Do you remember me?
Of course you don’t. So I’m going to give you a refresher course.
I’ve known you for years and years. We used to have beautiful conversations. There was no one that knew you better than me. We were handmade for each other.
Lately, it’s become achingly obvious you’re miserable. You’ve moved back home to take care of your ailing mother. You’ve been looking for a new job, but that’s not going well. Admit it: it’s all too much.
Everyone around you sees your suffering, but they’re not willing to help you.
Everyone but Jackson.
He comes into your life at the perfect moment and offers you everything you could want: a shoulder to lean on, love, and most importantly, hope.
But there’s no one that can compare to me. You seem to forget that I’m your figure 8. Your infinity. You try to run, but I will always find you.
I’m reeling from this book. Just circling back and back and back trying to figure out when was the first time I had an inkling of what was going on and I find myself feeling a lot like Selah; I think I knew the whole time but I didn’t want to acknowledge it. There were times I wasn’t sure if the book was full of tiny, almost imperceptible, errors or if I was crazy or if it was intentional and made to make me feel crazy. Honestly, I’m still not sure; though, I suspect the latter.
This is a book that has so many layers, so many facets and secrets, telling any one of them would destroy the experience that is Figure Eight. There are so many beautiful things that happen in this book, so many things I desire to dissect and tell you about in great detail, but to do so would ruin the sublime magic that Calia Read wove with this story. More so than almost any other book I’ve read, Figure Eight must be read with no foresight as to what is going to happen; the experience of being Selah, of living what she lived in these pages is important and intense.
Calia Read constantly amazes me with her words, the way she constructs each sentence to draw you in and then makes you question every second of the words you’ve read is unique and wildly impressive. I am in love with her writing and the important stories she tells. Her stories are consistently among the most wonderfully written and compelling books I’ve read. I always find myself wanting more story, while simultaneously being totally satisfied that the story is complete and left exactly where it should be. It’s not an easy balance to strike, but Ms. Read is near perfection in finding that balance in all of her books.
I have discovered that from a distance it is incredibly easy to read people. In the shadows, people don’t notice you. They let their guard down. Let you into their life without even knowing it. After a while their movements become predictable and you start to feel more intimate with them. You know when they’re irritable or sad. Happy or anxious. And while they keep desperately seeking a cure- all for their afflictions, you stand there in shadows, knowing what they need. My last gift was what you needed. But you barely noticed. You were too busy with your despair.
Ah, despair, despair, despair. Too many people get caught in that bitch’s web. And the sad truth is that they never find their way out. They never find their figure eight.
They never find me.
Yet the truth of the matter is that you didn’t find me. You got lucky and had the tables turned.
You may not see me yet. But you will.
Something as big as me takes time to acclimate to. Until then I’m going to give you another present. This one you’re going to take notice of. It is truly something.
I’m actually quite proud of myself with this one. It’s so good that I’m going to let you think that fate, kismet or whatever bull shit you call it, was responsible for it. Besides, I have a million more gifts just waiting for you, that I can take credit for.
Each one is bigger and better than the last.
Calia Read is the author of Unhinge, Unravel, Breaking the Wrong, Ruin You Completely, and Every Which Way. She lives in Texas with her husband and their five children.