finally got off my butt and finished reading

I feel... I dunno, I guess it's just that weird emptiness you feel when you finish reading a book and there's no more to read

you spend so long immersing yourself in this story and knowing and thinking and feeling these characters and arcs

you laugh and cry and love and hate and a part of yourself becomes dedicated to this story and then...

the story is gone, and it's back to our normal lives. no more of it taking up space in your brain


and yet, the story isn't really gone, is it?

it's still there, everything is always there. even when the plot comes to an end, the story and the world and the characters all continue existing

not in any "real" ongoing sense, of course, but more in the way that they continue influencing you and keep being a part of you. the stories and the characters all carry on in your memories

it's more obvious if you're into fanfics, but they never really stop being there just because you reached the end

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