I am the words from the pages of the million books you have read; read and perhaps, shared dreams with. I am the novel hiding in the bookshelf. The stardust resting sheepishly in the callouses of your intergalactic thoughts is me. I, Sussie, am the magic that grows within you like Jack’s magic beanstalk.
Do not be deceived, I am also powerful love and detaching death. I am the depth of the sea where the mermaids sing melancholic chanteys, where the sunken ships lay absorbed with tales. Yet today I write to you not to elucidate myself but with a resolve.
Sussie, you have been a loyal reader for twenty bright years. The mild coffee stains on my skin have dulled. The yellow warmth of light from the bedside lamp you’d relentlessly read under night after sleepless night stays locked within me. The crumbs of the raisin and almond biscuits stuck within my cosmetic binding often jingle at your touch. The fragrance of my old wrinkled pages is softer today, my illustrated cover smudged. All of these are the evidences of the brilliant ages I have spent on the bookshelf of a faithful reader. But this isn’t all that has changed within me Sus.
Today, I want to thank you for imagining my protagonist with the long hair that you have, and for giving my maker’s work the essence of your soulful imagination. Thank you for letting my story exist in a way it wasn’t written. Thank you for picturing the woods just as silent and damp, for smelling and discerning with me every sentiment of the lovers; thank you Sus for gifting my subtle stories the illuminating gift of life. Thank you for helping it survive with a sense of realism in a world so rampant, a world with endless literature and running time.
Remember though, that it isn’t out of gratitude that I write, but with purpose. I want to thank you for leaving behind the soft colour of your tears on the pages where Augustus died. For leaving behind the resonance of your smile when words curled into the descriptive sunset. Thank you for dissolving within my story like the missing syllable of the last word and thereby completing me in ways no one gets to be whole. Thank you Sussie for attaching my raw tragedy to memories of your own.
Had it not been for you Sussie, my words would have forever lain unheard. So I thank you for giving them the power to affect. Thank you for smiling and mourning with me. Thank you for being a brightly lit companion on a dark road; a road you knew would end soon. So thank you Sussie, for placing all your faith in me, and walking along me through this treacherous Wonderland of plots and interweaved stories despite knowing that I offer the pain of an end.
Most of all Sussie, thank you for picking us up from the sporadic bookshops, and reading us with love and patience. Thank you for this strength you have unconsciously blessed us with, a strength which makes us believe that you would carry us within you through the thick and thin of life.
This is promising that we shall offer you warmth in the cold, and courage when life is dim. We promise to come with you to your grave, through purgatory and doomsday, and lay there beside you in the quiet like the best kept secrets.