"You're going to read me the last chapter," Abi told him and Alex raised a brow. 'Why the last chapter? Shouldn't it be chapter one first?'
"Do you like endings more than beginnings?" he asked as he held the book in one hand before he looked at its cover. The cover wasn't as girly as he thought. And he was surprised to see that the book was from a male's point of view. Did she consider him when she chose this book? Looks like it.
"Hmm… I wouldn't say that. I like all the parts of the book but to me, the ending part of that book is my favourite chapter."
She smiled as she stared at the book like it was a priceless treasure. Alex realized that this book seemed to be something really special to her. He wondered what kind of story this was. When she told him that she was going to ask him to read a chapter from her favourite book, Alex thought that Abi was talking about that book she was reading the other day. But it turned out he was wrong. Could it be that this was a fantasy book?
"Okay, you will start here." She moved and pointed to a paragraph on the book before she looked at him. "I want to lie on your lap again, please," she pleaded, slowly blinking at him with those big round eyes of hers.
Alex didn't say a word but he stretched out one leg silently.
Abi beamed and she immediately placed her head on his lap.
"Okay, I'm ready. Please start," she told him excitedly and Alex glanced down at her. He saw how bright her eyes were and he couldn't help but feel speechless again. Alex was always wondering why every simple little thing like this always excited her to this extent. To him, she was truly someone fascinatingly intriguing.
Resting his hand, which was holding the book, on top of his folded knee, Alex finally focused his gaze on the page she pointed to a while ago.
And then, he started reading.
""The moment I laid eyes on her, my life changed forever…"" he started. His voice as he read was somewhat different to Abi's ear. It wasn't that cold but she couldn't call it warm either. He was reading out loud as if he was reading a newspaper article on the movements of the stock market - in an emotionless monologue.
However, Abi didn't mind. His voice had always been pleasing to her ears, like a deep and soothing baritone. This was more than she had expected. She was just so incredibly happy at that moment.
""I fell in love with her, so deeply in love, that I was tormented by it. I knew we wouldn't have long together but none of those things mattered to her. All she cared about was loving me. She didn't run away when she found out that I wasn't going to be in this world in the near future. That was the extent of her love. So, I gave in and I asked her to be my wife…""
As Alex continued reading, Abi's smile slowly faded as she listened to that part of the chapter. She started to feel emotional and tears started to pool in the corners of her eyes but she fought it hard and smiled again. Even though she had read this book many times, Abi felt like this time around, it hit her so much harder. She truly loved the characters in this book, especially the male lead, Zero, a man who was a product of a certain experiment and was created to live a short life. The feeling of wanting to be with the person he loved, not thinking too much about the future and just doing the things that the heart wanted, despite the little time Zero had left, that was exactly how she felt. She didn't want to think about the future. She just wanted to just do whatever her heart wanted with the little time she had left… she just wanted to…
At that moment, a realization dawned on Abi and she suddenly clenched her fists tightly.
Alex paused and looked at her. "What? You don't like the way I read?" he asked and Abi jolted back to the present. She blinked away the tears, unclenched her fists, and looked up at him. When she saw the lines on his forehead, Abi quickly cleared her throat.
"Ahem… actually, your voice seems a little different than usual. It was so nice that I was lost in thought listening to you." She grinned and Alex glanced at the book for a while before looking at her again.
"What do you mean, different?"
"I mean, your voice sounds even more pleasing when you're reading. Now, please continue," she told him, still smiling, and Alex just stared at her for a moment before he finally returned his focus to the book.
""When I saw Hina walk down the aisle, my heart nearly stopped beating. She was so beautiful and in that moment, I couldn't wait to call her my wife, to be the man that she wanted me to be, to fill her life with so many amazing memories of our life together, no matter how short it might be.""
For some reason, Alex took a short pause.
Abi looked up at him with questions in her eyes but the man's expression remained the same. However, the look in his eyes visibly changed. For a moment, she saw his pupils dilated. Abi blinked and and frowned a little but before she could speak, Alex continued again.
""Just as my dearest Hina wished, at sunset at a secluded garden with just less than a hundred guests, our hearts and souls were merged into one. We became husband and wife.""
Alex paused again. This time, a little longer.
"Alex?" Abi called out softly and the man glanced down at her.
Abi opened the book and gave the book to him.