I fell in love with a girl in a book. See how stupid I am. I climbed right into the book and went to where she was, sitting in her chair. In one hasty move I complicated her life and mine. Her knees were drawn close to her chest and she rested her forehead on them. Her stomach bunched up a little bit. She looked like a human ampersand. I fell in love with her instantly. There was something beautiful and sad about her at the same time. ‘Tell me your story,’ I said, my eyes burning into her sad and beautiful silhouette. ‘My story is three hundred pages long,’ she said. ‘That’s OK, I want to hear all of it, I really do,’ I said resolutely.

Her Story From the Book

So she told me her story and as she spoke I got sucked into it and became a part of it. In her story, the girl and I meet in the park. We start dating. We have our first kiss in a movie theatre. I propose to her in a lift. We have some disagreements on the way. But in the end, we move in together, in a house by the beach. ‘That’s where it ends. I’ll be seeing you,’ she said when we got to the last page.

‘Let’s go back to the first page and start over,’ I said. ‘Won’t you get bored? It’s the same story,’ she laughed. I could never get bored of you, I said. You see, I was in love. So we relived the story a hundred times. We met again and again in the same park, kissed in the dark of the movie theatre, I proposed to her in the lift and in the end we always moved into the same house by the beach. And each time, though we knew exactly what was coming, we were too besotted with each other to let repetition dilute our sense of wonder.

When Then, after a while, I started to crave change…

I dragged my feet through the story’s sentences like a caterpillar on a leaf. ‘Do you want to step out of the book for a little while?’ I asked her one day. ‘I can’t do that. Why, are you bored?’ she asked. ‘Not at all! I lied. So I went to the back cover one day when she was sleeping.

And there I met the author of the book. ‘Do you think you could rewrite a few chapters? It’s sort of getting repetitive,’ I said. ‘I can’t do that, it’s already been published. You’re going to have to settle down here or find another book,’ the author told me imperiously. So here I am in this book. I am too bored of the plot to enjoy it anymore and I love the girl too much to leave the book. It looks like I’m going to be trapped in this book forever.

If someone could come along and fall in love with me, that person could enter this book and maybe that would enliven my time a little. You’ve read this all the way till the end. Tell me: what do you think of me? If you like me, meet me on page 74? I am not a bad person. I just want to know if a different story is possible that’s all. We don’t need to get too close.

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