The man who doesn’t read books
Do you like reading books?
You must like it, yes. I, too, read books from time to time as well. However, I do not partake in the activity quite a lot.
As book-loving dreamers would always point out, I have quite unusual habits. I agree with that as well.
I do not read books until the end.
The more I like the book, the more this is true.
As a matter of fact, I have one favorite book.
It is fun. I love the cover. I like its content as well. I read and stop, read and stop. Read, but never to the end.
Because I’m afraid.
Hm? Oh, not at all. It’s not because I do not like it. Rather, I like the story very much. Neither do I fear that I will not like its conclusion.
I just do not wish to read the ending.
Many other people will sympathize with my sentiments. I am not unique.
As you read books, you inevitably become attached to the characters, support them, and go on an adventure with them. And, once they overcome their trials, you will cheer for them. However, what comes next?
The ending shall draw near. Yes, some people may feel satisfied with this, but then, it’ll be over? Other people may want the story to continue instead.
I am of the latter.
It’s for this reason that I do not read to the end. The ending of a story will likely just be ordinary. In all honesty, my favorite book is not a masterful piece of literature. It’s just… a popular novel. So, I already know the ending. All popular novels must end with, ‘And so, they lived happily ever after.’ Still, just because the conclusion is already something I’ve predicted, it doesn’t mean that I want to read the ending with my own two eyes.
I do not read the ending; I go back to the very beginning of the book. And, I will start reading again from the first page. It doesn’t matter anymore to me what the ending is.
Thus, the story starts anew. It’s not the end, but the beginning again. It’s the first encounter again, the characters shall go through their trials again, they will build trust and love between them again, and they will overcome it all again.
Like that, I read the story over and over and over again. Then, within that small story, the illusion that eternity exists shall arise.
Perhaps, there will come a day that I will not see the end.
I am not the only one who’s like this. In this wide world, it will be difficult to find a unique individual who seems like an ordinary person.
How many people will be satisfied with a trifle matter like that? Ah, I believe that you will, too.
Human beings dream of eternal life, but why is it that they can’t attain such a thing?
Love, hatred, ethics, sanctuary. All shall fade of guiltless time. The overwhelming beauty of eternity, in itself, is noble.
Why look the other way when eternal life is right in front of you?
Eternity is a beautiful thing.
I’m sure you think so, too.
* * *
Catherine asked Dullan for a favor.
Dullan stared at her as she was bedridden. Her beautiful face became more and more beautiful. Struggling to open her ashen lips, she asked him. And, a withered hand took Dullan’s hand. Tears flowed down from her purple eyes—the same purple eyes that her daughter had. Desperate wishes whispered through her dry lips.
I wanted true love. Both my mother and my maternal grandmother said that there was no such thing.
That’s what I thought as well. Even so, I found true love. And I was able to love him so.
However, what I thought was love was violence. What I thought was sanctuary was much too short.
I was wrong.
But, truly, I hope that Carynne finds true love.
Can you help me?
* * *
Dullan had drugged Carynne.
Ever since she was fourteen years old. Ever since she started menstruating.
* * *
This was the number that the maid told him.
For one hundred years, he succeeded.
It did not matter that he could not remember.
It did not matter that he did not know.
Dullan had committed a sin.
However, the day of his punishment will not come.
Carynne shall live forever.
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