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The Magical Notebook


By Melanie RosePublished 3 years ago 8 min read

I was clearing off my last table of the night when I found a little black notebook hiding underneath a napkin.

It was a classic Italian leather-bound hardcover notebook. It had an elastic closure, smooth rounded corners, and a matching black bookmark ribbon tucked inside crisp ivory pages, along with a convenient pocket in the back of the book. It was actually quite beautiful and very simply elegant.

I opened it up to see if there was anything written inside, but all the pages were blank and untouched. There was a square emblem made up of eight small squares and a capital M in the top left space on the inside cover.

I knew immediately that this was a Moleskine notebook and definitely not something someone would want to be left behind, so I took it over to the lost and found box under the counter and placed it in there. The customer who left it here would surely be back for it!

I continued to finish cleaning my table and the others in my section so I could go home for the night.

"Sara, is this your notebook?" Tammy, another waitress, asked as she was reaching under the counter for her bag.

"No, I found it on one of the tables," I replied as I finished wiping down the last table.

"Are you sure? It has your name on it." She said as she picked it up out of the box and placed it on the counter.

"What? No, I just put that in there, and it didn't have anything on it." I replied as I grabbed the notebook from the counter to check it myself.

When I looked down at the black leather cover again, there it was stamped into the cover.

I just stood there staring at it for a minute, trying to make sense of what I was looking at. Tammy shrugged her shoulders and said, good night.

"Are you finished, Sara? I want to lock up." Carl, our manager, said, snapping me back into reality.

"Um. Yea. Sorry. I am finished." I stammered as I grabbed my bag from under the counter and followed Tammy out the front door.

The last few months have been somewhat of a blur. I had spent the past three years since I graduated high school taking care of my sick mother. She was diagnosed with cancer right before I was about to leave for college.

My whole world turned upside down, and things got hard very quickly. My dad couldn't take it, so he bailed right before my mom started her treatment, so I gave up my scholarship and stayed home to care for her.

Then almost four months ago, she passed away. We had sold just about everything to pay for her treatment, including our house, so I was left with basically nothing and no one when she passed.

Now, I lived in a small apartment with three loud, obnoxious roommates in what you could call an oversized closet as my bedroom while working at a local restaurant as a waitress.

I collapsed on my bed with the notebook as soon as I got home.

My eyes widened when I saw that there was now writing in the notebook that I know was not there before.

All of this was so strange, but what did I have to lose by playing along. Nothing could be worse than living as I have been.

When I went to sleep that night, I let my mind wonder what the gift could be and how it would be made just for me. The notebook did have my name on it, so maybe it knew things about me, perhaps even more than I knew.

I lost a lot of myself while taking care of my mom. I became consumed with every detail of her treatment and trying to hold everything together for her.

After she passed, I didn't know how to think about myself or had any clue what to do next. So, I found a place to live that I could afford and a job I could get.

The next morning, I woke up feeling something I had not felt in a long time.


It may just end up being a silly game that leads to nothing, but somehow it still gave me something I could look forward to.

I leaped out of bed and opened the notebook to see what kind of puzzle I would have to solve.

To my surprise, it was a crossword puzzle.

I felt a tear well up in the corner of my eye. Crossword puzzles were my mom's favorite. She carried one with her to every treatment, reading the clues to me to help her solve them.

When she became too sick to fill them in herself, I took over for her.

I have not been able to do one since.

I wiped the tear away from my eye and took a deep breath before I read the first clue underneath the puzzle.

4 across – A young women's magazine title

I counted nine open spaces and sat back on my bed to think about the answer. I ran down the list of magazine titles I could think of off the top of my head. It wasn't very many.

After I concluded that none of them fit, I got dressed and headed to the closest newsstand to see if I could narrow it down.

There were so many options. Almost too many, but after a few minutes, I found it!

I scribbled in the answer and stared at the page, hoping the next clue would appear instantly.

When it didn't, I closed the notebook and figured I better head to work before I was late, and Carl handed me a new one.

I arrived just as the morning rush was dying down. I was working a double today and groaned at the thought of being here until closing.

Just before I put the notebook away, I took a peek to see if the next clue had appeared, and my eyes light up when I saw that it had.

3 down – Nothing at all

While I worked the lunch shift, I tossed the clue around in my head, searching for the answer that could fill four spaces.

It wasn't until I was closing out the last lunch check that the answer was literally right in front of me.

On my break, I put the answer into the puzzle and waited for the next clue to appear.

5 down – A pair

I knew the answer to this one the minute I read it and quickly filled it in.

"Sara, can you get table 3?" Carl asked impatiently.

"Sure," I said reluctantly. I slid the notebook into my apron and went to greet them.

After they had their drinks and put their order in the computer, I cracked open the notebook to check for the next clue.

1 down – Dick, Batman's Robin

I furrowed my brow because I honestly had no idea. I let the clue swirl around in my brain all through the dinner rush.

As I was rolling silver after closing, I remembered that Carl was a big comic book fan. Maybe he would have some idea on the answer.

I read him the clue, and he answered almost immediately, then urged me to finish up so he could go home.

I filled in the blanks and hurried to finish the rest of my side work to please Carl so I could go home to complete this puzzle.

When the next clue appeared, I knew the answer immediately because it was one my mom and I had solved before.

2 down – A picnic spot

I closed my eyes for a moment to think about her. I tried not to do that too often because it just hurt too much, and it would remind me that I am all alone in the world without her.

When the last clue appeared, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach jump around in anticipation of the completed puzzle.

2 across - Any location.

With the rest of the puzzle complete, it wasn't hard to narrow down the last answer.

I smiled at my accomplishment and then wondered what next?

I assumed the notebook would give me some kind of instruction about my gift now that the puzzle was complete, so I waited.

I waited so long that I fell asleep right on top of the notebook.

When I woke up the next morning, I could feel the excitement run through my whole body even though I still wasn't sure what my gift would be.

I picked up the notebook that was still sitting on my lap and read the message that had appeared.

After I arranged the words, I wasn't quite sure what they meant.


I lifted the notebook to get a better look when something fell out of the notebook's back pocket.

It was a key. I picked it up, and the numbers 1702 were written on it.

"1702," I read aloud.

Maybe it's an address?

I pulled out my phone and typed it in, and sure enough, it was an address to a building on the other side of town.

I quickly got dressed and hopped on the next bus.

When I arrived at the apartment building, I found my way to number 1702. I stood in front of the door, just staring at the numbers. I tried to prepare myself for whatever might be on the other side of the door, but I have no idea what to expect.

Then I placed the key in the lock and turned the knob slowly. The door opened up to a beautiful loft apartment that was empty except for a classic black leather backpack sitting in the middle of the room.

I slowly picked up the bag and unzipped the metal Moleskine Logo zipper pull to see what was inside.

In that leather, Moleskine backpack was a stack of cash that amounted to $20,000 with some papers on top of it.

The paper was a lease made out in my name with a receipt that showed it was paid for the entire year.

I was speechless. Who would do this for me? And for just solving a silly crossword puzzle?

Just then, the notebook slipped out of my hand and fell to the ground open to a new page with a fresh letter written on it.

I bent down to pick it up when I recognized the handwriting the letter was written in. Then my legs gave out, and I collapsed to the floor.

The tears began to pour out of my eyes and dripped all over the letter as I read it.

immediate family

About the Creator

Melanie Rose

Writing can free your soul. At least it does for me. I am an artist and a mother first, but writing gives me an outlet to let my brain wander and create stories to expand my artwork in a whole new way! Follow me @melanierosecreates

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