As big as evil itself | Daily Prompt: Off the Shelf

Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why?

The first title that popped in my head: A Separate Peace by John Knowles.

While some know of it because it was a high school or college reading material, I did not know about until I had already graduated from the university and began working. There I was at the book store, searching for something new to read, when came across the front cover where the words of Aubrey Menen were printed.

“I think it’s the best-written, best-designed, and most moving novel I have read in many years. Beginning with a tiny incident among ordinary boys, it ends by being deep and as big as evil itself.”

It was the last sentence that hooked my curiosity. What incident that started out as ordinary ended as evil? I just had to find out for myself. So I bought it.

As I was reading the tale of boys from a time long gone, I seemed to read about my own set of friends at the time. With the passing of every page, I saw characters from my life in the book. That excited me in the same intensity that it scared me. Even before I reached the most difficult turn in the book, I feared for the characters, as well as my friends.

While I have reread certain chapters and pages, I have not read the book in its entirety for years now. Also, there are certain friends I have not contacted in years.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I know that—somehow—particular scenes in the book and in my life have mirrored each other. Maybe that is why I am hesitant to read it again. Maybe it’s not. When one realizes his potential and capabilities to do good and bad, along with decisions both big and small, sometimes one can’t help but wonder about how well he knows himself.


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