The Fault in Our Stories

I just finished reading a book.

It's a bestseller, one I see at Barnes and Noble all the time. Well, "all the time" is an exaggeration. I'm not at Barnes and Noble all the time, because even though I claim I love to read, the number of books I've read is really rather embarrassingly small, given the fact that I consider myself a writer. Anyways, this book. I've run my fingers along its spine so many times, almost bringing myself to read it...but not quite. I've never been able to justify spending money on a brand-new book, when you can get a book with the exact same content for a much lesser price, as long as you don't mind the fact that it's not in tip-top condition.

I digress.

Like I've already said (it takes ages for me to get my point across, these days), this book is a bestseller. And so many of my friends have recommended it to me. "Read This Book. It's so good. You'll cry at the end, I swear." So finally, I read it. In one sitting, I read it, even though I've got a crapload of homework, and the last thing I should be doing right now is indulging in a novel. Or writing this, for that matter.

I hated it. From the first chapter, I hated it. I didn't cry. I just read those pages, because in my mind, quitting a book halfway through is like going back on a promise, and I try to be a woman of my word. "Woman" being a negotiable term there, because I don't know if I'm mature enough to be called a woman. I just don't feel very wise or grown-up. Maybe that's something that'll always plague adults. IDK. And I wrote "IDK," because I think it drives the point home that I sometimes just feel like an immature, clueless being, caught in this web of depression that dances over society.

"Web of depression that dances." There I go again, trying to be poetic. Except, silly me. Depression isn't a web, and even if it was, webs don't dance.

I guess the main reason I hated this book was because the theme seemed to be death. Death, and how fleeting life is. Depression. Anxiety. Illness. Hopelessness. Fragile humans grasping to find meaning in life, but all the places in which they try to find meaning just end up being another dead-end. Pun unintended.

A friend once told me that sadness is profound, that depression often marks the minds of deep individuals. She explained to me that sad books are magnificent, because non-happy endings make the message so much more poignant. That heartwrenching endings make the book (and thereby, the book's meanings) stick in your mind.

Now that I think about it, the aforementioned friend was me. I used to find glory in stories that ended tragically.

I want to go back into the past and tell my old self the truth. Depressing endings aren't as glorious as I made them out to be. Because in the end, death often just means people going to hell. And I hate that.

I realize that if I stop talking right now, this very piece will end depressingly, and that would just defeat the point of everything I wrote. So I'll end it with a haiku about happy stuff.

the sun shines on me
i laugh up at its pink rays
and we are allies.


Nope. That just sticks out like a sore thumb, in the middle of all the sadness. It's awkward and looks up like some hastily-applied cover-up on the top of the angst beneath.

So, then, maybe that's the value in bitter endings.

But I still hated that book.

The End

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