Before & After

Everyday, the Book lost and gained pages. Every hour, the Book became thinner, and then turned grossly fat, and then shed its excess pages, continuing in a vicious cycle and reminding Saya how many people flickered in and out of the world.

Rowan asked her if she wanted to see a specialist. He had watched her progressive worry and decline, and was scared for her health.

Not knowing what to do anymore, Saya agreed. She didn’t bother to inform parents. They were too busy anyway, and since she was legal, she didn’t have to tell them.

It had only been two sessions, and unimportant in any way you saw it. In the dimness of her apartment, she remembered Mrs. Faulkner’s straight nose and her orderly spectacles.

They had talked normally until Mrs. Faulkner had started to ask questions. There were no answers to the things she asked.

“Easy enough for you to say,” Saya had deadpanned, her face straight. “You’ll die when you’re eighty-eight.”

Thirty-seven years later, Mrs. Faulkner found her to be right.

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