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"Holly's Little Book"
Holly thinks it should be easy to write a novel about the man she loves. She is completely wrong...
On the beautifully tiled floor of Union Station, backlit by the afternoon glow, is the cockroach Matt just squished with the wheel of his rolling suitcase. But he is not worried about this dead creature on the floor. He is worried about making the train on Platform 7. Even more than the train, he is worried that I may be pregnant. And more than a potential baby, I am worried about someone in bare feet or slight sandals coming across the squished cockroach.
This is as far as Holly got in her book. The reason for this is the very nature of her theme. Love is difficult and wonderful and fleeting and timeless and more often than not, a giant pain in the ass. When she believed she was pregnant, she was completely in love with Matt, and therefore, not worried about having his baby. Despite the bad timing, she was actually quite elated. When they realized it was a false alarm, he was relieved and she knew it was the end.
She began writing her novel when she believed she was pregnant. It was ten at night on a Wednesday and she was four hours late. They left for the train station the next morning. She was still late and told him about it. He was shocked and then he pretended to be calm and then he threw in a little excitement. Mostly, he was scared shitless. When he found out she was only one day late, his mind was put at ease and he said a prayer to God for the first time in twelve years.
“Please God, don’t give me a baby. I couldn’t handle it right now.”
Matt’s prayer was answered that afternoon on the train. That afternoon on the train also brought the end of Holly’s novel. Holly could no longer romanticize their relationship. She could no longer picture Matt pushing their son on a swing in the park. She could no longer envision him giving their daughter a bath and her little hands splashing water back at him. The whole family would laugh together and then Matt and Holly would kiss. They were very happy in her fantasies with the little baby. Without the baby it was just them. And just them wasn’t easy to romanticize anymore.
Holly was madly in love with him, and even though he was madly in love with her, he was no longer madly in love with life. He could no longer face another day at work with any enthusiasm. He could no longer rally himself to paint the garage door or fix the bathroom tiles. He could no longer speak about going back to school. Essentially, he could no longer face the idea of changing his routine.
And this, she knew, was the end of them. If he couldn’t rally for a tile or an education or his alarm clock, he couldn’t rally for their future.
Holly’s story started as a book about love. It ended as a paragraph about love. Maybe not the love she wanted to write about, but love nonetheless.