The clock ticked slowly, rhythmically, and the pages of my new book rustled against each other. The soft purr of my sleeping cat Charlie was smooth and even. My breathing and my heartbeat were keeping time and measure with the ticking clock. My eyes danced past the words, taking each one in and then putting them together. Bells chimed in the distant night, marking the time as midnight.

Why was I still up? I was reading. I was reading a book so powerful and intense that it was hard to put it down. Each page held a new part of the unpredictable story and yet, the words felt familiar. I had a feeling that I had read it before but I still couldn't help feeling the rush of anticipation. I had to keep reading. I had to know the end.

Suspense was building and my heart got ahead of the steady clock. My eyes flicked faster across the page and then suddenly, they froze. My eyes locked on the page, unable to move on to the next line. I didn't know why I had stopped right there at that particular spot until I reread the sentence. It was familiar. It was even more familiar than any of the other words of this book. It was familiar, because I heard it before.

"Time and time again," I whispered to myself, rereading the line again, "we beg for people to see who we really are. We wish we could create the life we want to have."

Where had I heard that before? Why did this particular sentence stick out among the rest? I didn't understand how this book could affect me so much. It made me feel the sensation if up most anticipation, suspension, and confusion all at the same time. It just played with my heart and my mind, making me loathe this book but also making me want to protect and cherish it.

I decided that maybe something that had happened recently would have some odd similarity with this book. So I thought back to my last week trying to remember something that could have a meaning in this situation. I didn't remember talking to anyone about the book and I didn't remember anyone telling me about the book so I know that the familiarity did not come from a discussion about the book. I felt my memories bouncing around in my head as I searched for the answer. When nothing rose to the surface, I looked back to the last paragraph looking deeper into the words. I looked through the words with more care now, looking for clues for this sudden coincidence. Just then, my eyes caught something in the words. It was a name.

"James," I whispered, rereading the paragraph one last time. I know a James. I talked to him yesterday in my science class. Because that is the only class I have with him and with none of my other friends, we decided to spend the time talking about the world and our life.

My head shot up and I dropped the book. I remembered why that line was so familiar. I hadn't heard it anywhere, I had said it! I had said those exact words to James just the day before. I did not know what to think. Was it just a coincidence that I told that line to James and the girl, Lily, in this book said those exact words to James in the book? It had to be. I got this book just today from a thrift store for 5 bucks. I had not gotten extremely far in this book and I said those words way before I even bought it. Coincidence? Had to be.

My mind was so distracted now that I could not read anymore. The words on the page kept swirling and the book kept falling out of my hands because they were shaking so much. I gave up after several attempts and placed my book on the nightstand. The rest of the chapter would have to wait until tomorrow when my body was calm enough to hold the book steady. Right now, I need to get some sleep and prove myself sane.

Turning off my light, I crawled into my bed. I lay there several minutes when I realized sleep was not coming to me. I thought that maybe I would feel better if I opened my blinds and my window to let in some fresh, night air and let the moonlight pour onto my bed. Thinking in the silence, I stared up at the stars, watching them twinkling in the night. For a second I wished that I could sleep on the roof, beneath the wide expanse of stars but reluctantly settled for the small area of window that held the limited amount of stars I could see.

I suddenly realized that I was really tired. My eyes started to droop but I didn't want them to miss out on the sky. The sky thought differently, though. The stars sang to me a lullaby and told me to surrender myself to sleep. I gazed one last time longingly out to the stars and I obeyed.