Peace offering

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I have made the book a peace offering.

I snuck out while it was sleeping, found my way back to the bakery-cafe, and ordered in some rolls. Cinnamon rolls. The book’s favourite.

By the time the book emerges they are warming in the oven, the coffee freshly brewed.

‘What’s all this?’ the book says. ‘Are we expecting company?’

I look for a moment at the book. Half the time I want to punch its lights out, the other half wrap it up in a bear hug.

I remember to breathe.

‘They’re for you,’ I say. ‘No one else.’

The book doesn’t wait for a second invitation. It pulls out a chair and begins helping itself to the buns and my amazing coffee. Somewhere in the middle of its third mouthful it looks up at me. ‘You going to have some? They’re great!’

The book and I tuck in together. At first it is just small talk, but soon we are talking, really talking, not from positions of ownership or power, but of vulnerability, admitting our secrets and our fears.

There is a long silence. A line has been crossed, and we both know it. Not of hostility, but of peace. It looks as though we may have stumbled on a way forward.

And that is how we spend the rest of the day. Sitting at the table, making each other coffee and sandwiches, talking, talking, talking all the while, right through the day, until it gets dark, losing track of time.

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