Maggy patiently waited until Cassy was safely inside before she started rolling forward. Normally Maggy would have turned right, but a sudden movement on the library steps caught her attention. A man sat staring intently at Cassy’s store with an inordinate interest she turned left instead making a quick and unexpected u-turn to drive slowly past him.
He ducked his head into a package and she couldn’t see his face. Because she’d already made her interest obvious, she used the rear view mirror instead. The backward facing baseball cap, effectively covered his hair and he was decked out in unusually warm clothes for the weather which also caught her attention. If asked she couldn’t explain why she found him unsettling or why his presence troubled her. She wasn’t usually antsy nor edgy.
It was a small town, someone new immediately stood out whether it was their car or person and it was a tourist town. Having said that, she still couldn’t let it go and decided to call Cassy later to find out whether she’d noticed him lurking around the vicinity of her store.
Locking the door, Cassy waved, turned and awkwardly made her way down the row of clothes racks into bathroom where she flipped on the interior lights awaiting Shawna’s arrival.
First things first meant getting the till ready. She hoped it had balanced on Saturday because with her vision as is, she couldn’t do anything about it. Damn!
It was frustrating as hell – peering at her store, unable to see the lilac and lime green borders or matching the pegboards or the items that hung on them. Her imagination filled in the wire spools sanded and painted both colours. She was hardpressed to see the picket fencing standing against windiws with baby clothes draped on hangers. Although she cold see that outfits hung over the doweling between the windows, she couldn’t have said what colour or size they were. Her memory filled in the rest.
Black and silver hanging units slotted into the pegboard on the walls, and sectioned off into age groups. Metal racks stood evenly spaced for effortless maneuvering so little fingers couldn’t access the clothing or pull them down.
The back of the store was divided into two equal parts. The left corner, a play area for toddlers and youngsters housing a pretty little play house, slide and reading nook with plenty of books and toys for all ages. The play area was a stroke of genius allowing parents to monitor their children while they were free to shop undisturbed.
Book shelves acted as dividers between the play and eating areas which was spacious enough to house the spools acting as table along with washable plastic chairs. The two smaller spools for tots were covered with blackboard paint and a ready supply of chalk stood in a cubby she’d stapled to the side of the table.
The opposite side of the ell contained her cash register and supplies for tagging and marking along with specially designed bags for advertising purposes. Her desk, computer, filing cabinets catalogues and paperwork stood behind the other shelving, well hidden from view of customers.
The existing bathroom had been re-plumbed and other than a fresh paint job, the only other addition she added was a six foot silver framed mirror and hooks on one side for customers use while trying on the clothes.
Part of the joy of owning the shop was creating eye-catching displays, re-working the existing, and especially the regular customers who had come to rely on her expertise.
As an agent for several big name brands, she ordered dresses and outfits for a recent addition for teens and grads but quickly becoming popular for weddings as well. Gorgeous gowns and even little tuxes for babies hung side by side now greatly in demand.
She sighed deeply. She’d worked so desperately hard for this and for the first time since she’d opened shop, felt nervous. If these eye sight issue persisted would she be able to continue, and if not, what then?
Shawna arrived a half hour later and one look at Cassandra had her asking, “What the hell happened to you?”
“Not really sure…listen, I may have to take some time off if this doesn’t get better soon, are you up for some full time work? I know we talked about July and August, but I may need you sooner….”
“Yeah, sure….I’m only working a couple of graveyard shifts at the Hotel, I can handle it.”
“So what’s going on?”