Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (02) Paige Turner’s (Part 05)
On Thursday morning Harry left his office about 10 o’clock and ran through the rain in his borrowed ill-fitting raincoat to the shop.
He had not mentioned his movements the last time he was in the shop and had no reason to think his absence would be noticed.
But strangely it meant something to him that he had missed seeing her.
At Paige Turner’s, Karen, Iris and Graham were bemoaning the return of the unsmiling Paige who had awoken that morning with fresh resolve to return her life back to its previous unadventurous course and not allow herself to be disappointed again.
Having reached the shop Harry just stood outside and stared at the rain streaked windows wondering what the hell he was thinking.
Why would this young woman see him as anything more than just another customer?
“You’re being ridiculous” he said to himself and turned around and started back towards work.
But he only took a few paces before he stopped and returned to the shop.
He stood again looking at the shop and taking a deep breath he said
“Nothing ventured nothing gained” and pushed open the door
Paige was feeling wretched and made everyone’s morning miserable.
She had placed the copy of “The Pathfinder” by the till and resolved that should he come in again she would give him the book and that would be an end to it, after all he was just another customer.
Paige sighed and headed towards the back of the shop, Karen and Iris kept their heads down as she passed them and when Graham appeared from the store room and saw her coming his way he performed an immediate u-turn, then she heard the door open behind her and she sighed again and prepared to deliver a withering look upon the person responsible for the intrusion.
“Harry” she said when she saw him and instantly her sternness melted away “er Mr. Edwards I mean”
“No please Harry is fine” he replied and returned her smile
“I have your book” Paige said producing it like an exhibit in a court case.
“Oh great” he said “I’m only sorry I couldn’t come in for it yesterday Miss Rawlins”
“Please call me Paige,” she said coyly
He then went on to explain in depth all the ins and outs of his previous day and why he hadn’t come to the shop.
Which was all done in the inner sanctum of her office over a mug of coffee.
“She’s never had a guest in her office before” Iris whispered as she and Karen listened through the door.
“And she’s laughing” Karen said in disbelief
An hour after he arrived he left the shop and walked back towards his office with the book tucked under his arm and more importantly than that, a date with Paige for the following evening.
So it was on a bright Friday evening in May, just one short week after his first rain soaked visit to the antiquated bookshop that was Paige Turner’s.
When inside the bookshop he had found the dusty tome that was Paige Rawlins, just like any other dusty tome amidst many others on the shelf
But she had been rebound and the dowdy bookish young woman was transformed.
Harry took her hand and led her from the shop and she stepped out from the narrow confines of her stale and musty domain and rejoined the world of infinite possibilities with her heart full of hope and not a little trepidation.
Thanks to Harry it was now her turn to live life rather than to read about other peoples.