Kerry Lee and the writer

By Paulo Coelho

After delivering a lecture in Brisbane, Australia, I am leaving the auditorium in order to go and sign copies of my books. It is late afternoon, but the weather is so warm that the organisers have placed the table for the book-signing outside the library building.
People come over and chat and, even though I am far from home, I do not feel like a stranger: my books precede me and show my feelings and emotions.
Suddenly a twenty-two-year-old woman approaches, pushes her way through the line of people and faces me.
‘I was too late for the lecture,’ she says, ‘but I have a few important things I would like to say to you.’
‘I’m afraid that won’t be possible,’ I reply. ‘I’ll be signing books for another hour and then I have a supper to go to.’
‘Oh, it will be perfectly possible,’ she says. ‘My name is Kerry Lee Olditch. I can tell you what I have to say right here and now, while you’re signing books.’
And before I can say or do anything, she gets a violin out of her rucksack and begins to play.
I continue signing books for more than an hour, to the sound of Kerry Lee’s music. The people do not leave, they stay behind for this unexpected concert, watching the sun go down and understanding what it was she needed to tell me and which she is now telling me.
When I have finished, she stops playing. There is no applause, nothing, only an almost palpable silence.
‘Thank you,’ I say.
‘Everything in this life is a matter of sharing souls,’ says Kerry Lee.
And just as she came, she leaves.

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