On a dim December morning, a man walked down a city avenue. He was a typist, before he came to be in his current job. The typist approached a brick apartment in the old quarter of the city, and mounted the stairs, with a step of purpose. The apartment no longer had the primary service of housing, but instead, a second hand bookshop. The typist entered and was welcomed by a face he had seen twice before - once on his asking for the job, and again for the interview for said position. The face belonged to the clerk, and while he seemed young in countenance, he made up for with a trialled heart.
"Welcome, we must get started." The clerk began. The typist lost not a single breath when the clerk had grabbed him and dragged him through the shelves of the converted apartment, explaining earnestly.
"A book, a single book, contains a story, as I am sure you are well aware of. But what do you think went into making that story? The author's soul, their mind, perhaps. When you sell a book, you give away a piece of someone's being. This is what allures me to dealing with books, and this what you must understand if you wish to fully enjoy your time here. It has what made me stay in the business of retail, even after all you have to go through."
From the front, the door was heard opening yet again. A woman walked in, she was middle aged, but still had enough youth to whip up a fury.
"How dare you!" she shouted, without even taking a look to see if anyone was there. The clerk's mood had been ruined, and he let go of the typist to address the lady's yelling.
"You sell me this book, and you don't even tell me it contains scandalous content? I gave this to my daughter to read, you monster!"
The clerk attempted to politely interrupt her rant to explain his rebuttal: "Ma'am, I myself have not read this book-"
"I don't care! You should know what you are selling!" The lady throws the book over the clerk's head, narrowly missing the typist's feet as the book lands on the floor. She flings the door open, causing it to rebound against the wall then snap shut behind her as she descended the stairs.
The clerk waited a moment before turning back to the typist. "I'm sorry about that. If you don't know already I shall have to tell you about dealing with customers like these, for the future."
"Don't worry," replied the typist. "It will take a lot for me to leave this job."
"Remind me again, why did you leave your last office?" asked the clerk.
"Because the office itself no longer exists, it burned down a month ago."
"I am sorry to hear that."
"That's okay, in a way, there is a silver lining, it made me rethink a lot of things."
"Well, I am glad to hear that."
We now follow the lady from our previous story to her own home, a small house not too far into the suburbs but not too close to the city. The lady returned home, dragging in some groceries behind her, her mind still fraught with rage. Her daughter had seen her in this mood often lately, and eagerly took the bags from her arms as to not further her temper. The lady sat herself at her dinner table, muttering to herself something about wishing things to be the way they were.
The lady calmed herself, carefully regaining her tact in order to talk to her daughter.
"Honey, make sure the table is ready," she ordered, You-know-who is coming for lunch today."
The daughter and the lady set off in their separate duties, awaiting the arrival of a jeweler, who is soon enough knocking at their door. The lady ushered him inside, to a table now ready with a meal. The two, already quite acquainted, skim over their pleasantries.
They begin eating, and for a moment, the lady's eyes wander towards a photograph of a man on the wall.
"These 6 months have seemed longer with him gone, hasn't it?" said the jeweler, when he met her line of sight.
"Yes, they have." she replied. "I have been wondering what to do about myself and my daughter," her eyes now turned toward she, who was silently eating her food.
"Perhaps find another partner, we haven't gotten too old yet."
"No, we haven't," The lady's heart pulses. "Maybe one day I'll find another." she averted her stare from the jeweler, who had unconsciously controlled her full gaze. The jeweler continued eating, oblivious to the lady's discomfort.
They finished their meals and they said their so longs, the jeweler giving a half-hearted excuse to return to his store. He left the lady at her door, where she wonders when she might see him again. She returned inside to her awaiting sofa and sat down, cursing herself over her guilty pleasure.
Now, we visit the jeweler himself. It is later in the day now, and while neighboring shops have closed, his remained open, for the most part because he remained reading a book behind the counter, unaware of his surroundings. That is, until, a customer walked in. A young man rang the entry bell, and the jeweler looked up. The young man reminded him of his own lover in his younger days, simply from the way he sauntered across the room.
"Good evening," welcomed the jeweler, "what can I help you with?"
"I have a watch I'd like you to grade, please. It's a family heirloom." answered the young man.
"I'll take a look." The jeweler took the watch and inspected it. "So what brings you here?" he asked, trying to make conversation.
"A long story, but the short version is that I was a typist, until my building burned down."
"And now you are taking what you can get, I see."
"Well I wish I could help, but you are better off keeping this an heirloom." the jeweler said, handing the watch back to the typist. As the jeweler gave it over, he looked him in the eye, noticing the same color that had charmed him long ago.
"I probably never would have guess that had happened to you if you hadn't told me." he said, continuing.
"Neither would I, in your position." the typist replied.
"Goes to show how much you don't know about the people around you. Have a good evening."