I remember being a child and my classmates called me, “Bookworm.” Though my name was Hayley and (as far as I was concerned) we were far past the age of petty name calling that didn’t involve profanity, they continued to use it as an insult against me. Around this time, I was reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini. In it, I stumbled across a word I’d heard before, but never searched for the definition: bibliophile. I felt fiercely delighted when the protagonist then inquired about the definition, to which the character who used the word replied, “One who loves books.” With this word, I decided to turn their playful insults against me. Because of this word, I became more of a bibliophile than I ever was before.
I loved to write when I was young. James was my internet buddy from England. To me, he was like a pen pal I could actually make a commitment to, for I’m horrible at remembering to send letters. At the time, he loved to write as well. Though our family lives were very different, we had similar stories: sometimes feeling alone at home, being picked on as children, having a few close friends in our day-to-day lives that we stuck to like flies to honey. Our lives were not exceptionally hard, but they were not easy. We found solace in each other, and encouraged each other to do well, take risks, and be happy.
A year passed without us communicating as we drifted away from the website we were a part of.
Out of curiosity, one day when I was fourteen I returned to the website. By this time I had experienced two loves, was about to enter a third (one that would be semi-permanent), and made it to high school with more friends than I ever thought I would have; friends that would stay with me for the rest of my high school career. I dabbled around the site, basking in old memories and discovering new features, and I found the urge to find my old friends unbearable. I looked at my friends list, and that’s where I saw it: “Tyhus”. His username triggered very fond memories, and seeing the little green dot representing his online status made my heart skip a beat. Years later I would discover he, too, took a hiatus from this website, and had only returned a few days before I had. Just like that, the friendship was rekindled.
James and I were troubled, and it seemed as we got older the troubles we had only seemed to get worse as the expectations of us grew phenomenally. We had significant others, we had close friends, but nobody helped us more than we helped each other, and nobody understood us better. He helped me come out, as he had done himself; I helped him face his demons. We gave each other hope.
What started as a joke around Christmas soon became a very exciting reality - “I should come to Canada, eh?” It was customary, as it is with many friendships between two people from different nations, to mock each other’s mannerisms. Little did I know we’d adopt our mannerisms only a half year later when we would meet for the first time.
After suicide attempts and breakups, I sat at the Toronto Pearson International Airport and anxiously waited for the Manchester flight to land, my eyes fixated on the LED screen. When it finally said, “Landed”, my heart stopped. Snapping a quick picture, I spent the next hour standing in the same position, nibbling on the cap of my water bottle as I waited for him to cross through the doors I was facing. I didn’t care that my legs had stiffened and I would likely collapse as soon as I attempted to walk again; I was a guard at my post, and I would stand there until my friend got off that plane.
Then, as if no time had passed, I saw him. He hesitated for a moment as he saw me too, both of us too stunned to believe it was real. In a flash, we were hugging each other and laughing, unable to keep from grinning. We walked to the car the closest we had ever been. When we got there, he asked my dad to wait a moment before closing the trunk. I was already in the car, so my puzzled expression was mine alone. I heard the loud thud of the closing boot, and then he was next to me, a leather bound book in his hand, Dracula written in gold letters on the front.
Two weeks later, that book sits on my shelf and he sits in England, awaiting my visit. And I? I sit on my bed wondering how two kids from opposite sides of the globe managed to fall completely in love with each other, and knowing that book will always remain on my shelf.
- autoinsuresavings reblogged this from thebookstheygaveme
- sentencesandmoments reblogged this from thebookstheygaveme
- mywisms likes this
- kaieren reblogged this from thebookstheygaveme
- pinkandpenguins reblogged this from thebookstheygaveme
- exclamationerin likes this
- tanyaaaas likes this
- hahaarene likes this
- fantastic-nonsense reblogged this from thebookstheygaveme and added:
- fantastic-nonsense likes this
- sashathemuffinman likes this
- welovezarrystalik likes this
- deverini likes this
- hash-not-cash likes this
- tpez reblogged this from thebookstheygaveme
- skaffy likes this
- scoutingforbeards likes this
- projectgallifrey likes this
- justanexpectation likes this
- writeformysupper likes this
- loveratomic likes this
- gripyfish likes this
- ashowofheartsonthefloor likes this
- mrsgolding likes this
- stotter likes this
- pocketkniferesponsible likes this
- still-just-human likes this
- goawayfornow likes this
- shewasstunningandpure likes this
- randomness0flife likes this
- heatherishfiend likes this
- loves-her-soldier likes this
- themindofaprowler likes this
- zebura likes this
- native-detroiter likes this
- thankyounoplease submitted this to thebookstheygaveme