What Happened, Lacey?

I cracked open a used book tonight to find this inscription.

The book was published in 2005. Let's assume that Lacey bought it new before giving it to Jill as a gift. I personally would not mind a used book as a gift, but most folks would buy new for gift-giving.

That's ten years ago.

I've got a lot of questions for you girls.

Are you sisters? Friends? Lovers?

Mother and daughter seems unlikely because of the expletive, but it's possible. Not between me and my mother, but between some. Their relationship, whatever it is, is casual enough for Lacey to include not only a swear word, but a smiley face and an exclamation point! And the word love.

So lov-ers, perhaps.

Have they broken up? Was the breakup recent, and I am the first next owner of this text? Or has it been floating from reader to reader, each one as befuddled as I.

Did Jill put the book in a box of belongings she returned to Lacey by dropping it on her doorstep in the middle of the night? Or did she shove it into Lacey's arms as she backed out of their shared studio flat, shocked by Jill's guttural wail: Just! Go!

Was it casually tossed in the "donations" bin long after Lacey/Jill Jill/Lacey agreed to put a little space between them.

Lacey  / Jill
Lacey    /   Jill



Did she, whichever she it was, take one last look at what had been inscribed,
long forgotten,
and try to remember what it was like then.

When exclamation points followed Love You! and not Hate You!
and fucking was an endearment and an invitation,
a promise.

Or did they toss it away together,
shaking their heads and laughing
as one says
"I thought you would like this more. "

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