Dear Omi (excerpt)

I feel like I am there. It is any other day, but it stands out from all the rest. My brothers and I refuse to play outside, despite the good weather. We sit in our room reading. Angel and I race to finish our books; whoever finishes first gets to rea the second Harry Potter book. This is before the first movie was released, but we are hooked. I win and rush to the window to grab the book set on its ledge. A battle ensues as Angel is right on my heels. A compromise is made; we will sit and read it side-by-side. I am a bit disgruntled for I am a faster reaer and hate that I will have to wait at the end of each page for my older brother to catch up. And yet, it is my most cherished memory. The house is silent except for the whoosh of air conditioned to the appropriate seventy-eight degree temperature through the vent in our room. Outside our oor the wooden floors of the hallway, worn from years of transit, creak as they adjut to every slight change in climate. Our legs are pressed together as we balance the paperback on our knees, fighting over an exact equal division of space. We read. Chapters are begun and finished in the blink of an eye. We are annoyed when we’re called to dinner and must mark out spot in the story, to retake it before bed. I do not taste the food. To me, a book holds more flavor, more sustenance than any plate of food. In the stories I read, I live. It must take at least a few days to finish the book. I cannot recall. All I remember is that feeling of utter bliess and contentment, of safety and belonging, of acceptance and comfort; sitting next to my brother and sharing a book, escaping to another world together. Have I been trying to recreate this feeling all my life? Maybe…one thing clearly came from this day; my addiction to reading.

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