I started reading romance novels from junior secondary school. At the time, I read them because it filled my lazy hours, then I read them because there were many of them available and I was a fast reader.
When I got to senior secondary however, I started reading the novels because I wanted what the characters had: the fiery chemistry, the love story, the happily ever after.
Nora Roberts became a fairy god-mother, she could make any story possible: between a warrior and a debutante; between royalty and peasantry; between an idealist and a realist; between two people of totally different worlds. Knights in shiny armours and damsels in distress.
And so I began to dream.
That somehow, I would find a teenager like myself that would sweep me off my feet. As tomboyish as I was, I chose to believe that there was someone who would be interested in me enough to make me want to exchange my bounce for a swirl.
I moved from Nora Roberts to Harlequin to Mills and Boons to every other name possible. I began to look for books by certain people instead of the publishing company. It became a sacred duty to read a romance novel with awe and reverence.
Years after, as I write this, I’m reading a romance Novel by Nora Roberts, one of her ‘two-in-one’s. It strikes me that the stories can be so different, yet so the same: there is always a meeting point, then a conflict, then a resolution.
I take it upon myself now to wonder if they ever make it to the end or they join the statistics of divorced couples in the world. But of course, I’ll never know.
I don’t know when I lost the reverence for romance novels, maybe it was when I raised my head and decided to write one for myself: one with more realism than dreams.
Or maybe it was when I decided that my Knight had to be excellent for me, and not just one whose character was tailored after a ‘Hunter Brown’ or a ‘Shade Clyde’ or some other name that had no connection with the roots I constantly try to relate to.
I will write my own romance story. After all, I have started writing letters to my future husband.