On the platform that day, I had seen her. She was reading the book ‘The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.’
I really hate that one. I just can not stand people who like that book. She was reading it so intently, I could not help but notice that she was in tears, at a public place. How could someone is so engrossed in that book, so much so, that she’d start crying at a public place?
I did not know who she was but I must say that I really hated her. I wanted to go to her and talk her to stop reading that book if only I did not have the bullet to catch.
Later when I was travelling, and I kept thinking about her, I got reminded of what you had once said.
“Charlie, there will be a lot of people in life, whom you won’t like because of certain reasons. There will also be a lot of people in life whom you won’t like because of any reasons. That would not make sense but you would still not like them. Honey, there are a trillion number of people in this world, which means, there are a trillion species in this world, of humans. It is not like animals or plants that the ones belonging to the same species will be the same. We are all humans, but none of us is the same. Even if some day you find a person who is exactly same like you, as per what you think, out of a 100, there will still be at least 1 aspect that would differ amongst you two.
However, darling, if some day you find one, with whom, all those 100 are different, think about how amazing it would be to have so much to learn from one single person. It would be like you could live two different lives at the same time. That has to be something good dear.”
I kept thinking about those words you had said to me years ago before I had moved to Philadelphia. Ma, I have understood them today. When you explained that to me, it made no sense, but now, it seems like everything I needed to know.
Three days later, I walked up to Starbucks to have a coffee and as I entered, I saw her sitting there with another book in her hand. ‘Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare’. I really hate that one too. But this time, I did not feel agitated. Instead, I went up to her and asked if I could sit there. She was confused because she had never seen me before and there were like four empty tables, one of which, I could have easily taken. Even so, she said yes and so I sat down. She resumed to her book. It looked like she did not want to get interrupted with it.
I still disturbed her.
“Hey, I’m sorry to interrupt you but can I have a conversation with you?”
She did not phase me out. Instead, she pulled out the bookmark, placed it on the page she was at and kept the book aside while closing it off.
“Hi, I’m Charlie. We haven’t met before, ever. But there’s something I need to talk to you about.”
“Hi, I’m Beth. Please go ahead.”
“Well, I must say you’ve got a beautiful name. The other day, I saw you at the railway platform while you were reading ‘The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks’ and you had tears in your eyes.”
” well, yes! Do you also like that book?”
“Well, that ‘also’ makes it clear that you like it enough but I don’t.”
“Anyway, I wasn’t expecting you here but I did find you here. I really hate that book. Just to mention, I hate Romeo & Juliet too. That day, when I saw you there, I wanted to talk you into not crying for that book but I had to rush so I didn’t stop. However, while I was travelling, I thought a lot and it turned out that I realised I was wrong. I realised that the people who are different to me, are not wrong, they are just different. I also then thought that I should really be apologetic for hating you so much for being crying at such a novel that too at a public place. When I saw you here, I could not help myself from coming to you and apologising.”
“I appreciate the effort a lot, Charlie. On one thing, you are right. If someone’s different than us, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It only means that they are different. As I must also tell you dear, we read all sorts of books. You said you hate these two books makes it clear that you do read books. We read all sorts of words, every now and then. The ones that affect us, positively or negatively, shape us. It remains to us, what we allow to shape us. When we allow the happy things to shape us, even in the time of misery, we are able to hold ourselves together or vice versa.
It’s all up to us honey. Besides that, if we meet someone who has all the 100 things different from us, that means we are able to live two lives at the same time and get to learn so much, only by respecting someone else’s opinions. That is certainly a beautiful thing.”
Ma, she said the same words you had said years ago, today, I’m sending you this e-mail, along with a package that would reach you soon, to tell you that I’m so proud to be your son, because only due to those beautiful words you had said, helped me realise the truths of life which are way too simple and allowed me to announce my wedding with Beth in a month now.
I Hope to see you in the next fifteen days.
I love you, mom!