25th Feb 2020:
“Okay, that's it!”
Hannah crumpled up another page from her diary into a ball and threw it away. She had been working hard on setting up a plot for her new story for God knows how many days, but nothing seemed to satisfy her “writer's soul”. She threw herself into the couch and started wondering how on earth she'd ever become someone's favorite author if things went on happening this way.
Hannah was all lost in her thoughts when suddenly her dad knocked at the door-
“ Get ready honey, we'll leave in 10 minutes.”
She was going to see her mom at her place since vacations started. Her parents were divorced, and she used to live with her dad. Her mom was the only friend she had, whom she took after -the same blue eyes and the same brown curls that ran up to her waist.
Hannah was the “geeky weirdo” of her school who was not among the pretty “divas” for whom life was all about getting decked up and impressing boys. Neither she was a part of the cool “party gang” who spent the Saturday nights partying and dancing. She would rather read novels, write stories and wander alone than doing any of them. Hannah was just not another “high school kid”, she's different,almost alienated from the normal world.
“Look! A shooting star, make a wish”
-Kathy pointed at the star-glazed sky;
Hannah turned back with a smile -
“ I'm with you mom, what else do I wish for?”
The night's cool breeze smelled of the warm sea, a few little fireflies were glowing in the garden's bush.
Kathy's bungalow was somewhere in the outskirts of Winden, behind the beach, where Hannah paid her a visit once in a while.
It was almost midnight and the two were sitting on rooftop, beneath the endless night sky.
Hannah's phone beeped with a text message that said —' Do you know what happens when you fall in love with a writer?'
“What?” She asked back, and put her phone down.
“ So, how's your dad doing?” Kathy looked at Hannah.
“ Oh, he has been a lot busy lately, hardly gets time to spend with me. Ask him to play scribbles with you-he has works to do, ask him to have dinner with you-again he has works to do. And he thinks buying me chocolates every other day would make me forget that ...duh”.
“It's okay honey, he must have something really important to do."
Hannah stared at her mom's blue eyes for a bit and asked-
“Mom, don't you miss grandpa?”
“ Of course I do...why do you ask?”
“Isn't it weird that dad's here with me, and still I miss him?”
A brief silence prevailed until Kathy finally managed to come up with something different-
“Oh I forgot, did you enjoy at Bonnie's party last week?”
“C'mon mom, you know how much I hate parties and small talks right? I mean, dancing around a bunch of strangers on loud music? Ugh, not my cup of tea. I almost died of boredom. “
“Then, what did you do there? Let me guess, you either buried your face in a book or wrote down a plot for your story, right?” Kathy giggled.
“Neither mom. I met Mike. The first person who didn't “huh?” to my Harry Potter references. We had some real deep conversations. I mean it wasn't just another party chitchat. We talked about astrophysics, extraterrestrial beings,the origin of life,and yeah- BOOKS! There's not a single book I know about that he hasn't read yet. Isn't he amazing?”
“So finally someone of your type huh?” Kathy smirked.
“ I know it may sound a bit cliché, but it feels like we've known each other for ages…” Hannah's cheeks turned a bit red.
Kathy looked away and smiled.
Hannah's phone vibrated, it was again a text from Mike, that said — “You become infinite”.
Mike was 17, two years older than Hannah, tall, fair skinned and had eyes of hazel and honey. He had six fingers on his left hand that Hannah didn't notice at first but when he held her hand while crossing the street oneday.
You know that kind of feeling when you look at someone and feel like they're everything that you've ever wanted? Someone who makes you think like -” I was wrong, soulmates do exist!”- that's how Hannah felt about Mike.
One evening they went to see the Winden Museum together — somewhere Hannah had visited for God knows how many times but this time, with Mike. It was on the Maple street, besides the Central book market. It's disappointing how people go on dates to movies or coffee shops but never to museums. But obviously, Hannah isn't one of them. They gazed at the paintings
admiring their beauty while trying to reveal the mysteries of the artistic minds.
“Mike, look at the painting over there”-
Hannah pointed at a canvas in the 80s section
“ That's our Winden, that's how it looked in the late 18th century. Can you believe it? that is the same city that we're living in today. Everything was so different back then, weren't they?
Ugh! I wish I could go back in time, I wish there was a time machine or something and we could travel from one timeline to another. ”
Hannah almost fell apart.
“You wish” Mike added in a mocking voice. There was a sly smile on his face, a smile that seemed to hide an entire universe within it.
“Okay, so now I know where you got those good looks from.”
Mike said, as he looked up at the family photo pinned on the wall of Hannah's room.
“Hey, don't dare to touch that, keep it down”
-Hannah almost freaked out as Mike picked up her diary to read.
“Woah woah woah, calm down dude, what do you have in here? Map to some hidden treasure?”
Mike gave out a loud laugh.
Then for the next few minutes Hannah sat there rolling her eyes and watching Mike read her diary until he screamed in excitement-
“Hey, this is great! Why didn't you finish this yet? This is going to be a bestseller, mark my words”
Hannah rolled over her eyes again and made a sad face-
“ Am not writing ever again. I'm tired Mike, am tired of staying up all night searching for ideas, spending hours and hours on writing while putting my academics at stake. And in the end all these efforts didn't even matter, nothing I write is good enough, am not good enough Mike.”
Mike stared at the cute little face of Hannah who was on the verge of breaking down.
“Hey you, please don't cry, here's something I guess will cheer you up”
Mike took out a piece of blue glitter paper from his chest pocket
“Here, read it-”
Hannah opened up the folds to find a note written inside that said-
Have dreams that don't let you sleep, never give up on them. & if you can ,don't let anyone do so either. With love!❤
Mike cleared his throat to start again-
“I was just eight years old when my mom took me to meet my favorite author, at one of her book releasing occasions. That's when she penned down this note for me.”
“The bestselling author of her times, with thousands of fans and admirers, I'm being the biggest one. You know what, she was just 5 when she decided to become a writer, but almost gave up on her dreams due to periods of mere Writer's block. She threw away all of her drafts into trash bin and made up her mind to not write anymore, until-”
“Until she realized that giving up is never an option. Think about it, if she'd have given up at that time, I wouldn't have got my favorite author now, none of her fans would have.”
Mike held Hannah's hand and stared at her blue eyes for a bit-
“You were born to tell stories Hannah, please don't give up, not now, not ever”
Hannah looked at Mike like he was the only star in her darkest night.
Little did she know that it was the last time that she could ever see his face!
After that night there was no trace of him, nobody knew where he went. Hannah searched for him here and there like some freak.
None named Mike Ryder lived at the address he gave her, nobody from Bonnie's party knew him. Who was this Mike Ryder then? Why nobody knew about him? Why did he disappear?