Short Story: My Purpose | Alyssa J Freitas: Short Story: My Purpose

July 24, 2019

Short Story: My Purpose

We are majorly changing things up today! I was talking with Joe recently about how we wrote fiction as kids and that I wish I had saved more of my writing (I should have taken the advice from this post about determining what to save and get rid of). Lo and behold, I discovered this short story I wrote in high school and thought it would be fun to share. Enjoy!


I was hot off the press. Thousands of us were being printed for the enjoyment of children and adults alike, but I didn’t know that at the time. I was stacked inside a box with identical books and was shut into darkness. After a long and bumpy trip, I heard the slicing of a razor blade through packing tape and the light came in. We were lifted and put onto a shelf so I could finally observe where I ended up.


The bookstore was made up of long rows of shelves carefully categorized. I saw a sign above me that read, “Children’s Fiction.” I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I knew that it was referring to me. It was a thrill to be picked up and flipped over so that the interested shopper could find out what I was about. My pages are filled with pictures and words about a land of wonder with personified animals and a curious little girl. Somehow, every passerby wanted a copy, and we were happy to oblige. Each was taken home by a reader for different purposes; a gift for cousin Matthew, a donation for the school library, a new bedtime story for little Annie...


I was chosen by a slender man with a calm smile and sad eyes. It was exciting to be carried to the front and packed into a paper bag. I knew I was going home. When we got home, I was placed on a small table in front of the fireplace. I was sure that I was being saved for that evening when the man could relax and enjoy me. For some reason, I was not opened that night, or the next, or the next.


I observed the habits of the man (whose name I later found out to be John). He would wake up at five fifty each morning, except on Sundays. He would fix himself breakfast in his night clothing while reading the day’s paper that was delivered every morning. I wanted so badly to be a newspaper that was read everyday. He then dressed himself, picked up his briefcase, and headed off for where ever he went. He would come home at six fifteen each evening and settle himself in front of the fire with papers that he would review and notebooks that he scrawled in. After, he would eat dinner, clean himself, and go to bed. 

On one glorious day, I was finally read. The man came barging into the house at the wrong time. He threw down his things and quickly went about loosening his tie and retrieving his special drink from his fancy cabinet. After flinging himself into his favorite chair, he stared into space for what seemed like days. Once he finally moved, his sad eyes rested on me. Slowly he picked me up and turned to the first page. My binding cracked and I felt important for the first time. 

John was a slow reader, but he did not stop until he had read me from cover to cover. He laughed while he read and I watched the joy on his face as he forgot whatever had hurt him. At the end, a tear slipped from his check and landed on my page. “How truly terrible it is to grow up and become an adult,” he whispered to himself. He laid me back on the table and went to bed.



In the years that followed, John developed a routine again. He brought a lady to the house to live with us who he called ‘wife.’ Soon there were children too. Whenever they felt sad, he would pick me up from my permanent home on the little table, and read me. They too would laugh, as he did on the first day when my binding broke. Many of my pages have been torn and taped back in. My cover is no longer shinny and new, but dull and old. This doesn’t matter now because I know that I am important and I know that I am loved.

-AJF
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All images were created by the art students of Lacordaire Academy

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