The Young Reader
There once was a young girl who read more than the average person. Books were everything to her and every night when she would go to sleep her dreams would be full of characters and glorious settings that she wished to be real. When she would wake, only sorrow would fill her heart as she soon found that she could never visit her fictional worlds. This sadness followed her through life and yet, she continued to read.
There was no feeling like getting lost in a story. Her mother would bring her new reads all the time, but her sister was different. She believed that the young girl was lazy and afraid of life. Her sister believed that was the reason she took refuge in her stories. However, the young girl never cared what her sister thought and thus, she continued to read.
There is one series in particular that the young girl loved. It was about magic and dragons and adventure. For days, she could read them no matter how many times! It was always like going home for her. Those same characters always comforted her and made her feel safe in a world that frightened her. Her sister was right about one thing: the world did frighten her…she was so scared that she used the text of others to keep her sane. And though at times she thought she was only fueling the fire of her ‘delusions’ she continued to read.
She was rather protective of her characters. Always felt like she knew them best and nobody could tell her how they really were besides the person that wrote them. As she read, it was like she and the author were having private conversations, just the two of them. It made her feel not so alone, that there were others like her. She was ashamed you see, that people would find out about her tendency to believe in the impossible. She wasn’t doing what other girls her age were doing. She stayed inside with her little cats and she continued to read.
On the rare occasion that she did leave her sanctuary, she always brought a book with her; She always wore her charms; And of course, always kept her head down or her eyes closed. The world was scary, but not her worlds. Her worlds were full of light and laughter. She experienced love and happiness, but also loss and grief. She felt indifferent with death in her real life, but could end up grieving when it came in her books. Once, she was in mourning for three days after her favourite character passed away. It left her devastated and yet, she continued to read.
The young girl didn’t have many friends. She wasn’t quite sure on how to make them or really interact with people…it worried her mother, but she thought her mother understood. Perhaps she didn’t. Her books were her friends. Her writing was her friend. There was no happier time for the young girl than when she was reading her favourite books or writing her fictions or even day dreaming with her favourite classical music on in the background. The only problem was that there would have to come a day when her books would leave her…or she would leave her books. She wasn’t quite sure how she would live on if she was made to face reality. At times, she felt as if she were Alice and many different hands were pulling her away from her precious Wonderland. She wanted to run, to hide, but she had nowhere to go. Nobody understood her and that scared her more than anything. Perhaps she was going mad, completely insane. But nonetheless, she continued to read.
Maybe the reason she was so alone was because she was trapped inside her own mind. She thought of this often and sometimes would try to talk to her mother about it, but her mother would never understand what it was like to be all alone in life, truly alone. So instead, she read her beloved books and watched her films and listened to her music. She danced with her characters and sang their merry songs all the while smiling with joy, temporary joy that is. She would go to bed each night with music in her ears and visions of herself dancing and singing in Wonderland and the hollow halls of vast castles. It was so beautiful to her and even in those small little moments, she felt true happiness and because of that, she continued to read.
By Haley Forté