I'm really struggling with my NaNoWriMo this year. It's just not meshing. So I began a short story to help get my creative juices flowing. Since I had no post set up for today I thought I'd share it with you. Realize this is a rough draft, and not meant to sound like literature. It's a comedy. What do you think? And no. I am not the girl character. any similarities is purely coincidental.
I fell in love at Goodwill.
I dropped a hanger on the floor. I sighed and rolled my eyes and bent down to pick it up. As I stood up and began hanging the threadbare plaid shirt back onto the hanger I felt the cold winter air come through the door. I turned and looked and there she was. I’d never seen her before, though I felt I should have. She looked like she didn’t belong in a second hand store, and yet she seemed to fit in here as if this was home. She was comfortable.
I watched her walk across the store towards the rack of ladies dresses. Her Irish eyes were bright from the cold, and her cheeks a healthy pink. She wore a grey hat pulled down over her ears, the bronze waves of her hair falling on her shoulders. She pulled off her green mittens and shoved them in the pocket of her brown woolen coat then took her coat off. Her dress was old, but she made it look fresh and new. Her long fingers brushed a lock of hair behind her ear revealing her face to me. It was as if God himself had carved her every feature on the porcelain of her skin. The corners of her mouth curved up making her lips in a perpetual smile. She stomped the rain off her brown boots as she readjusted her pink paisley dress. Cream coloured tights covered her legs and kept her warm. She looked warm. She looked like the kind of girl you’d never have to offer your coat to and who’s hand would always be warm in yours. She was a child of November and relished the cold and I had to talk to her. I had to know her name. She was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen. She was Venus, she was youth, she was beauty, and she was standing right in front of me caressing the contours of a double knit polyester dress.
I tried not to stare, but it was hard not to. I noticed that everyone else who passed her did a double take. She intrigued everyone. But I wanted to watch her. She went through every dress on the rack sometimes pulling something out and looking at from several different angles. Most of the time she would put the dress back, but sometimes she would slouch it over her arm. Then she walked over to the shoes. She looked at each isle going row, by row. She would pick up a shoe, examine it, hold it up to her booted foot and put it back. Then she walked over to the home wares, looking isle by isle, row by row. I watched her moving slowly towards her trying to think of something to say to her, something that would sound intelligent and witty, something that would make her want to know me. She finally made her way back to the very back of the store and began to thumb through the records, going one by one. She took time to examine everything. I walked her way occasionally stopping to look at something I wasn’t really interested in. Finally I walked to the records. I tried to pretend I was looking as I went through them, but really I was watching her. She was nearly done and I know I had to make my move. So I laughed. I didn’t know why I was laughing but I laughed. And she looked up at me with a smile.
“I know. There’s a lot of crap in here. But sometimes you can find a gem or two.” She said. Her voice was lyrical, light, and lovely. It made me smile.
“Yeah. Sometimes I wonder if all these church choirs ever thought they’d end up in Goodwill.” I said hoping I sounded funny. She laughed, thought I wasn’t sure it was in earnest.
“Me too! Beyond that I always wonder who would buy them from Goodwill. Actually I think I have a few from my grandma. I remember her telling about her “recording” days like she’d actually been famous or something. It always made me laugh.” She’d finished her row of records, but began to thumb through it again.
“You gotta love old people.” I laughed and rather abruptly she looked up at me and extended her hand.
“I’m Nan.” I took her hand and shook it lightly. Her hand was warm.
“I’m Ned.” She grinned and laughed hysterically. Her laugh was like a million stars bursting all at once.
“That is too funny! We’re Nancy and Ned! Just like Nancy Drew! I think Nancy Drew was my best friend for most of my childhood.” She smiled with just a hint of sadness. I laughed to try and make her happy again.
“That’s weird! I guess we were meant to meet then!” I chuckled as she looked at her watch.
“I guess so. It was really nice to meet you Ned. I’ll see you around.” she smiled politely and turned to leave. I didn’t want her to go, I wanted her to stay.
“Nan! Do you come here often?” I called as she walked to the register. She smiled and nodded.
“I yeah, I’m here all the time. I come after work. So I’ll see you?” I nodded in reply and smiled. She purchased her items, smiled at me, and left. And I knew I loved her.