Why don’t you just sit down, close your eyes and invent your own world?When you were little you did, even with your eyes open.
-Axel Hacke - Little King December
"Rose, I want you to read this book, it’s great!” my stepdaughter, Anna, blurted out, racing up the stairs to see me. I had stopped reading years ago, not that it wasn’t enjoyable, but because while reading a book, I was that person who could never put it down, staying up all hours of the night to finish it and losing myself in the characters and settings. Anna coaxed on, handing it to me. “Come on, it’s a number one bestseller, I know you’ll love it,” she gushed.
Taking the book to read the jacket. “Hmm, Only Her.” It looked interesting enough. Smiling at her I said, “oh, why not, I’m not sleeping anyway.”
The book caught my attention and held it, the characters immediately jumped off the pages at me, they were all very intriguing and somehow found myself wrapped up in the hero. He was the ideal man any woman would want... attentive, loving and caring and of course every day life never got in the way of that for him. Trying not to be that person, I made myself put the book down and tried to be normal, even though it was very hard to do.
By the second chapter, my battle was officially lost, I was hooked, losing myself in the whirlwind romance the characters had, how much they truly loved each other and the great lengths they took just to see each other. My attention was completely drawn to the inhumanely beautiful man I had pictured in my mind, starting a fantasy of my own, with him at the centre of it and wishing it were me that had that life... that man, trying hard to see myself as beautiful.
### I know what it is I seek, and yet I know that I cannot find it here. But I feel that such dreams cannot exist without some sort of influence and so I live with the encouragement that if I dream it, I will find it.
“Hello,” I answered.
“Is Rose Gerbaldi in?” the male voice asked.
“Is this the same Rose Gerbaldi that wrote Michael Terrance a letter?”
My stomach lunged into my throat, cutting off my air, my hands started shaking. Was I really hearing that voice, even though I had never heard it outside of the movie, the English accent was a dead give away. It was him! Maybe it wasn’t, but what if it was? What were the chances of him reading my letter? What was he doing? Why would he be phoning me? It was just a simple letter written by a temporarily insane woman, who had made a simple observation. The question he asked wasn’t a hard question to answer, but my brain terminated the use of my voice, struggling... my air waves finally broke free. “Well... um... I... gue-guess... th-that... would... depend on... um... who’s asking.” Losing control of my tongue, words stuttering out, surely he thought I had a speech impediment. All I could hear was his breathing... that was good, at least he hadn’t hung up on me at my disastrous attempt to talk.
“Michael Terrance, actually,” he responded, confirming my assumption. There was a hint of apprehension in his voice, which led me to believe he wished he hadn’t called, all the while my fantasy world was bursting to the fore front of my mind, like a locomotive, whistles blowing, and me not being able to get control of it, it pushed its way through, in a garbled mess of instant flashes in certain parts. It was like watching a movie on fast forward and slow motion for the clearer parts. Not sure what to say. “You seem a little unsure that I was the one who wrote it, why don’t you ask me about it?” A cackle escaped my lips, but at least I found my tongue. My hands were shaking so hard, my teeth were going to hit the end of the receiver, I held the phone away from my mouth.
“All right... what... movie did you refer to?” he questioned with a crackle in the words.
“Only Her,” I confirmed it for him.
He laughed, relieved. It was a beautiful laugh, it was deep and buoyant, coming from deep within his chest. “Well, I suppose you are the one.”
“How are you?” I quickly asked.
“I... I’m all right,” he faltered. “How... are you?”
“I’m good, thanks. So... what do I owe the pleasure?” Knowing I wouldn’t remember the conversation.
“Well...” he wavered. “Your letter was interesting.”
“Ohh... thanks.” I waited for him to continue.
“You know you didn’t put a return address on it, not even on the envelope,” he said, avoiding my interesting letter.
I laughed. “I know.”
“May I ask why?”
“Well, there are two reasons actually. The first being that I didn’t need a reply, I was just making an observation, which I’m sure was way off base. Secondly, and the most important reason, I really, really didn’t want an autographed, eight by ten glossy of you showing up in my mail box!” He started laughing, he sounded more relaxed. Laughing along with him I continued, “Sorry, but that’s a fact.”
His voice evened out, it was no longer crackly and he seemed more in control. “Really? Are you sure? If you give me your address I’ll send you one myself, and I’ll even sign it for real,” he teased.
Giggling. “No that’s okay... but thanks anyway.” He was laughing again, his voice was just as beautiful as his laugh, but I was biased when it came to British accents, they always made me weak in the knees.
Global Book Blast: Excerpt Monday: Absolute Obsession by C. ElizabethLauren J
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