A good friend.

As I was wandering around the Northshire Bookstore this past weekend, I saw a copy of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.

I have been trying to get through that book since college. I read a little bit, usually less than a chapter, every once in a while and put it back down.

It’s been twenty years and I’m not even halfway through. But I can’t get rid of the book. I am determined to finish it one day.

I told my friend Nan this while Cosette stared at me reproachfully from the shelf of the bookstore.

Nan didn’t assure me that I’d finish it someday or suggest I just give up and not feel guilty about it.

No, my oldest friend told me that if I died without getting to the end of Les Mis, she would take it from my bookcase and slip it into my coffin to be buried with me.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we’ve been friends for so long.

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