I’d crushed to book to my chest and saw my tears now drying on its leather cover. Realizing that the book was comfortable to hold, gave me a feeling of quiet acceptance. Then, I wanted to know where she found it, and suspected she had a hidden library.
Why not?I wondered. She is living alone in this place. It was that moment I checked the title to be certain I’d read it correctly earlier. In fact I read it three times and then turned slightly to look in her eyes.
She smiled kindly placed her hand on my arm and gently guided me back to her cabin.
We sat in the kitchen and ate the meal waiting there. I didn’t think to question its being there. When finished, I felt less pain and a touch of curious joy. Not much but enough.
The book sat on the edge of the table between us. The desire to lift it, read it felt powerful. Yet now there was also a thread of trepidation attached to the prospect of completion.
She pointed at the book. “That is for later, or you may take it when you leave here.”
I had raised the book and opened the cover to read, yes actually read a true book’s title page. After scanning the page, I closed the cover and placed it back on the table.
“Now,” she said as she stood, “I wish to show you a place not far from here.” Her voice carried no emotion, which made me wonder if it was just a garden in the woods. She must’ve had one for vegetables and flowers.
She walked around the table and stared at my feet as if it was necessary to determine whether I was shod for a trek into the forest.
I smiled internally knowing that my boots were designed for hiking, but said nothing. Her feet were bare.
She nodded once and said, “Come with me.”