I remember you were always handing me books,
Telling me how important they were.
I remember feeling special
That you trusted me with these precious worlds.
I remember opening them – the smell of old paper,
The worn pages,
The cracked, peeling covers.
I remember hurtling through stories hunting for messages and secrets I could bring back to you.
I remember exchanging favourite characters,
Feeling like I got a part of you that no one else did.
I remember discovering them again on my shelves every time I moved,
Cushioning them in boxes labelled ‘Handle with Care’
And no matter where we ended up, always finding a special place for them to sit.
I remember running my fingers along dusty spines, my face washed with tears.
I remember reliving every single one, and feeling like you had never really left.