I look at her from within the page she is reading. Her eyes – focused and beautiful behind her reading glasses, are moving along the sentences, her brows furrowed with concentration. And those lips…I can’t help but take another lavish look at them.
This book must really interest her for she has been reading it for the past two hours. But I am not complaining for I have been looking at her for the past two hours.
We are in her room. It is a neat room with lots of natural light streaming in through the windows. It is a warm, pleasant day. She is on her bed, sitting against the back-rest, holding me. And I am looking straight into her eyes – eyes that have been focused on this book for the past two hours.
The day I first saw her, was the day she turned to page 30 of this book. And since then, I have fallen irrevocably in love with her. The way she gasps when an unexpected plot twist surprises her, the way she laughs when Marjory, the heroine of the book, rebukes Herbert, the hero, the way she almost involuntarily sweeps that stubborn lock of hair out of her face – oh! You can see too, can’t you? There is absolutely no way one can evade falling for her!
But how I wish she could see me! I wish I could somehow prevent her from ever finishing this book – or come up with a way to make her want to read it again and again and again… I wish I could stroke her thumb when she turns each page. I wish I could tell her about how I fall more in love with her every time she says “Herbert” in that breezy voice of hers. I wish there was a way of letting her know that for all the 102 pages of this book that I have known her, I have only worshiped her. I know the chances of that happening are remote and yet, how I wish!
She just turned to page 133 of this book and … … pardon me. I wanted to soak every bit of the moment. Which moment, you ask? I think I forgot to mention this habit of hers. You see, every time she turns to a new page of the book, she caresses the page with the palm of her hand, as if straightening it out. I wanted to feel her skin against my face and so I stopped talking. I know you will understand – if you have ever loved anybody as much as I love her, you will.
It is funny that I love her so much when I have known her for not more than… um, well I first saw her when she turned to page 30… and she is now reading page 133… so that makes it, 103 (excuse my calculation skills, I am out of practice). Yes, so I have known her for 103 pages. And I don’t even know her name!
Anyway, listen up. She has almost finished reading page 133 and is dog-earing page 134. That means she is going to put the book down. That also means that I have to go. Needless to say, I want to steal one last look of her pretty face before she closes the book shut.
And oh, I completely forgot to introduce myself. My name is Herbert Jackson, and I am the hero of this book. It is a shame that my charming good looks are being wasted on Marjory – I find her a tad bit annoying. But I take consolation in the fact that I still have 243 pages’ worth of time with the love of my life, and I intend to enjoy every moment of it.
[This is the prequel to Unrequited, No More.]