Fiction

It Begins With One Book

It was a collection of short stories that just might lead a bigger one.
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This was originally published in our September 2013 issue. 

She leaves it on my bedside table.

A toothbrush might have struck fear in my heart. It’d happened too many times already: new toothbrush, then clothes, a period of hope where I would lend books, a variable amount of time, and then a depleted library.

The book is The Grammar of Visual Design.

In another week, she has two more books on the bedside table. She’s starting a TBR pile.

The toothbrush comes, but not before a couple of slim volumes of poetry appear beside my comic books in the bathroom.

Soon enough, the bedside table can’t hold our books. The piles threaten to topple, while some books lie on the ground.

There’s a new book on the top of her pile. It is a collection of short stories from an author that we both teach.

I flip through the pages, read her notes, trace the scrawls on the margins with my fingers. They end on the 128th page and I want her to keep writing. I want to see what she thinks of my favorite story, which starts on the page 203.

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Carl Javier
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