I had planned to write about the book I finished this morning when I got a chance to get on the internet, but I can’t right now. It’s 12:06 on a Saturday night and I’m reading a book that has brought me to tears more than once. It hits close to home and late night on a weekend when you haven’t spoken to a soul other than your cat and your mother is not the time you want to be reminded of your shortcomings.
The book, Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, is about two girls who become best friends when they are fourteen. The book follows their lives thereafter. Their friendship might not be the most realistic if you ask me, but the outright love that is portrayed through the book is. And the other central story of the book is more realistic than I care to admit. One of the woman falls in love with a man who has fallen in love with the other woman. Not to give anything away, because it’s pretty easy to see early on anyway, but the first woman ends up getting the man, marrying him and having his children. Even so, she always feels like she was his second choice.
Now, I’m only half way through the book but it has cut me to the core. Forgive me for getting too personal, too involved in a freaking paperback novel. I’ve never fallen in love with a man who loves my best friend but I do know what it feels like to feel like the second choice. What kills me is that men are so damn closed off that half the time we don’t know whether we really are the second choice or whether we just think that. I don’t know that it matters. Because what a woman feels and thinks are more powerful than what is real most of the time. And just like the story in this book, where the man really truly does love his wife but is still half looking for what could have been with the other woman, men do that to us all the time without even realizing it.
Like I said, it’s after midnight on a Saturday night and I’m feeling lonely. And this book isn’t helping. It’s beautifully written and makes me long to be the other girl. She’s free spirited, beautiful, even if she’s more vulnerable in the inside than she looks. But at least she can hide it. Instead of pretending I’m fine, I’m checking my phone obsessively for a text message that I know will never come, from a man who’s a lifetime (and time zone) away, writing about it in my blog. But I couldn’t just let the night pass without mentioning this book. Read it. I dare you to open yourself up the possibility that friendship and love can both be this real.