She asked a stranger for directions on vacation. Two weeks later they were engaged, and this time they were married.”
I wondered what it would be like, or maybe what it meant to be married, to have a wife who would do more than read you the list of things in a list of things. It was not as crazy as it sounded, yet it also sounded a bit ridiculous. But she looked so content and happy, and I knew that this would be the beginning of a new life, and I could not help but wonder what would have been if we hadn’t found ourselves here.
A few weeks after we had met, she invited me to come on a trip to California with her family to visit their sister. I asked her if she wanted to meet her family, not sure whether I was supposed to be nervous or excited. She said she was, but after I mentioned that I was a writer and would rather have someone read me anything, she stopped worrying so much about me and told me it was fine. We arrived in California, not knowing anything about her family other than the obvious, and I sat at the dining room table with her for three hours, reading her all of the books I had just read, and listening to her read all of hers.
“I wanted you to read them because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have any books when I was young. All of my friends had their parents or their grandmothers or their aunts or their step-mothers read to them. When I was little I never even liked reading, but I was forced to read by my parents. I think it took time to get me interested in the written word, but reading was something I always enjoyed, so I was just like them. I felt it was something I needed to do, it was something I was meant to do, and I thought I had to do it.”
“Your parents didn’t teach you to read, they just wanted you to read and to try and understand what you were reading.”
“I was so naive back then. I didn’t know that I could enjoy reading as much as they did. And I feel like, even though I have never told my parents, that I should have been older, but they never told me that they were disappointed in me for not being able to read what they read to me, and that I should have been older. I just never thought for myself, and by the time