A steadfast defender of the Oxford comma.
Written By: Maggie Mills
July 9, 2015
Dead! No. This can’t be. It’s like Harry Potter all over again. Are you kidding me? Dead! Three books. For three books I have been attached to her. I wanted to be her! No. Don’t cry. DO NOT CRY. Whoops. Too late. Tris Prior. Gone. Dead. No amount of tearful fan-fiction can ever fix this.
The “Divergent” series captivated me. It was exciting, fresh, uplifting. The classic story of how a person like me managed to rise up and fight for what she believed. Then, my beloved heroine, Tris, got shot: three times.
Sitting in tech class, hiding the book behind my computer, I frantically finished the last pages. Gunshots rang in my head as I flipped through the book, looking for more. Some excuse or explanation to convince myself that she wasn’t really gone. As I desperately searched, my best friend tapped my shoulder,
“You O.K.?” She asked. I nodded feebly, unable to take my eyes from the page. She’s really gone. The shock of it shallowed my breath. I raised my hand, and in a cracked voice, asked to use the bathroom. Shuffling away from the classroom, I barely managed to seal myself in a stall before I burst into tears. It was as if I had lost a friend. I guess I had.
This is the thing about books. When I score a C on my algebra test, or lose yet another tennis match, books take me away. Stories have the power to release you from English essays and science exams. When I read, I am the character. I exist in that other world. That other time. Suddenly, I am no longer Maggie, barely surviving middle school. I’m Aerin of Damar battling a dragon, or Odysseus beating down the raging sea. And, I was Tris Prior. Before she died, of course. At that moment in the book, I sobbed. It didn’t matter anymore that I was missing class, or that my face would be swollen for the next hour. I felt like my inspiration had died, not some girl, formed in words. Standing in the bathroom, wiping mascara from under my eyes, I had this thought of, “Oh, God, Maggie. You are in too deep.” I scared myself. Out of all of the world’s hopelessly unfixable problems, I choose to cry over a book. And that, right there, was the moment I knew I wanted to be an author. I want to have that power. The power to make a person feel. Feel what I want them to feel. The power to create my own fantasies, not just wish myself into one of them.