It is May 14th and Mary sits in the living room of her uncommonly spacious apartment in New York. Today is her birthday but Mary will not have a party because Mary does not like parties; nor she will have friends over, or drinks at a bar. Mary will stay in to read alone because only late in the evenings, when her roommate is at work, she gets to enjoy solitude in her apartment.
Mary has a unique place in her heart for literature, and after many years of aggravation towards the human kind, Mary has decided that there is absolutely nothing she would rather devote her life to, than the magic of the written word. Mary calls writers literary warlocks and witches, for they perform their spells in the pages of the books she has piled up in her room. When Mary comes across an author she loves, she categorises them: the warlock of emotion, the witch of noir, the warlock of plots, the witch of twists… in the same manner, Mary has separated all her books too.
But right next to the mighty piles, there lies a shorter pile of books which Mary values the most. She named it: Magic of Truth.
Many years ago, Mary believed in many things, for Mary had always had a pure heart. Many years ago, Mary had even believed in love. It had come as a surprise to her, if truth be told.
Mary, also a romantic at heart, having faced a series of destroyed friendships that ended up in diverse love confessions from those she believed true friends, and having failed to find what she searched for in her actual romantic partners, had decided that love, no matter how intimate she got with her partners or how much of a “perfect fit” they had been characterised by Mary’s close ones, was simply not compatible with her character, regardless her romanticism and the well-crafted paperbacks she believed in. She just could not do it.
Imagine, therefore, Mary’s surprise when in one of her silent evenings, after she wrote her daily poem, she realised that the words she had just written were, in fact, meant for a man she had met years before, a man who had never been hers, and whom she had loved profoundly all those years within the silence and secrecy of her room. However odd it might strike one, it was only then that Mary realised that very fact: she had loved that man, and that man alone, all those years, so profoundly as she had never loved before, and because now we know Mary’s story, as she never loved again ever since.
The poem read:
Year after year I pray
you do not regret the chances to happiness you reject,
year after year I hope
you do not see that they only come once,
year after year I will love the flame that lights your spirit,
and pray more, you will fly for yourself, someday.
Mary slammed her notebook closed and, frustrated as she was, without looking, she placed it on the short pile of books. She made her way to the kitchen and decided then that she needed to celebrate her birthday, so a candle on a cupcake was most appropriate for her private celebration. Mary lit it, and sang herself the song without a smile on her face or even a hint of excitement in her voice, and when, unavoidably, Mary finished her song, to yet another surprise, she could not, for the life of her, think of a wish. Her mind went blank, it seemed to Mary that it was as if she had accidentally closed her thoughts in that notebook too. She stayed in silence as the weak flame of the little, white candle trembled and reflected upon her eyes, and thought of nothing.
Mary shut her eyes tightly and remembered all her night terrors, her silenced cries, her beautiful sunset dreams, her chosen solitude, the whispers she heard before she awoke dripping-wet in the middle of the night. Mary whispered, it can’t be, and opened her eyes just as the clock struck midnight, and its sound echoed in the stillness of the house. Mary then knew she had to hurry up because her roommate would soon return. She closed her eyes so fast after she had opened them, that it almost looked as if they had just fluttered for a second. Mary wished to forget again her recent discovery, blew out the candle, and walked back into the silence of her room, looked at her books and smiled at how it could have all been a magic trick of her precious warlocks and witches, and at how similar it now seemed to a dream.