Do You See What I See?

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He had just noticed the scuff on the tip of his shoe and had bent to wipe at it. As his fingers brushed at the stain, the glint of crinkled pages caught his eye from beneath the seat in front of him. The pages appeared to pulsated at him from just beyond the offending mark.

He looked through the crack at the empty seat before him. Had there been someone who had occupied it during the trip? He couldn’t quite recall.

He hesitated as he returned his back to his seat. His fingers clenched and unclenched as if to ward of an unwanted cramp, debating whether or not to reach for the pages. Before he could make up his mind, an occupant plopped in the seat and while trying to settle themselves proceeded to kick the book farther beneath the seat, away from them and closer to him.

He thought it might have been a forgotten novel, but now that it lay almost beneath his feet he realized it looked more like a journal. He couldn’t quite decide if this revelation piqued his interest more, or if it an affirmation of the need to mind his own business.

His curiosity won out, as his body as if by instinct reached down and brought the diary to his lap. The cover was a deep brown leather, with worn patches almost like fingerprints embossed on its face.

His own fingers traced those spots as his thumb found its way to the edge of the beginning. He paused, his breath held too as if waiting for the ultimate decision.

The spine ached in protest as though sending out an alarm of intrusion as he revealed the first page. Neat scrawl covered the surface, but it was not written in the usual manner where the author adhered to the ready-made lines on the page. The writing started out in the top left corner and continued along the page in a maze-like fashion, so as if to be reread, the holder had to continually rotate the book.

If the unusual nature of the script hadn’t intrigued him, the opening line sure did: Dear Me, He should have listened when I told him no…


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