Wednesday, September 19, 2012

the enemy's gate is down

I still remember the first time I opened Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. 


A few months prior, I had gone to the bookstore with my mother in hopes of finding a new book to read. I had read each book on my shelf too many times to count and was bored with my school librarian's suggestions. We asked a young woman working at the bookstore to help me find something. She went from children's book to children's book, asking which I had read. "I've already read that," I replied each time she pulled a different book from the shelf. Finally, clearly annoyed and flustered that I had supposedly read everything that she recommended, she pulled me over to the science fiction. She shoved Ender's Game at me and said, "you have NOT read this one, I guarantee it." Indeed, I hadn't. The book sat on my bottom shelf for a few weeks. Then, on my way out of the door for school one day, I grabbed it. I ended up getting into trouble the rest of the day because I couldn't put the book down during my lessons.

Me, around the age of ten:


I continued to read all of Orson Scott Card's books in the Ender and Shadow series. Once, I lent my copy of Ender's Game to a boyfriend. While showing off to some friends, he ripped my beloved and well-worn childhood copy of Ender's Game in half. I was so heartbroken that he shortly thereafter became an ex-boyfriend. On mine and Paul's first date, I told him this story. He mourned with me and promised to never do such a thing to me if I would date him. On our third or fourth date, he brought me a brand new copy of Ender's Game that exactly resembled my first copy. I knew he was special then.

While waiting for the doctor to arrive while I was in labor with Lily, I read Ender's Shadow through my contractions. 


I feel as though Ender has accompanied me (along with a few select other literary characters) through much of my life. I re-read books that are familiar to me for comfort, and I have often turned to Ender's Game seeking peace. Today, I had the opportunity to hear Orson Scott Card speak and had a nice chat with him. For the sake of brevity, I simply told him that my husband had given me this copy of Ender's Game when we were dating and that's how I knew he was special. I showed him my ten year-old handwriting in Ender's Shadow and explained how much his books meant to me.


I smile when I think back to that ten year old nerdy girl in glasses too large for her freckled face and imagine her reaction to the knowledge that she would someday meet Orson Scott Card.

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