The last step of my physical creation - my covers are glued. I join the pile of my clones. Soon afterwards, I travel in the dark world of a carton’s inside and find myself on the shelf of a warehouse. These aren’t the kind of shelves we used to be destined for. There are whispers of a new world - e-commerce.
After many weeks (or is it months?) I am moved. From the shelf into a room where many hands are busy packing all sorts of things. A bubble wrap tickles me, and another layer of cover sends me in dark again. I feel myself flung to a corner. Another movement and I land in a moving thing. The road journey is bumpy. At the end of it, I find myself in a bag. The bag travels on a motorcycle. In the middle of many tall buildings, we stop. The boy gets into an elevator, rings a doorbell and passes me over to another set of hands.
He unpacks me, caresses my cover, and places me on a shelf with the others.
A few years later I and others on the shelf are boxed and when we are put back on the shelf we are in a new room. He is still around. This time there is another person in the house. A female. This room is nicer though.
Still, I wait.
A few years later the room changes again. It’s a new city altogether. I can see through the window and there are trees outside. And birds! Early morning sun peeks into the room.
Still, I wait.
That morning finally arrives. With the rising of a new sun, he picks me from the shelf and walks to the balcony and opens me. I am dizzy with the feeling of being alive.
That evening I hear him say. “Raman, this has been with me for over eight years. This morning I opened it. And this evening Hilary Mantel is dead!”
But how can she be? I am alive. I am her.