Finish Me

Lily Gontard

I have excuses: I’m manic, I’m hormonal, I may need to talk to my handsome doctor about a prescription. I’m in the middle of chapter 2 of One Day by the British writer David Nicholls (Hodder & Staughton) and I’m bawling my eyes out. I’ve had to put the book down. Light from my reading lamp reflects off the embossed blue metallic print: ONE DAY, in caps, shines from the cover. “Finish me,” it encourages, a bit menacingly.

In part 1, I was uninterested in the main characters, Emma and Dexter (Em ’n’ Dex, Dex ’n’ Em), and I’m not sure why I kept reading. But in part 2, I developed a collegial friendship with them, and they made me laugh out loud in a coffee shop (a friend referred to me as the crazy lady reading the book in the corner). In part 4 I got bored and began skimming over sentences and paragraphs.

The book chronicles the lives of Emma and Dexter, who meet up and make out on their university graduation night. It’s July 15, St. Swithin’s Day, and every chapter that follows takes place on July 15 and tells of Dexter’s, Emma’s or their shared life, which continues for decades as a deep and loyal friendship. The book was made into a movie starring Anne (if you squint, I could be Audrey Hepburn) Hathaway and Jim (who?) Sturgess.

I am still a bit confused by the reference to St. Swithin’s Day, a weather-watching day with a saint who is associated with apple crops. St. Swithin, apples, forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve, garden of Eden, Dex ’n’ Em… Postscript: I dried my eyes and finished chapter 2 and the rest of the book.

Dex ’n’ Em and I are friends again, and I recommend that you get to know them, too.

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Lily Gontard

Lily Gontard is a writer whose fiction, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in magazines including The Puritan, Cirque and Event. She lives in Whitehorse.


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