The First Sight
I showered quickly, braided my hair and pinned it up into a crown. Putting in red heart earrings, I found myself hesitating when I touched the necklace that I found soon after moving here. It had been my mothers when she was my age, and I’d even found a picture of her wearing it. Yet, I felt as if I needed all the luck in the world. I was so nervous I felt I was going to faint. But pushing it away I dressed in nice jeans and a light blue tank top. Grabbing my small bag from a chair by my door I finally walked out of my room and out of the house.
Of course after nearly five years in this town, I’d memorized the streets. You’d think by this time I’d have bought a car, I had my license, yet I didn’t feel a need to get one. I never left the town, and my shop was within walking distance so there was no real reason to buy one. As I pushed open the familiar little shop door, I smiled when I looked around. The carpenters had finished the spiral carved staircase, all the intricate little designs in perfect place. The light blue roof blending into the purple walls with swirls coming down into it. The floor a perfect white marble type tile.
I couldn’t resist running my fingers along the bookcase as I walked towards the counter. I knew the entire upper level had been converted into a large reading room, whether for reading to children, or just selecting a book and lounging all day. I’d already hired three waitresses to take care of serving small cakes and such as well as drinks if anyone should like to eat here. The first floor looked like a small library, and I loved it. I walked into the back room to double check if I had everything needed for the day and to unlock the backdoor for the girls to get inside.
Walking back to the front area I opened the door and flipped the small sign that read “Grand Opening!” It was a fairly nice day and I knew I wouldn’t really have need of the air-conditioning quite yet. It was still early spring and I found myself correcting the placement of some books or the small floral arrangements on each table as I waited. Of course I heard when the girls all showed up together just a few minutes early. I didn’t feel like interrupting as they were discussing some end of school party at the lake.
I was just helping get the girls situated when our first customer arrived. I immediately recognized the man to be my dead aunt’s lawyer. Having not seen him since I first came here I was surprised when he had a bright smile and was simply coming by to congratulate me on the work I’d done here. After a very light, one armed hug he left after ordering a coffee to go. I couldn’t help smiling at his being my very first customer. To add on I’d be finishing my final year of college this year and getting my online degree. Which would allow me to take my future farther if my shop didn’t work out.
Having moved upstairs to finish organizing the few shelves there, I hadn’t noticed when people started arriving. Though most were the graduates and came simply to hang out with their friends, I was surprised that they were oddly very quiet. Shaking the thought of checking on them, I finished my work quickly before going down to grab my bag. That’s when I noticed him. A tall, dark haired men in his mid twenties by my guess. Standing off by one of the windows as if waiting for someone.
I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit odd when he smiled at me. A light blush coming to my face I smiled back before turning and moving back to the counter to inform the girls I’d be out for a few hours to finish going through all the things I needed to sell still. I couldn’t believe it had taken me this long just to sort through everything in my aunt’s house.
With a soft sigh I left the store, though had an odd feeling I was being followed. Sure enough when I turned the corner going towards my aunt’s house, I saw the same man from the store following me. Though he looked as if he was slightly lot, I simply brushed it off as my paranoia. When I reached my house, I was quick to go inside, as I realized the man had turned somewhere else and disappeared.
I still hadn’t finished going over my aunt’s house, though I suppose now I should refer to it as my own. Somehow I simply couldn’t, I hadn’t even bought my own furniture, or repainted any rooms yet. It wasn’t really my home. Though I had confined all the things I’d yet to go through into one rom and only had a few boxes left, it was mostly old clothes, journals and such from my mother’s childhood.
Just as I was starting into one of the boxes I heard an echoing knock from my front door. Sighing as I climbed back to my feet and walked out to the main area, I had this odd feeling like I was in the middle of a horror movie and a masked killer was waiting for me to open the door. Shaking the thoughts I opened the door with a smile on my face, however, it faded as soon as I saw the same man who’d followed me from the shop. Finding my voice I said very softly, “Is there something i can help you with?”
He smiled and held out his hand, “I’m Kaden. Kaden Evans. I’m actually looking for the owner of this house. You see I’m a Senior at the community college, and I have this essay to look into some of the oldest standing buildings in the town.”
Though I didn’t shake his hand, he eventually dropped it back to his side. “I am the owner.” I said simply. Though thinking for a moment as my fears left me, I let a faint smile return to my lips. I couldn’t quite be certain if it was from the soft, and calming sound of his voice, or the look of innocence in his Emerald green eyes, but in that moment I seemed to melt. “I’m Alexa Monroe. Actually I hadn’t realize this house was one of the oldest standing in the town.” Stepping back slightly I gestured for him to come in.
Stepping in he nodded and only seemed to smile more, “Oh yes, it’s actually the oldest. You see, it still has much of its original framework and has only been repaired through the years, never truly rebuilt. So, in a way, you’re kind of living in a museum of the town so to speak.”
I smiled a bit more at his way of explaining, “Well I’d be happy to help as much as I can with your essay research, though to be honest I don’t know much about the house myself. See, I inherited from an aunt I never knew a few years back and never looked into it any farther.”
He was looking around the main floor, and I wasn’t certain he’d even heard me until he turned back to me, “Oh, that’s alright. I actually have most of the research I need from town records. I was actually just hoping I might be able to take a few pictures around the house. Maybe even rent a room from you for a few days to study the staircase designs, and the woodwork itself?”
I nodded, “I’m sure something could be arranged. Though I’ve still yet to furnish most of the rooms, I’m sure there’s one or two that could be cleaned up easily enough. Thy don’t you come back in a few days and we’ll arrange for you to stay and take a few pictures, and study the architecture.”
His smile seemed to widen, like that of a child that had just received a puppy at Christmas. “I’d love that. Thank you very much Miss Monroe. Say, I’ll be back in 2 days with my camera and a few nights worth of clothes?”
I nodded as I found myself following him back towards the main door, “That sounds perfect.”
He nodded quickly and about bolted out the door after opening it. Pausing at the end of the walk to wave and smile again before he started jogging back in the direction of the main library, community college, and a few other odd buildings in town. I couldn’t seem to believe someone would be staying in the house with me, for a simple essay nonetheless. Shrugging it off, as I now felt at ease about having been watched before I returned inside and went back to my work. Knowing I’d need to clean a room for my soon to be guest.
(To be continued . . .)