There's this girl I know and she's been writing a book for almost nine years now, since October, 2005.
For six years she has been coming back to the pages, mostly just reading them, maybe changing a word here or there, maybe a sentence, but mostly just reading them.
The last time anything significant was added was almost six years ago.
The story has been done for six years.
. . . and now - she just doesn't know what to do with it.
Often though, probably monthly, if not more than that, someone makes her think:
Oh my. I have a page like that. I wasn't alone. Not even close.
Lately, here is the one that keeps resurfacing.
We are like an old book, a very old and often-read, constantly opened book, a loved book.
The same pages are inside every time, no matter how many times you turn them and you turn them a lot, over and over for years. Not all of the parts are good, and the more the story goes on the less good it gets, but still:
The pages are so familiar and comforting and it tells the story you know, so you turn the pages.
You turn the pages over and over, reading the same words you have read before, keeping the story alive.
Then one day something changes. You open the front cover yet again, prepared to read what you already know will be there, but the words hit you in a different way and you are startled.
"Wait," you think. "What? That's not what it says."
In your confusion you tilt the book, trying to get a better look. You tilt it just so, and then something happens. Something happens that finally changes everything.
Those familiar pages fall out, having come unglued from the binding and from each other, and they scatter, all of them, blowing to the ground.
You drop to your knees and try gathering them, frantically reaching and sweeping with your arms, frantically reaching and sweeping. You gather them, most anyway, but when you pull them back to you they are all out of order and don’t make sense anymore. They don't make any sense.
Did they ever?
You will try anyway, to glue them back into the binding. You will worry about the sequence later. You just have to save them now. You just have to save the story. Where is the glue?
You reach for the bottle and realize with horror that there was only a tiny bit left and that tiny bit has dried in the bottom. There is no glue.
How can there not be glue? Pages have come loose before and you've glued them back. You have to do that again.
. . . but it must be that last time, you didn't put the lid back on tightly and the very little bit that was left dried up. It is useless.
Just then the wind picks up and sweeps the loose pages right out of your arms. They scatter everywhere, moving away from you . . . again.
You start to run after them. You run and reach and run . . . and quickly you realize you will never get them back. It is too late. They are gone.
You have to let go.
Finally, you do.
You let the story go.