A few weeks ago I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and finished the final touches on packing for our trip to Mexico.  I called the cab at 4:00 and we were at the airport by 4:25.  Between Jason, Jasper, Eli and myself we only had to check one bag, commonly referred to as big red, and then we each had one to two carry-ons.  It was brilliant.  We were at the airport over 2 hours prior to our departure and we had time to review everything we had packed, and everything we hadn’t.

I counted the passports, 4.  Tickets, 4.  Swimsuits, over a dozen total.  Pens, paper, markers, colored pencils, activity books, headphones. We were so prepared it was disgusting.  There was only one thing I had forgotten to bring along: a good book.   We were in the North Satellite terminal at Sea-Tac.  Not the area known for the bookstore.  In fact, there was only one Hudson News Stand open so I made my way over there around 5 am.  Let me point out, I don’t normally wake up until way after 9 am.  If you see me out of bed before then, I’m most likely sleep walking.  I perused the small table stacked with the latest best selling novels.  I don’t purchase the Multi-Media size (I hate the paper, text size, book size, etc.) so I had really limited myself.  Fiction it would be, and I narrowed it down to two choices.  One was about a Piano Teacher and looked amazing.  But the other was about the relationship between three sisters.  $14.00 later and I was back at the gate.

I didn’t start reading it until the second flight, and I noticed that the writing was. . . well, it was sub-par.  The descriptions were so flowery and I had to skim over quite a bit.  But the story was developing and it was beautiful, the sisters and their love, their lies, their betrayal, their understanding of each other was something I know so well that I was enthralled.  Not only did I pick a good book, I picked one that I could relate to and enjoy.  I savored the nights when everyone would go to sleep and I could read in bed with the waves crashing outside of my door.  I didn’t finish it in Mexico, nor on the plane (try as I might is is impossible to read when you are sitting next to two boys under 10).  When we got home, I had to tell Jason to please stop talking to me as I was at the climax of the book and NOTHING he could say was more important that what I was reading.  I cried, I laughed, I loved it.  I got to the end and I noticed she had another book, another best selling novel, and I knew I had to get it.

See, I haven’t finished a book in over 5 years, except for one exception, The Time Travellers Wife.  So I was kind of beside myself and my newly rediscovered ability to complete something.  Maybe it stemmed from years of being an English Major and digging my way through Emily Dickenson, Dostoevsky, and George Eliot.  Maybe it was trying to get into other peoples recommendations and finding them not by style.  Maybe its that I didn’t have any focus and would rather watch TV.  Who knows.  But I had finally done it.  And it felt so good.

This morning I took a long walk, did some stretching, checked my bank account, and added up some spare change.  I had enough to run to half price books and get the authors first publication.  I drove off with the back of my Mini Cooper taped up and didn’t even mind the missing window; I was on a mission.

I walked into the bookstore and headed straight for the Fiction section.  H. . . Hannah. . . no Hannah? Hmm.  It must be sold out I thought.  I wandered around, found a few more books, and noticed the giant clearance section in front of me.  I figured that I may as well take a look, seeing as I have all day.  I looked straight down to the ground and there it was, 3 copies and I didn’t even have to search for it.  I was so excited, and even more so when I saw it was on sale for $1.00!  Feeling quite proud I looked at the other authors on the same shelf and my worst nightmare came to life.  I was shopping in the Romance section.