Inspirational Drama

"you're late"

 "it’s just 15 sec past 9:00"

 "well then you must have been here before 15 sec"

 "Why do you run this shop anyway, you are not spending 2 minutes to sell a book to me"

 "Sorry mam, its gods rule, life is the way it has to be, better luck tomorrow"

 "well sir, I don't think there is tomorrow, that's what my god told on his rule book. And to make it clear it's my 7th time trying to be here before 9:00 for the book which costs less than 2 dollars"

 "if you need it, you will be back, until then, good

night mam", he said pushing his right eyebrow up and with a smile. 

 "I am not coming back sir and thank you for your service" I shouted back, as he started making his way down the road giving me a smile which irritated me a lot.

 The very next day,

 "sir I think I am here before closing"

 "yes indeed," he said nodding his head and with a smile. I really wanted to say him that I am not really a fan of his smile.

 "name your book mam?"


 "did you come across someone wearing a red-blue jacket on your way here," he asked writing something on a register.

 "yes, I saw him near the bakery on the crossroad"

 "he took the last print"

 "Really, you have to do this to me, do you have anything on me, why are you getting on my nerves?"

 "sorry mam that is how the system works", he told that having a smile.

 "so you really want to get on my nerves, I told you the name of the book three times....."

 "when you were late"

 "yes when I am late!!, so what? why can’t you save a copy for me? I cancelled all my plans to come here"

 "you will have your time, wait patiently", he smiled.

 "you are smiling only at me or at all the other customers who return disappointed not getting the book?", I yelled.

 "Don’t get upset, I have ordered the book, I will receive it by tomorrow eve and you can get it by tomorrow before 9:00"

 "do you really think I will come back here"

 "yes mam, I do", he pushed his eyebrows up, with a smile.

 I got nothing to talk or yell so I moved back, seeing him

smile. It was purely irritating so I moved forth and asked “why are you always smiling, don’t you feel sad for me”, I felt bad for asking that, but I had to.

 “My wife… once… said me to simile!...”

 “Go on, continue…”

 “That’s it, mam, she liked me the way I am now”

 “That’s it, really, she once told you to smile, so you smile,

even when some third person loses someone?”

 “Yes mam”, he said smiling.

 Well, I have nothing to say to that, "Make sure you have the book tomorrow, I will be back", I said walking out of the shop. For the next two days, I was not able to be on time, then he closed the shop for three days, I was really pissed off so, I again started searching for it online and other book shops. My ex-boyfriend again tried to

have a connection with me, which made me grave for that book. I don’t want to miss that today so I took a half-day leave from the office, I used all my leave, I took this leave saying that I have a medical emergency. I entered the shop, the old man's place was occupied by some guy in his thirties. I asked him about the old man,

 “where is the old man who used to be here?”

 “he is opening a new book shop on the 5th cross” he replied

organising the bookshelf.

The stubborn old guy managed to open his next branch. Looks

like he is good at something too, for the next ten minutes my brain was thinking about how he opened the next shop.

 “what are the two rounds in the map,” I asked about the picture

hanging in front of the door.

 “the round at the bottom is this shop, and one at the top is

the location of the second one he is opening today, do you need anything”, he gave a fishy look. I really need to see how the new shop looks, the guy said that many books are moved to the new shop, the book I needed went with it too, and also I have nothing to do for the rest of the day. On the way to the shop, a kid gave me a flyer that said

 "Welcome to KELLY KARL'S BOOK STORE on 5th cross"

 "What?? Is he the author? or does he runs the author's

store? or is he opening his store in the name of the author?

 Everything was running on my head, I walked faster, No I was

running to know the things happening there. 

 I saw chaos before the store, there is no way I can get in.

They had a display showing the number of books left, the book for which I was there was sold faster. I jumped and shouted to get one, the qty reduced from 25 to 10 in just five min. I started jumping over a tall man, but he felt shy to push the crowd. 

 It reduced to 5, I went crazy, I pushed everyone I saw, a girl fell dogging herself, the chaos took a break as everyone looked at me. 

 "I didn't do it, he did it", I blamed a skinny kid next to me. As everyone concentrated towards that girl, I tried to sneak in,

but all I did was 2, I still got 20 people to cross, I am pretty sure I am not making it. I got back and sat on the bench straight opposite the store and waited to see the book’s number going down. As I am already there, I waited there so that I can know the mystery behind the store’s name.

As the time passed 8:00 the crowd reduced and by 8:45 the crowd totally vacated the place. I can go in, but what if he is the author of the book, it will feel awkward. I just walked back and forth the whole time. Finally, he came out to close the store, suddenly he got me by surprise, showing an action which said me to wait he went inside the store. He got me a package, crossed the road, and sat on the bench I spent the last 23 hours on. He also asked me to sit.

“Sorry sir, I got angry without knowing who you are!”, I started the conversation.

“what if I am not, how do the old man feel? you know what is the hardest and sweetest at the same time?” 

I gave him a gaze saying “writing a book!!”

He smiled and said “it's life, it’s the hardest thing to think and sweetest thing to live, so live”, he said grabbing the book I was asking him for the past 20 days. He continued “I once said you the reason for my smile, those words were the last words of my wife, it's hard to follow that, but I tried, over 500 people cross my store, I smile at everyone, over 300 smile back, that might make their day, at least 3 of them share their story with me, a smile is the costliest thing which can be generated most cheaply. Emotions are contagious, you cry they cry, you sad they feel sad, you smile, they smile back, however, the day was for them, so smile” 

I got nothing to say but to see how true he was. There was a bookmark on the last page of the book, which had an “every emotion are contagious, a smile is one of it too” quote in it. Something was written in there,

“you did good in the first chapter, move on with the second one” with a signature down as KELLY KARL'S. 

I turned to see the first chapter, which had a name as “pick a fight with someone who cannot fight back”, and now I think about it I gave my brain to the old man and the book more than my ex-boyfriend for the past two weeks. 

The second he latched the store, my phone alarm shouted it 9:00 P.m.

December 24, 2021 18:07

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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