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In-depth Soul Searching – page 2


“Within my character, there was the potential for a person,” Jessica continued, ignoring the cat. “But I was completely undeveloped until I met you, William. Speaking of which, I didn’t even have my own chapter. I got a piece of a chapter. I was a freaking insert!”

“Wait a minute young lady,” Grandmama interrupted, “your parents inserted you—an insertion that guaranteed that you couldn’t be deleted or omitted, I might add. The fact that you were an insert is no reflection on you or your character development. In my day we would have been glad to have received such a gift. An insert indeed!” the old woman muttered, aggravated with the maiden’s immaturity and lack of appreciation.

“Okay. Fine. Then let’s look at the text itself!” Jessica ran upstairs and within seconds returned with This Book.

Sitting down on the hearth and opening This Book to Chapter Two 1/2—(insert) The Maiden Jessica, she began reading. “'Within The Kingdom of Somewhere, there lived a beautiful and fair young peasant girl named Jessica who was filled with passion, emotion, and excitement and whose spirit lived as far from the young Prince’s objective, reasonable perspectives, as her cottage did from his palace.'” She stopped reading and looked up, “Oh puh-leeze! Not only does that sentence run on beyond reason but; could I possibly be described any more generically? I’m not much more than a bunch of adjectives—no real character development whatsoever. And even within that ridiculously shallow description I have to be compared to the Prince!

“And it gets worse,”—she skimmed down the page for a moment, “—okay, here my parents are referred to as 'freethinking'. What the hell does that mean? They sound like flakes! On top of that, there isn’t even a mention of how or why my parents are no longer with me—just a casual line, almost in passing, that says …'her freethinking parents who were, alas, no longer with her.' I sound like a bird in a nest, accidentally abandoned by her preoccupied, freethinking, bird-brained parents.” Jessica could no longer contain the tears that streamed down her cheeks. “I suppose I should be glad that I was even given a name and not referred to as, the pastel smudge of a maiden on page sixteen.

“But here is the paragraph that really started me thinking.” She read through muffled sobs, “'Perhaps he’d ride by her in the orchard as she plucked an apple from a tree. She would curtsy low and humbly offer him an apple—never looking directly into his eyes. He’d smile down at her from atop his royal steed and nodding graciously, accept her gift. Their hands might accidentally touch ever so slightly as she handed him the flawlessly round, crimson red apple. Perfectly coiffed and manicured, smelling like freshly mown grass in the warm summer sun, he’d smile and wave a sweet farewell, his cape flowing in the breeze as he galloped off toward the palace on the mountaintop.'”

“That’s actually very nice,” William mused, seemingly oblivious to Jessica’s emotional state. “Even though it wasn’t exactly as you’d dreamt it would be, our very first encounter was terribly sweet, wasn’t it?”

“Sweet?” Jessica asked. “You were ill-tempered, dripping with mud and you smelled like horse shit!”

“What? I was a bit tired and … and I was glistening from a splash in the falls. As for the smell—you were, no doubt, smelling Cleopatra!” he said indignantly.

“You were filthy, demeaning, and self-righteous!”

“I was broad-minded to even speak to you. And I was incredibly friendly!”

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