Sometimes Susan dreamed of being far away, in a world she’d never encountered where nobody told you how to live your life or who you could love or be friends with.
Sometimes she woke from a dream where the table was empty, the precious book having vanished along with its thick glass covering, and she was responsible.
“It’s not my fault!” she would plead to the assembled masses. Sometimes they were faceless. Other times it was her mother, or her father, or her teachers, or the gardeners, whose faces stared back at her sorrowfully.
That was worse.
“But you’re the Guardian,” their voices would echo, “Of course you’re responsible.”
Then she’d wake up and see the slim volume lying on its solid plinth, yellowed pages open at the day’s reading, and she wouldn’t know whether to be glad or sorry. It was such a small and simple object to rule all their lives with its strange ideas of love and life that had nothing to do with the House and its cold stone walls and strict patterns.
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