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The Story of Nothing
It is a very real possibility that I read entirely too many books.
I mean, if I spent as much of my parent’s money on video games or cigarettes as I did books, it would be easily identified as a serious problem. Just because the endless teen romance paperbacks I carry out of Barnes and Noble are “mentally stimulating” or something, adults are always proud of me and happy to contribute to my reading addiction. Yes, I said addiction, because I know it can’t possibly be good for me.
I’m not particularly social. I relate to book characters far more than the real people I go to school with. While other kids are out all night partying or something, I lie awake in bed until dawn, unable to sever myself from whatever story I’m currently wrapped up in. Entire summer days are spent tearing through novels in one sitting, and my cell phone’s most important use is illuminating pages during bus rides to school before wintertime daybreaks.
Books have also given me some pretty unrealistic expectations of life. After all, in every single book I’ve read about somebody starting high school, they found their boy or got their girl and otherwise went on some life changing journey of finding themselves. Yet here I am, halfway through freshman year with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, still the exact same dateless, book-loving introvert I was a year ago.
All I want is a good story. Maybe I wouldn’t read so many if my own wasn’t this boring.
These were the thoughts that flowed through my brain as I sat in study hall, tragically without a book to read, while staring shamelessly at the back of a rather attractive head seated several rows in ahead of me.
With a sigh, I twist around in my seat to check the clock at the back of the room. There’s just a few minutes left in first period.
Though I try not to, my eyes quickly fall upon those dark brown locks once more, and I find myself mentally running through my limited knowledge of their owner. He’s smart. We have honors English together next period. He writes poetry, and from the couple things he’s shared in class, I know he’s really good.
I wonder what his poems are about. Not the ones that he turns in to teachers, the deep and personal ones that get stored in a beat up notebook or a certain folder on his laptop or something. Maybe they’re about love. Or death. Or happy childhood memories, or his best friend, or his dog, or how it feels when he runs his fingers that perfect mess of hair, or even about a book he can’t stop reading even though he knows exactly what’s coming. Something. Because I seriously doubt anybody bothers to write down a story of nothing.
Maybe that’s why I could never keep a diary without it turning into a compilation of book reviews.
The bell rings, unceremoniously terminating my mental soliloquy, but I find myself rising from my seat with much more purpose and eagerness than usual. After all, it’s still the beginning of the day, the beginning of the month, the beginning of the rest of my life. It could be the start of a story somebody would want to read someday, if I only let it. And I happen to know a very talented writer.
Before I can stop myself, I quicken my pace and fall into step with the man for the job. Smiling at the front of a head even better looking than the back, I see all sorts of possibility. Maybe this story won’t be any good. It might not be a tale to stand the test of time, but I know it’ll be something, which is infinitely better than nothing. All that’s left to do is start reading.