I held the nail as steadily as I could, my hand shook with the stress of everything. I whacked the hammer down against the nail, missed, and somehow caught my pinky finger. I screamed out in pain and cursed under my breath. Seems that cursing always helps alleviate the pain a bit. I turned to look at the people hustling and bustling around town, Phew, nobody noticed. I had better things to do that console an onlooker, when all that had happened was a good old hammer to the finger. No big deal, but it still hurt like a bitch. I climbed down the ladder, closed it and clumsily brought it back inside. While I walked towards the stockroom, I made a mental note of everything that still needed to be done. Half of the holidays stock was on back order, but they assured me that we would get them no later than tomorrow. I was skeptical about it, so I prayed to whatever God listened, just to be on the safe side. When I placed the ladder in its rightful spot, I heard a knock on the back door. I knew it was Willow, she would be getting her key soon, since her three months probation period was almost done. She was a heaven sent to me, helping more than any employee ever had, plus she was hilarious so I hoped she would stay on. I opened the door, heavy wind blasting through as the tiny woman sauntered in. I tried pushing the door closed, but was unable to, Willow slammed her body into it and the heavy door closed immediately. I laughed, locked the door and we walked towards the stock room.
''Now that's a way to close a door.'' Willow laughed along with me and shrugged her shoulders.
''What can I say? My dad was a wrestler, his favorite move was the body slam.'' I laughed again, no way would I have believed she could close it like that without witnessing it myself. Willow was a few inches shorter than me, so I guessed she was about five two. Her blonde hair was short, cut in a pixie style that fit her perfectly. I often thought of her as a small delicate fairy, but with that body slam, my impression of her changed. Now she was a bad ass fairy who could damage you if need be. I laughed inwardly at my own imagination, I'm crazy.
We both removed our scarves and jackets, getting the shop ready for another busy day. Christmas was only two weeks way, people were going crazy. I inherited the shop when my mom passed away, it was not a happy day for me given the circumstances, but I loved the place so I decided to keep it. It was a small gift shop, but it was well organized, everything was well staged on the shelves. People always commented on how lovely it was inside, I prided myself on keeping it like my mom had. She was a woman who loved life and seeing other people happy made her heart full. I tried to have the same outlook, but I had not been blessed with a great man like my father. I seemed to be cursed to be with losers, men who didn't show me any kind of respect. Dad had been a Professor of History, specializing in Folklore and Mythology. I loved hearing all the stories he taught me, but my favorites were Greek myths and fables. Most were terrifying, some were romantic and all of them were intriguing to me. My father loved the story of Cupid and Psyche, hence my name. I, however, thought it was too weird, never truly believing something like that could happen. No wonder they were tales and not authentic stories.
I walked to the shop door, unlocked it and flipped the closed sign around. Willow was counting the change in the cash register, so I went to the backroom and started pulling out new stock to place on the shelves. I placed each item on the carts, careful not to damage anything fragile. Most figurines were intricate and easily breakable, we took extra care when moving them around. Luckily, the people who came in were usually careful because they saw the value of the things we sold. I didn't want to be a gift shop like all the others, who sold most of their things in multiples. I tried to select items that were unique, just like my mom had done before me. She had wanted to expand the shop and add antiques as well, but her plans had not come to fruition before her death. I loved the idea, but it would have to wait. The place was always busy, so it wasn't a good idea to close for renovations. I didn't really have time to think of alternatives, I was more focused on day to day challenges. That's how it would have to be for now, expanding would have to wait until I figured it out.
''Good morning!'' I heard Willow speaking with a new customer, while I moved some things around on a lower shelf. I was rearranging the few valentine's day figurines, mostly cupids and hearts. The interpretation of Cupid always made me laugh, a cherubic baby wearing a diaper was so far from the truth. Well, the truth my dad believed anyways. Being a professor in the subject and knowing so much about it, I had been accustomed to hearing his stories. He was so passionate when he spoke of the ancient tales our ancestors had believed. I never thought too much about the magic side of some of the stories, my mind was more logical, less fantastical. I preferred believing in the things I saw, and for the most part, I never noticed anything strange during my existence.
When I was happy with the cleanliness and the arrangement of the shelf, I stood up and started removing the next row of figurines. I heard Willow walking towards me and clear her throat. As I was about to place the Cupid figurine back, I looked up into the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. My mind went blank and I felt Cupid fall out of my hands. It shattered to the floor with a loud bang and the pieces scattered around my feet. I stared with my eyes wide open, I was wondering if drool had started to slip out of my mouth. My God he is beautiful.