The Reader's Lullaby

A gentle shift of the body, the steady turn of a page, and the oddly addicting scent of ink and paper fills the room.

Time passes, more pages are turned, and eyes rove excitedly over the words that act as a hypnotic spell, drawing the reader in.

The brain comes alive, neurons firing left and right as the story is etched into her memory. The characters are truer friends than any real human.

They are not judgemental of the reader, and their story is always the same.

Once it is read, new details will sometimes spring out, but the story remains the same.

The characters can be heartbreaking or humorous, but they never change. It is a comforting thought.

To know that they will never turn on her as past friends have done sends a wave of warmth through her chest.

The cover of the book is slick with sweat from damp palms, and the title embossed in gold letters glimmers under the dim light of a lamp.

How much has been read in such a short time?

Interruptions are few and far between, but nevertheless earbuds are slipped into place, softly blaring music drowning out the outside world.

An hour has passed and nearly half of the book is read. Will it be finished before it’s time for dinner?

There is a knock at the door.

A resigned sigh escapes downturned lips, and the book is set aside, the page corner carefully folded to save her place.

It’s time for dinner, says the sister. Fine, is the reply from the reader.

The book and music are abandoned in favor of food, but they will be waiting for when she returns.

It is late, and the reader is tired. Her eyes burn as she closes her book, the story finished.

The lamp is switched off and there is a rustle of blankets and sheets.

Soft golden hair and pale, freckled skin rest against a worn pillow, and pink glasses are set on a shelf.

The characters will be there tomorrow, the reader thinks. They’ll be there forever.

It is with a reluctant mind that she finally allows her hazel eyes to drift shut.

There’s always time for reading tomorrow. It is a comforting thought.


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