(Specially for Friday Fiction!)
Forget Me Up. I thought it was a strange name for a book, but when I started reading, I couldn't pull myself away. It was a warm, August afternoon, when the package arrived on the doorstep.
There was no return address, only a smiley-face sticker staring up at me. A beautifully scripted note inside bore the message "Enjoy".
Hesitant fingers tugged away layers of gold tissue paper to reveal a sky-blue hardcover with the title emblazoned across the front.
I should've been suspicous, after all, every book has an author. But there was no name anywhere on this one. No dates, name of publisher or copyrights. Something could have clicked, but it didn't.
For lack of anything else to do, I smuggled the book into my backpack, to read between classes. From a boring college professor, to a stuck-up branch manager, I had plenty of reason to wish myself away.
I wanted wide open fields, where no droning voices could steal my creativity or force me to silence it. I wanted confidence to match my designer wardrobe, so I could mirror the way I felt-and not accept someone else's interpetation of me.
I wanted everything, but I did nothing for it. Until the book came. I read it in between breaks, every spare minute I could scrape...went to the book.
How did it end? What would happen next? I had to know, I didn't dare carry on without another chapter crammed into my tired brain.
The main character was a girl named Kerona, I didn't know what she looked like, because the author gave no description.
She could've been my twin. As I watched her life unfold, blushing at her embarassing clumsiness and crying with every rejection, I began to rewrite her story in my head.
The first line was my milestone. I saved pennies in the car's ashtray to buy a composition book at the grocery store. The ballpoint pens in the kitchen drawer, found their way into my hair and purse.
Every night, I had two minutes to nuture my soul. With those precious seconds, I wrote.
It wasn't rather good at first, but by the third month, I was getting somewhere. The words came easily, the lines stood on their own.
Kerona's true story, spilled out from my heart. She wanted purpose, so did I. When she decided to go for it, I took her cue.
My grades went up and I was inducted to Phi Theta Kappa. Kerona was promoted to position of highest regard.
When Kerona finally found the courage to speak up, I listened. Her words were different than mine. Uplifting, inspiring and...gutsy. I wanted to be like that.
My nightly two-minute ritual continued, until I reached the last page. Kerona's life sprang forward in leaps and bounds, with my dreams chasing after her, until that last page.
Scrawled across the emptiness, in familiar cursive script, was the strangest puzzle yet. I began to read the words aloud, as if to somehow clarify them.
I want to thank you for helping me write, when I am but nothing. I see your handiwork in every crack that makes up the mosaic of my life. Now I feel your gentle hands that stitched my heart together, every time I pulled it away. "
I stopped in mid-sentence, as a strange sensation tingled up my toes to tickle my fingers. The shiver passed and I kept reading.
"To my dear reader, if you are reading this, then you have finished a journey you will so begin on your own. I beg of you to take the chance that is given. The minutes with it makes up for a lifetime without. It is worth the promise, it is worth your heart. If you could start over, no questions asked, wouldn't you? Every mistake that was captured between these pages, they are all forgotten, cast away. It's a simple, three-word phrase that I want you to memorize. Forget Me Up. When you finish reading this, turn the book upside down and read. It is called the Bible, among those pages you will find that promise and you'll understand. When you take the shattered life and hand it up, it comes back with a lifetime guarantee. Once you give it up, it can't come back to haunt you. Forget them...up.
In His love and light,
I stared at the pages far longer than necessary. My thoughts twisted around themselves, trying to make sense of her words.
My curiosity got the better of me and I closed the book, turned it over and opened it.
The first few pages were blank, then I came upon a table of contents, listing sixty-six books in all and a light pink lip-print. Scribbled in the margin were the words "Forget me up."
Tingles assaulted me from head to toe and I curled my fingers around red leather.
I should be used to this by now. Things never seeming what they are, but this...this is different. I feel happy already. This promise is something I feel I need.
It was the year 2318 when I finally discovered Him.