The glass shade was perfect, not a chip on it.
“It was on display,” she said, levelling her eyes at me. “I want a discount.”
It wasn’t even dusty, which was strange.
“You buy everything off display in clothes shops.”
She ignored that.
“Give me a better price.”
“It’s already on sale. I’m not arguing.”
“You think this is arguing?”
I expected her to roll up her sleeves and start punching me.
Perhaps I’d have felt something if she had.
Because I just didn’t care.
I hadn’t cared for days.
The week after the film crew had left, I’d felt empty.
I felt like I’d been left behind.
I thought about new missions, new goals.
I spent an evening weeding our garden aka ‘jungle’.
“I’ll plant vegetables,” I told everyone.
For a few days I focused on finishing my book.
‘We’ll let you know if you need to make any changes,’ the editor replied once I’d sent it.
And the next day I was back behind the counter stringing crystal beads.
Nothing had changed.
I was still a broke shop girl working in her Mum’s shop.
I wanted to curl up and hibernate.
“How are you?” a customer asked.
I could see it happening. I was going to become one of those moody sales assistants, the ones who make your day a little bit worse.
I locked the door of the shop and went upstairs.
I sat on a chair in the office and waited.
Papa told me it was what he used to do when he was younger. He would sit in his armchair until he’d forgotten why he’d felt so wound up in the first place.
I soon realised I’d have to sit there all week if it was going to work for me.
Of course I couldn’t do that because I had a shop to run.
I went downstairs and an elderly lady came in.
“Oh what a shame you’re closing down,” she said, shaking her head. “You’ve been here ages.”
Yes, we had been there ages.
And I was cracking.
It was only a matter of time before I was offered a glass of wine on an empty stomach, which would unleash the wrath of the mighty drama queen that lay dozing within.
A then a man came in with a box.
POT PLANTS, it said.
“It’s not. It’s got to be a lamp,” I told him.
“Maybe it’s a present,” he mumbled, before walking out.
“It’s definitely a lamp,” I said to myself.
I slit the tape and opened up the flaps to find all these leaves stretching up towards me.
Pot plants, for me. Inside was a card signed by my family.
‘To our favourite shop girl...’ it said.
I felt the spark, the familiar glimmer of possibility.
A woman came in to browse.
“Look at my plants!”
She wandered over.
“Oh, very nice,” she said, peering into the box. “Are you selling them?”
“No, I’m going to plant them!”
It’s amazing how one minute the world is ending but the next it’s only just beginning.
Sometimes, you’ve just got to wait a bit.