughter and tears.
When no one held a hand out to her, she would look instead to the invisible arms that coaxed her into the chair in the corner, where she could curl up and imagine and escape.
When all she had was sorrow, she would listen to her heroes and learn that sadness was okay. That pain was okay. But that she was stronger than it. And that overcoming it was difficult, but she was determined, and she could.
When all she heard were mocking voices, she would shut them out and hear instead tales of conviction. Tales that allowed courage to well up within her own heart.
And when she stood finally, steadily, she had an army behind her. An army of everyone she had come to know and love. And no matter what happened, no one could ever take them from her.
But one day, she knew, she would gift them to someone else. Someone who, like her, desperately needed them.
And she smiled.