You, who make your husband wait for you outside, in his car, because you have to find out what happens next before you go,
You, who ask me about my characters as if they were old friends you miss so much,
I don't know what I'd be without you.
When I'm too depressed even to cry, you drag me out of my misery demanding one more chapter, and one more after that. You've put up with enough versions of my novel to fill a trilogy, with pages to spare, and you still want more.
When people were telling me I had no talent for writing, you were sending little snippets of my stories to your friends and telling me how much they loved them. When people were telling me to give up, you were devouring my stories faster than I could write them. When everyone told me I was stupid, you said I was brave.
Your English was never perfect, but you struggle, dictionary in hand, to understand everything I write, and you tell me you love it, love it all. No matter how hard my life gets, you make me want to live for you, write for you.
You make me want to be your Peter Pan, take you by the hand and teach you to fly, fill your head with happy thoughts and show you around my world, introduce you to all the friends I have inside my head, take you on wonderful adventures and make sure you always get your happily ever after in the end.
You make me want to take you on a magic carpet ride, conjure up glittering dunes of burning sands and caravans of untold riches to lay at your feet, and a roughish Bedouin to kidnap you, hold you prisoner till you fall in love with him, let you go and chase after you to rescue you from no less than forty thieves all by himself.
You make me want to take you on a ride in my time machine, take you out for dinner and dancing with Jane Austen and her friends, and then perhaps we can catch a joust or a crusade, or go on the very first hot-air balloon ride with the Misters Montgolfier. We can stop to watch the sun set on the deck of the Titanic and leave just before the iceberg hits because we're late for a girls' night out with Cleopatra, just the three of us and the pyramids, laughing at Caesar behind his back because he hides his shiny balding head under that silly laurel wrath.
And then, when we're finally alone, I want to take you by the hand, look into your deep, dark eyes, and ask:
Do you promise to be my reader for as long as we both shall live?