It is a rainy night, just like all the other nights and days in my life. I just left from my miserable job and I’m heading home. Inside my mind I have the usual thoughts: who am I, how my life became such a mess, how I lost everything without even having it. Most people like me, say “Maybe, long time ago I accidentally passed something good, something that it would have changed my life”. I don’t know if this is an excuse, but I never had a chance in my life. Everything turns up the way I never wanted. Yes, I know it’s me to blame for, but honestly, I still don’t know what I did wrong.
Anyway, as I am walking through the pouring rain in this cold night, I notice an old bookshop. Funny, it was the first time to notice it. Unaware of the reason, I am stepping in. There were books everywhere, not only on the shelves but also on the floor. I can smell this bizarre perfume that old books have. I am touching carefully many old books respecting their inveteracy. Despite the fact that I had a glance at all those books, none of them gave me the desire to own. Fortunately, I heard a voice. A very strange voice that overawed me. It was the weird bookshop owner’s one: “Here is the book you’re looking for, young man” he said.
I stared at him for a while, how did he know which book I was looking for? Anyway, without saying anything I took the book he had offered me. The moment he gave that to me, I had a look at his face. He must be too old, maybe more than 90 years old. He was short, wearing a black hat, his eyes were small and half-open, that made me wonder how he could see. His mouth was so small, that I could barely distinguish his lips. But his face had so many wrinkles, never before seen in a human’s face.
“What exactly is this book?”, I asked him.
“It’s for you young man, only for you”, he responded.
I wasn’t feeling very well now, and I didn’t know the reason. Maybe, it was this old man, or maybe, it was the book that he just gave to me. The book, whose title hadn’t even checked. I felt dizziness & remember asking him what I owed, and his response was: “You owe me nothing young man. All that you have to do is read it”. I thanked him, and hastily left.
When I reached home, I was too tired. I just fell on the bed staring at the ceiling. My usual thoughts filled my mind. “Who am I”, etc., etc. I tried to sleep, despite I had still my clothes on, but I couldn’t. I have something bad, something like a wound in me now; something that I couldn’t understand. Incidentally, I grabbed the book with my hand. “Ok, let’s read it, maybe it will help me sleep”, I thought.
The title was “The Beautiful Life Of K.P.”
For some reason I believed that this book’s theme was for me; even the “K.P.”, were the initials of my name and surname. After a while I thought that this should be a coincidence. And, tired as I was, I started reading it.
It was the life story of a guy. K.P. was his name. The first chapter started from where he was born, who his parents were and every detail until the age of five. It was interesting, K.P. had had a very hard life since he was born. His parents left him outside a house’s door. The woman who found him, took him to raise him up as her own kid, because she didn’t have her own. But when K.P. reached the age of three, she left him outside an orphanage’s gate. I was reading it carefully, maybe because I remembered nothing of my first five years. Not even where I born, not even my parents. Funny how life can be so ‘bitchy’ for some people since the day they are born.
Without realizing, I reached chapter two. This chapter’s theme was K.P.’s life from the age of five, till the age of twenty.
While I was reading chapter two, I started panicking. K.P.’s life was exactly just like mine! I remember myself in an orphanage, just like K.P. I escaped from there when I was twelve years old, just like K.P.!
The jobs that I had since today, were the same as K.P.’s ones! Everything that I was from the age of five till the age of twenty, my girlfriends and their names, the places that I was living, the people I was hanging with, even their names were similar, exactly the same, with K.P.’s life!
I started sweating now, I’m trembling. Is this my life? Am I the character in the book? I’m afraid to keep on reading, because I don’t want to discover the truth. On the other hand, I’m dying of agony to find out. I decide to continue, because I’m only in chapter two and the book must contain about 10 chapters, and because …I am only 23 years old. So, I believe that this was just a coincidence; these similarities with K.P.
So, I reach chapter three! This chapter starts with K.P. heading home in a rainy night, thinking how his life had become such a mess! Thinking what people like him says about their lives, what K.P. believed about his, and everything that had happened to me until an hour ago! I panicked and I threw the book away.
“This is not my life! This is not my life!!!” I screamed! I was shaking now, I couldn’t see clearly. But I took the book in my hands again, I couldn’t resist in my will to learn more!
Yes, I’m reading that K.P. entered a bookshop, that the owner gave him a book to read without charging him anything! Everything, like it happened to me before! Without the slightest difference!
I start crying now. I’m crying like a baby holding tightly the book in my arms! I want to read the rest. I’m afraid, I’m scared but I have to… I must! Sweeping the tears from my eyes, I open the book again. Maybe I’ll die of my stress, of my agony, but I will read it.
And I am reading all the things that happen to me right now! It’s just like the book is being written at the same time by an unknown author! The last phrase was with me reading it after I swept my eyes. But what an irony! What a bloody irony! The book is finishing there! Its empty, it has no other words! All the other pages are blank!
Trembling and crying I’m going apace back to the bookstore. I need to find the old man who gave me the book. I need to ask him what it’s all about! Who he is, and …who I am. I need him to tell me that I’m not insane! I run to the bookstore as fast as I can. Fortunately, it’s not far from my home. Unluckily, by the time I get there, I see a cemetery! Not the bookstore, nor the owner, just a bloody cemetery. I start crying again, I start screaming! I want to know what has happened. I want to know why all this had happened. I want to know why the book is ending there, why all the other pages are blank! I remember myself falling down on the grass. I remember the cemetery’s statues haunting me.
I don’t know how much time had passed, maybe days, maybe months, maybe even years. I just know that every morning now, people with white uniforms take me near the window and leave me there until nightfall. Now i understand why the book has blank pages, and why all my days and nights are rainy…
Story by: Konstantinos Pamfiliss
Illustration: Sofia Kyrisoglou