The Night Reader

The Night Reader used to have tons of music books – some photocopied; some original. Some were hard-bound; some were loose papers stockpiled. She used to read every night before she went to sleep and sometimes, I didn’t know the hour she actually slept because I have fallen asleep sooner.

I loved observing her when she read her many books. I told myself hitherto that I was going to be like her – a reader – a voracious reader.

“It makes you smart – reading, that is,” she said. “You will gain something that others will never have.” I did not know hitherto what that “something” was, but I promised that I will read nonetheless.

Then one day, she just stopped reading. When she had received her graduate diploma and her Sablay from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, she stopped reading. She no longer sat for hours and hours just reading as it was her wont. Perhaps she found what she was looking for from those pages? …or maybe she quit her seemingly pointless pursuits.

I don’t know.

I never asked.

I merely watched her from a certain distance.

As for her books, they are now shelved at the topmost part of a storage cabinet – all covered in dust. I might never reach them since I am only yea high.

I may remember to ask her tomorrow or the next day, but for now I’m one to open her own book.