“Come here, little girl. I know what you want, little girl.” It was a rustling voice, scratchy and dry. It made Coraline think of some kind of enormous dead insect. Which was silly, she knew. How could a dead thing, especially a dead insect, have a voice?
She walked through several rooms with low, slanting ceilings until she came to the final room. It was a bedroom, and the other crazy old man upstairs sat at the far end of the room, in the near darkness, bundled up in his coat and hat.
As Coraline entered he began to talk. “Nothing’s changed, little girl,” he said, his voice sounding like the noise dry leaves make as they rustle across a pavement. “And what if you do everything you swore you would? What then? Nothing’s changed. You’ll go home. You’ll be bored. You’ll be ignored. No one will listen to you, not really listen to you. You’re too clever and too quiet for them to understand. They don’t even get your name right.
“Stay here with us,” said the voice from the figure at the end of the room. “We will listen to you and play with you and laugh with you. Your other mother will build whole worlds for you to explore, and tear them down every night when you are done. Every day will be better and brighter than the one that went before. Remember the toy box? How much better would a world be built just like that, and all for you?”
“And will there be gray, wet days where I just don’t know what to do and there’s nothing to read or to watch and nowhere to go and the day drags on forever?” asked Coraline.
From the shadows, the man said, “Never.”
“And will there be awful meals, with food made from recipes, with garlic and tarragon and broad beans in?” asked Coraline.
“Every meal will be a thing of joy,” whispered the voice from under the old man’s hat. “Nothing will pass your lips that does not entirely delight you.”
“And could I have Day-Glo green gloves to wear, and yellow Wellington boots in the shape of frogs?” asked Coraline.
“Frogs, ducks, rhinos, octopuses—whatever you desire. The world will be built new for you every morning. If you stay here, you can have whatever you want.”
Coraline sighed. “You really don’t understand, do you?” she said. “I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn’t mean anything. What then?”
“I don’t understand,” said the whispery voice.
“Of course you don’t understand,” she said, raising the stone with the hole in it to her eye. “You’re just a bad copy she made of the crazy old man upstairs.”
I'm currently re-reading this book (I got Scribd back again!!) and I came to this scene. It really is true what Coraline says and I think we forget that. Also just because you might get everything you want... that doesn't equal happiness.
[This bit of wisdom from a Children's book (though I believe no matter your age, you should be able to read any book/books shouldn't have age limits) Coraline by Neil Gaiman.]
*Not sponsored:(I'm nobody) For those who don't know, Scribd is an ebook and audiobook subscription service. I really like it! They don't have the largest catalog, but enough to make the price worth it. $8.99 a month, and I think they might have a free trial. Heck, if you read or listen to one book, I believe you got your money's worth. Scribd's worldwide! You'll be able to access Scribd in any country unless local service providers or authorities have blocked it. Please note: not every title is available in every country.
Sharing this, because I wish I had known about it sooner!