The Last Page

Recently I finished a serialized story which I was hoping would end soon. In fact, I would say that I was eagerly waiting for its last chapter; not because I liked it, but because it got extremely boring and I started to hate it.

So why was I reading it? Because I wanted to know the ending.

The problem with following a serialized story is that once I spend a long time on it, I have to continue it. I take up a serialization only after quite a few chapters have been released and it has thoroughly captivated me. But then, once I have invested so much time on it, if I grow to hate it, I am unable to drop it because I need to know what happens in the end.

The serialization I recently finished is the most recent proof of the above. When I started reading it, it was probably one of the best stories I had read. Then somewhere along the way, it changed from being an amazing story to a crappy one in which I was not interested — AT ALL! By the winter of 2012-13 (in the Northern Hemisphere), I was anxiously waiting for the serialization to end and when my wish was granted, I rejoiced on the news of its end as if they were the best news in the world. Going by how much I had ended up hating it, I did not really look forward to the last chapter (or any chapter before it). It was just something I wanted to read so I could put a big, figurative “THE END” on a story I had started.

I just finished the story a short while ago…which is why I am writing this post. I expected that my utterance on reading the last word of such an “anticipated” end would be “FINALLY!” but I was astonished to feel…sad. It felt like a parting; I felt as if a part of my life is over. I was really surprised when, while reading the last line on the last page, I felt depressed and thought, “It’s over…and now there will be no more…”

This is not the first time I felt sad over the end of a story (Harry Potter comes to mind. Fullmetal Alchemist as well), but this is the first time I felt like this over something I had grown to hate. That is what shocked me most because I had complained about it so many times to a fellow reader and I said it out loud – many times – that I wanted it to end. But I suppose because I liked it a lot when it started and I liked it for a long time after that as well, that memory remained with me even after I consciously decided that I disliked it immensely. I always made time for it even after the change from like to dislike and I would go back to see how far the story had progressed once every few months, so I think this feeling of loss is understandable.

Well, one learns something new everyday and now I know that the loss one feels at the end of a good book is not just dependent on the quality of the book, but it is also affected by the time one invests on a story. And the fact that reading the last page is akin to being separated from a dear friend does not make it a fun realization at all!

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