It's funny, after everything we've been though, that I'd be so nervous about traveling by myself. It's so silly isn't it? You told me once that my sister had teased you about a real journey is so much better than just reading about it. I guess that is where I'm different from her. I know that to you, just reading about it is like you're experiencing it. That's your gift Yomiko. When we spent those years in the library, I never once felt like we were trapped. We could find the same copy of a book and read it together and it was like we were traveling together. I wish you were here, if you wanted to meet me in France I'd take you to Shakespeare and Co and you could sleep on the shelves with all the books. Then again, you already do that don't you? I'm running out of room on this postcard. I'll send you another once I get to Italy.
(A paper airplane follows Nancy down a narrow alley, it's precisely folded but ink-stained like someone using a fountain pen and writing too fast for the ink to dry)
I'm not very good at writing, I'm better at reading but you know that I'll do anything that makes you happy. If writing you a letter while you're traveling makes you happy, I will do it. I hope this found you and that the folds didn't mess up any of the ink. I'm substitute teaching again and all I can think about is that I'll have more money for books. Are you well? Eating enough and drinking tea? I have visited the Shakespeare and Co bookstore and it reminded me of our house except with more people in it. Are you staying warm?
Yes, your letters always find me. It's just something about you, you will always find me no matter where I am. It's like Drake said that people just can't help but end up liking you. (and sometimes more than liking) Sometimes I feel so serious, like some part of my past wants to float up to the top but can't break the surface. You told me so much when I was recovering, but those were just your memories of me. I wonder what I was like when no one was looking. I guess that's why I'm traveling. Whenever I miss you I find a library. I haven't checked into any hotels yet, every night I slip into a library to sleep. The smell reminds me of you. I miss you Yomiko, but I'll be home soon.
And I'll keep sending you books.
(This time the paper airplane almost dunks itself in Nancy's morning coffee at an outdoor cafe)
I have been reading about Italy so it almost feels like I'm there with you. I hope that you're finding everything you need and will be home soon. It's very quiet, and that's good for reading, but I miss hearing your pages turn or that noise when you forget and slip though a wall to bring me hot tea when mine gets cold. The sisters offered to come keep me company, but it's really not the same. Nenene is on another book tour so maybe you will see each other. Have you read her new one? It's so good! I think she based the main character a little on you. She's so adventurous and sexy! I'm a little jealous...
I've been leaving books in your room like we used to do, so there will be a lot of reading in your future.
I hope you don't mind, but I've been wearing your robe again and it's a little dusty now. Look at what a long letter this is! Maybe I'll become a writer too! I can almost hear you laugh at that. You know that there's really isn't much that will keep me from reading.
You know what those things are though,
I really have to confess that your last letter made me blush. Yes, I laughed too, I think you'd write one paragraph and then realize you were sitting next to a book you hadn't read yet. (do those even exist?)
I will read Sumiregawa's book. You have me blushing for other reasons too! It's true I know the things that will get you away from a book, sometimes. I will confess to sometimes sneaking one of those kinds of books into your stacks because I would like some time...alone with you.
Now I'm blushing in public! I hope no one notices! Was I really that sexy? Really?
Also, under no circumstances are you to go drinking with Michelle. Last time you guys tried to buy everything off Amazon before Anita woke up and pulled the plug.
I will be home soon enough to warm up your tea when you least expect it.
(Nancy finds a paper airplane outside the window of the library she's stayed overnight in. She still has not checked into a hotel for an entire night)
Perhaps your sister was a good influence on me. I guess you could say that at least by reading I have learned so much, but you've taught me many things as well. So now I'm blushing. I think my glasses are even steaming up. Do you remember when that happened? It was that time after you fixed the peppermint tea and you thought it was making your lips numb. Then there was the cinnamon tea, and it was so warm! I have been decorating your room with butterflies for when you come back.
I also bought a new tea pot.
I can't wait to see the butterflies when I get home. I am only a day away. The butterflies really mean a lot to me because I feel like you found me as a cocoon and have been so patient with my need to flit around and figure out just what I really am. I know now that I'm one of your paper butterflies. I want to come home and we will make a new story under those butterflies. The past is the past, and I'd do every painful part over again twice if it meant you were waiting for me when I get home.