Bookshelf: Romance


My owner loves me. This is a fact best revealed in the way she caresses my frame and lovingly oils and polishes me. I appreciate the care she takes to keep me looking good which suits my purpose. Books and magazines are stored in order. Her favourite poetry and novels, story books she cannot relinquish even though they are now from childhood and her carefully stacked collection of Geographical magazines which she reads thoroughly both for study and pleasure.

Inside my bureau, carefully locked, are her treasured items. One day she surprised me with a present. She had returned from holiday and placed my key onto a keyring in the shape of a horseshoe. She told me the story of how they had visited a forge and she had bought the small horseshoe keyring to remember the holiday and because she thought the rustic looking horseshoe contrasted with my refinement. It was her quirky sense of style and romance and I loved it.

Other reminders of holidays were also kept within the cubbies of my bureau. Postcards, photographs, bookmarks or small books. All tokens of her varied interests and hobbies.

Then came the letters. Sometimes, short ones written on blue paper with special airmail postage. Then others, longer and sometimes including pictures or other items, perhaps a faded leaf or flower.

I could sense changes of mood in my owner. Sometimes she would be happy and would hum and sing whilst she worked. Other times she would seem anxious and perhaps a bit petulant.

However the letters kept coming quite regularly. There were so many of them they had to be stored in other places, only the most recent ones kept to hand until she had replied. Oh yes, she was kept just as busy writing similar letters. Usually a couple of short blue ones during the week, and then longer ones at the weekend. I hoped she was not forgetting her studies.

Other changes were also happening. Holidays were now taken at different times. The family were growing up and becoming more independent. Suddenly a very new and important document appeared in my bureau for safe keeping. It was a passport. Also there seemed to be many forms to be filled out, and different booklets to be looked at. I found out that they were to do with college.

Then I began to get worried. Was I going to be left alone? Was I even needed any more? Would I be abandoned for a larger, more important desk?

As the year turned from late spring, to summer, I noticed more studying being done. Late nights, early mornings. Books were hardly put away but left untidily on the shelf. Sometimes I was even left open, unlocked overnight with papers and scribbled notes left scattered around. Words such as exams, reports, college and interviews were all part of my owner’s vocabulary which seemed to make her stressed. But then there would be exciting talk of holidays, the passport again, travel tickets and aeroplanes.

Then my owner would be happy again and would laugh and read one of the letters, her eyes sparkling and her face glowing. These were the best times.

Then on one day, it all seemed to end. I was lovingly restored to order. My owner carefully polished me and tidied me. I also noticed that clothes from the wardrobe were packed into suitcases. The passport and tickets were taken out of their places and placed on the top shelf with a purse and small bag ready for the next day.

I felt sad that my owner was going away again. This time for the whole summer. She was going to Canada, and I had a feeling it was something to do with those letters both sent and received. I began to realise that many things were going to change but I was happy for my owner.

As she left the next morning, she took one look at her clean and tidy room and whispered goodbye, sighed and then said, quietly, “I’ll be back after the Summer.”

I was left to wonder, what’s next?


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