City Lounge: London (Book One, Chapter Eleven: The Antique Shop)

Chapter Eleven: The Antique Shop:

We finally made it to the antique store. (Sophie had to about drag me out of the store. I felt like a little kid who didn’t want to leave.) To her delight, that antique was still around and open. I looked at Sophie as we stood at the door.

“Refresh my memory,” I said. “Why do you like this store so much?” Sophie smiled as she rolled back her shoulders.

“They have always had neat things,” she said. “Some of it looks strange and some of it looks beautiful.” She walked inside without a thought. I stood there, blinking.

“Okay then…” I muttered. I still followed her inside.

This place smells like mothballs too. I had never seen so many mirrors in one place either. This store would be every narcissist’s dream. Sophie looks like a happy little child in this place.

“I don’t know where to start,” she said. I shrugged my shoulders as I shoved my hands into my pockets.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Just start wherever.” Sophie walked over to a wall of dolls. I backed up as they stared up with those creepy soulless eyes. A mate of mine’s nan collects those creepy dolls and has them around her house. Around her house, man. Not cool!

I looked around for something else to stare at. What do they have around here again? I rubbed my forehead as I tried to remember. A giant 50’s-style doll house at in the corner of the store. It was made of wood and hand-painted. Old paintings in gold frames decorated the walls. Old Indian rugs hung near the back.

Oh yeah, there is a music section in this store. Good enough.

“Hey, Sophie, I’m going near the music section, okay?” I said.

“Okay!” she said with her back to me. I don’t think she heard me. I went on ahead looking for that  music section. Come on. I know you’re here somewhere. I tried to draw that part of the store in my head. I think it had signed Beatles posters near the back. I will see in a minute. I looked back over my shoulder. Sophie is still lost in those dolls. I tried to push my mate’s nan’s house out of my head. I already had enough glass eyes staring at me today, thank you.

I happened to turn forward when I caught something that made my heart stop. Was I dreaming? I had to pinch myself in the cheek. A replica of the guitar Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock hung on the back wall. My jaw dropped. I know it’s not the real thing, but…

This has to be a dream. There’s no way that something like this is hanging in a run-down shop like this. No words could form in my head or my mouth.

“A beauty, isn’t she?” a voice asked next to me. I turned my head to my right and jumped backwards with a scream. An old man stood, smiling at me.

“I apologize,” he said. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Okay…” I said. I narrowed my eyes as I got a good look at that old man. Something about him looked familiar, but yet it didn’t.

“Hey, are not…?” I began to ask.

“Mr. Andrews?” the old man asked.

“Yeah.”

The old man smiled and shook his head. “No, I’m his older brother.” A puzzled look came over my face. Older… brother?!  How old was Mr. Andrews?!

“Where is Mr. Andrews?” I asked instead.

“Hospital,” his brother said.

“Oh, what’s happened?”

“His blood sugar got too low.”

“Ooo, that’s not good.”

“He’s stable now. I’m running the shop until he gets better.”

I slowly took in everything that I had just learned. “I see. That’s good to know that he’s going to be okay.” Mr. Andrews’ brother turned to that replica guitar.

“My brother had that made for him in Scotland back in the 70’s,” he said.

“You don’t say,” I said.

“It’s not for sell, of course. It’s just for decoration.”

“Of course. Say, do you know where the music antiques are? I haven’t been in this store for god only knows how long.”

“Sure, lad. Come with me.”

I followed Mr. Andrews’ brother around to the back end of the store. I looked up and noticed that Sophie had moved from the dolls and was looking at herself in the various mirrors in the store. She did the same thing on our first date. Before I knew it, I was looking at posters from bands from the 1960’s. It felt like coming home in a way.

“Is this what you were looking for?” Mr. Andrews’ brother asked me.

“Yeah,” I said. “Thanks.” He bowed and walked back to wherever he came from. I let myself get lost in the music memorabilia surrounding me. Sophie can have her dolls and mirrors. Leave me to enjoy all of these walls and walls of beautiful treasure that I will never be able to afford in my life. I began to see why Sophie loved this store so much. Last time we can here, Mr. Andrews had to force us to leave because he had to close.

I pulled out my cell phone and looked at the screen. It’s about five already? We might have to go out and pick up dinner while we’re out. I know she’s off today, but don’t I have work tonight? I ran a quick count of the schedule in my head. It’s Saturday today and I think it’s the second Saturday this month. I think Big Will is on the party shift tonight. I’m too lazy to call and check. This store has always had crap reception, just like the rest of the buildings on this block. I could just go outside and make a call. When I looked up and saw the Clash looking down at me in a poster, I found myself unable to move. My feet stayed glued to the floor and my eyes stayed on that poster.

I bet Mr. Andrews’ brother is going to have to kick us out of here when he has to close.

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