A steadfast defender of the Oxford comma
Written By: Maggie Mills
July 14, 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 from red ink and missed balls. 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.
Tears running down my face, it didn’t matter anymore that I was missing class, or that my face would be swollen for the next hour. My inspiration had died, not some girl formed in words. Standing in the bathroom, blinking the tears from under my contacts, I had this thought of, “Oh, God, Maggie. You are in too deep.” A realization pitted itself in my stomach, and I slowly wiped away the last of my tears. Out of all of the world’s hopelessly unfixable problems, I choose to cry over a book. As I unlocked the stall door, I knew: I wanted to be an author.