After paying, I grabbed my coffee from the counter and bid the young man that stood smiling invitingly on the opposite side, farewell. The door opened as a middle- aged man in a black four- piece suit entered and I slipped through the crack just before it closed behind me with a subtle bang. The cool autumn air hit me suddenly, chilling me under my black wool jacket. Goosebumps began to rise as I approached my car, pocketing my keys and unlocking the door.
It's only six in the morning on this December day, and it's unusually cold at around fifty- four degrees. Already there's traffic on the roadways as people unhappily hurried their tired bums from a long weekday of work, probably excited about the weekend to come. I sighed as I drove my silver Durango and passed yet another car wreck on the roadway. People should have learned by now that it's much safer to drive slowly after a hard night of rainfall. Carelessness caused nothing but damage. It must have been two hours before I arrived at my planned destination, Georgina's Bookstore.
Entering the small shop, I tossed the empty coffee cup into the trash- can and headed for the sale's counter with a smile. Already wide-eyed and smiling proudly was an elderly woman in her early seventies. She's Georgina, the owner of the bookstore and she just happened to be my lovely grandmother. She's the exact resemblance of my mother, or maybe it's the other way around. I see nothing of myself in her appearance. Perhaps it's because I took much more of my father's DNA because I hold a very strong resemblance to my father's mother, someone I've only seen in pictures. And from a picture of her at age nineteen, which was also my age now. She and I could have passed as twins.
"Hello grandmamma!" I greeted her as I became wrapped in her warm embrace. "Why are you here so early?" I asked, pulling back and brushing a few strands of gray hair from her face.
"I wanted to spend some time in the store and see how it's doing. Not that I don't trust your mother to take care of things, it's just an old woman like myself needs to do something or other, if not, I might just go insane for lack of any social life." Even as she was saying this, her blue eyes twinkled with laughter as her thin lips pursed into a smile. "What, might I ask, are you doing here so early? Don't you have to go to school my dear?"
I smiled down at my grandmother and shook my head. "I have a free day today. My only class was cancelled due to the fact that the professor is out sick and so is his assistant. I thought I would come by before the mall is open to see how mom and aunt Ginny are doing." I took a step back from my grandmother and looked around the shop. Books were neatly shelved and the place looked absolutely wonderful, almost better than the Barnes and Noble I spend a lot of time in. "I know I might be written out of your will for saying this, grandma, but might I suggest adding an eatery to this place? Serving coffee would even be good, just to spice it up a bit and bring in new customers."
Grandma chuckled, but never replied. Instead she walked to the back of the store and disappeared into a room. Silently, I followed her, entering a familiar room. Sitting on a couch was my Aunt Ginny, her nose stuck in a romance novel, my mother, Gloria, sat at a desk, looking over a thin pile of papers. She paused however, as I entered the room, taking her reading glasses off her nose and placing it carelessly on the desk, she got up and hurried over to me, her arms out and her smile bright.
"How are you doing?" She cried, squeezing me tight, maybe too tightly. "I didn't expect to see you today!"
My aunt heard my mother and immediately put down her book as she too came over to me. I know it's been awhile since I saw any of them, seeing as I've been so caught up in my studies at school. I hardly had time to see anyone. It toke about three hours to drive from school to visit family and sometimes my family wasn't home on weekends, so I usually just saw them on Christmas vacation, which would be in a few days. I just had a couple of exams to finish up before I could pack my things for a month free from school.
I must have spent an entire hour just speaking to my mother, aunt, and grandmother. I was on the verge of telling them about the school's upcoming production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers when the bell over the door chimed, informing us of a customer. "You three just go back to rest, I'll take care of this." I told them, getting up and walking out of the room. I walked quite a way before I reached the numerous bookshelves and heard a deep male's voice calling out. "Hi, how may I help you?" I asked, before coming out from behind a shelf of mystery books.
When I finally did come out, my eyes fell on the young man leaning on the sales counter. He had his back to me, but from my point of view, he was tall, muscular built and very tan from the skin that peeked through the black leather jacket, which I hope was faux leather, he's wearing. "Hi, I was wondering if you could help me find a book I was looking for." He turned around as he spoke and my breath was caught in my throat as his face became revealed to me, "you? What are you doing here?"
I grimaced at his tone and turned my face away from him. "I have a reason to be here, you on the other hand have none." Turning to him, I returned the glare from his green eyes.
"How are things going?" Grandma asked as she came out of the room. She emerged from the books moments later and smiled as she recognized him. "My, my, two surprises in one morning!" She cried, walking over to HIM and giving HIM a hug. "Benjamin! You do remember my granddaughter Kalliyan, do you not? I do believe she goes to the same university as you do. Same major if I do remember correctly."
Groaning, I picked up my black messenger bag and swung it over my shoulders. "I have to go grandma; can you tell mom I'll call her later? Bye!" With a quick peck on her cheeks, I left her shop in hurried paces without a second glance at her customer. "That bastard!" I muttered.
"Did you just call me?" A very familiar deep voice asked in a whispered voice into my ears. I whipped my head around to see HIM walking beside me, a smirk on his face. "Why'd you walk out so quickly? Afraid you might get weak between the knees? That you might kiss me?"
"Not in a million years Benji." I snarled back before getting into my car and driving off, leaving him standing alone, and a stupid smirk on his face. My windows were rolled down as I drove past him. "Get your head out of your arse!"
He raised an eyebrow and his smirk only grew. "Get a personality other than bitch!" He retorted back. I gritted my teeth in anger and sped away.
[Edited thanks to Andrea Faded Soulfire.]