We were best of friends. Past tense. But before you wrap your mind about this being one of those sad stories, let me tell you otherwise.
It was summer vacation. Grant and I were heading downtown. Actually, I dragged him with me since I was desperate. I’ve been saving my “ice cream” money for the last couple of weeks for this novel and just when I gathered enough moolah, the stores ran out of copies.
My last hope was this small bookshop down Fifth Street owned by an old man and his petite wife Petunia who always smelled like roses.
“Why exactly do you need me here?” Grant asked for perhaps the seventh time.
“I need you to arm wrestle anyone who tries to get the book before I do.” I quipped. “Besides, didn’t I agree to buy you fries at a nearby fast food chain in exchange?”
“Bribery at its finest!” He smirked.
There weren’t as many people inside the shop which was a relief. Hopefully, there was still a copy left.
“I’m sorry dear. We’ve sold the last one yesterday.” Petunia said across the cash register.
“Around lunch if I’m not mistaken.” George, her husband, added after hearing my inquiry. “The next delivery won’t be until next month. I can keep you updated if you want.” He continued.
I felt a light tap on my back. It was Grant. “Better luck next time Kara.”
“Ugh. This is torture. I guess I’ll have to be patient then.” We walked back and were halfway towards the city square when I heard Grant say an expletive under his breath.
“Problem?” I asked.
“I left something in the bookshop’s baggage counter.” He replied.
“Uh, you weren’t bringing anything.” I retorted.
“Yes I was.”
He shoved a card unto my hand. I flipped it over and saw that it was indeed for the bookshop’s baggage counter.
“Sometimes I think I’m your nanny and not your best friend.” I raised my eyebrow at him. He just smiled that cheeky grin of his.
Asking me to fetch something for him like the bully that he was, classic Grant! I ran back to the shop and plopped myself unto the counter. I handed the card to George who gave me a package wrapped in brown paper. Thinking back, I don’t remember him bringing a parcel of sorts earlier.
As I got back, Grant was nowhere in sight. “What an asshole. He’s left ahead for the fast food. I am so not paying for his fries!”
Walking towards the city square on my own, I looked at the parcel on my hands and noticed that a scribble in the middle said “Tear Me”. I know I wasn’t supposed to but I was too curious that I needed to take a peep.
“Shoot!” I accidentally tore the paper. How careless. “Oh well, this is the price he’s going to have to pay for bullying and leaving me.”
With the wrapper torn right down the middle, Jenny Han’s book entitled “PS: I Still Love You” peered right through. A note was taped to it which read “Kara, I like my best friend and if you like me too you’d come over and eat fries with me. You know where.”
I’d be honest. For a nerd like myself, it was a sweet gesture but the idiot had to ruin the cover by erasing the word “still” with a permanent marker. Oh and yes we did eat fries that day. He paid.
A few weeks back, I joined a writing contest in a national newspaper. I didn't get published though and I have to admit that the 300-word requirement didn't do justice to the story I wanted to narrate. Anyway, it was really fun and it was quite a good challenge. It made me realized that most of the stories I've written were always in chapters, all of which are currently unfinished. Eeep! And so I thought, why not focus on short stories for the time being?
So when my creative juju decided to shoot up one day, I decided to rewrite my 300-word submission and improve it (aka lengthen it) thus the above write up. If you've read my previous work, I bet you'll notice how much I like to incorporate books in my stories. Geek alert! (Huge thanks to Jade* for giving me the inspiration for this story.)
What do you think? Tell me how you found the story in the comments below! I appreciate all the feedback. Ciao for now!
More Short Stories:
ABOUT "ANNE WRITES SHORTIES"
I make up stories in my head. I'm a dreamer and sometimes perhaps a lunatic. Writing keeps me sane and while I'm no New York Times Best Seller (yet), I'd love to call myself an author. This blog serves as my digital manuscript. I've kept countless poems, stories and whimsical thoughts for years but never got to share them publicly for fear that people would steal them and take the credit. (Which someone already did by the way! If you're planning to do the same then scoot. I can track you down like a bloodhound.) But it would likewise be a pain to keep them for myself. I'd love for people to enjoy them as I did writing them. Anne Writes Shorties is a compilation of one shot stories that were built to tickle the imagination in one sitting. — Anne Macachor