RedPaper.in – Short Story
By: Preeti Vyas | RedPaper.in
“Why do you buy old books even now?” she asked. “You are not a poor student anymore. You have got a hell lot of money to spare.” Sarah chucked holding a tattered copy in her hand with folded pages and side notes. “Can you see this?” she pointed towards the small scribbles all over. “It makes the story even more interesting.” Ryda frowned and got up to make coffee. When she came back Sarah is leaning in her couch in her usual posture. She can stay there like this for hours if never asked to get up.
Ryda put her coffee on the table aside her and snatched her book away. She is rarely around her because of her work and family and when she comes to meet her she wants her full attention, unwavering. It’s always been like that. But Sarah is often lost in her own world of fantasies which pleases her the most. She is into one of these now. Startled by the reality, she got up to lift something that dropped from the book. It’s a very old picture of a boy standing in front of a shelf with a book in his hand, a very first edition of her favorite classic, the one that she is reading right now. Behind that, there is a big note. “What’s that?” she glanced at her curiously. “You are not supposed to hide something from me! You know that right? “. Being a childhood friend gave her all those rights of taking Sarah for granted.
Sarah smiled and glanced on the photo. She flipped a saw a detailed note on the back of it. She started skimming through it. It’s the illustration of the book, something interesting. She was reading the book for the third time now and she had known by now that it’s not easy to get hold of those old classics. She is still wondering of all those contexts and the characters scrounging the righteous gist of the book and the perspective of the writer when it was written. This note seems something strange with explanations of each character in a line with a bottom note – ‘Now give it an another read’.
Ryda was still staring at her waiting for an answer. “You know, I am gonna tell you all. Just wait for it”, Sarah grabbed the book again, rested her head on her lap and started reading. This time from the first page. Ryda sipped her coffee and switched channels on the TV, “Real music is dying”, she mumbled. Moving her fingers through her hair, she nodded disappointed. After all these years they have know each other too well. Maybe they are old books to each other with scribbles, on the side lines.