Aurora didn’t know how long she sat at the suburban park, staring up at the malevolent sky that shone down on the city, sitting there for the last past hour she could notice the serenity of the clouds that sailed by towards the direction the wind wished them to reach.
Every day felt the same to her. She would wake up 5.30 A.M. and prepare herself for the long day at the bookstore. She’d walk her way to the New York’s times square and make it through the hundreds of people rushing on the streets. she’d stop at the same coffee shop and make the same order. A latte espresso with extra cream milk and sugar on the side and during her lunch breaks she’d sit out at the suburban park in front of her old bookstore and stare up at the sky, studying and predicting the weather and today wasn’t any different.
She was sick of this life; she was sick of feeling lonely, sick of this same old routines. she wasn’t lacking anything when it came down to money or family support, but it wasn’t enough she wanted to feel loved, the love described in those Jane Austen and Shakespeare books; she thought maybe if she had someone in her life who made her feel that way, she wouldn’t have to feel so lonely and alone she needed someone, somebody who could see past her vintage clothes and finally hear her subtle cry for love and affection.
She sat there pondering on all her adversities; It took the jiggling of the store bell to tear her out of her thoughts. She looked up to see it was a customer, perhaps one of those high school boys attempting to sneak into the rated R section, she sighed and gathered herself up to attend to them.
Aurora made it into her musty scented store and walked her way to the rated section, but it was empty, there was no one side her in the store, which was odd, she would have sworn she saw someone walk in, “Weird.” She muttered to herself and made it over the boxes in the middle of the room that had the new releases and unpacked them,
Apart from drowning herself in the fiction section of the store, she loved building towers with books, first she would organize the books in alphabetical order and then by color, it was a pastime activity thought to her by her grandfather Luis, a plot to distract her from engulfing herself in so many books, but over the years it had become a daily routine for her.
After an hour of mind-boggling, She finally completed the tower and if she was being honest, it was her best works so far this month; she loved how all the primary and secondary colors were lined in order, making them look interesting.
She looked up from the tower to see that the book lovers on the streets were already looking in through the window and marveling at all the new exciting novels they could buy, but that’s all they did, marvel.
With the invention of E-commerce megastores like Amazon which has eBooks for sale at a fraction of the cost of a traditional book, meaning lesser people would show up at stores to browse for their favorite books. Why would they pay $20.99 for a book, when they could get it for $2.99 online and even have it delivered to their doorstep?
these were one of the issues Aurora had with the store, She had thought of selling it, but the entire store was embodied with happy childhood memories with her Grandfather Luis and it was his only legacy to her and her sister. She could never succumb to selling it.
She picked up the empty boxes and carried them to the storeroom at the back and once she was done with everything else in the store; she proceeded to the chaise beside the window and sprawled herself on it with a good book. It was one of the new releases from this morning, titled, ‘Fall.’
She started with the first page and before she even knew it; she was at the end of the chapter. She was about to turn to the next page when she heard the door jingle open. She looked up from the book to see her sister Mia entering the store,
“Hey.” She smiled at her and Mia returned it, but shook her head on seeing the book in her hands, “Another book?” She sighed moving over to the rack to hang her coat.
“It’s the last one today.” She tells her and Mia scoffed tautly, “Like we haven’t heard that line before.”
She walked over to her and sprawled herself on the couch next to her and stared at her fidgety. Aurora focused her eyes on the pages of the book and tried to ignore the suspicious stare Mia was throwing at her, that was until she couldn’t take them any longer.
“What now Mia?” She groaned.
“When are you going to get a life?” She blurted causing Aurora to gasp, “You’re a 24-year-old woman, who owns a bookstore in Manhattan, never had a real boyfriend or a male friend, never been on a date, never had se- “before she could finish the last word, Aurora jumped to her feet, “That’s enough Mia.” She warned her.
“Someone had to tell you the truth Aurora and if not me, your only family in this entire world, who would. I love you, but I am worried sick. I mean this is not normal.”
At the end of her short speech Aurora was furious, but over the years she had learned to control her temper with her little sister Mia.
Their mother Laura had abandoned them with Luis their grandfather when they were both 10 and 11, respectively.
They remember little about or perhaps they didn’t find it needful to indulge their minds and time on a woman who had abandoned them without a word or a note,
“What do you have me do? Go out and sleep with every man in Manhattan?”
“Sell the store?” She blurted and Aurora’s eyes widened, “Yes, it’s not like anyone comes in here anyway, it’s old and dying, and no one buys books anymore.”
“This place is our entire world, Luis left it for us to look after it and not sell it off. I can’t believe you would even suggest that, you used to love this place, even more than I do now...”
“Yes, I did and then I grew up, got a life and learned that there are better things to life than spending my time reading about some nonexistent parallel universe.”
She stopped to catch her breath, before looking up at her sister who was stunned the least to speak, “I love you Aurora and I just want what’s best for you, but this isn’t it.”
Aurora didn’t know how else to say to convince her dear sister that this room had her entire world in it, so she just raked her fingers through her hair and nodded.
Mia grinned, “Does this mean you would sell the store?”
“No, It means I am open for other things.” Aurora said and Mia frowned slightly, but shrugged anyway, “Then, I’d be setting you up with my old college buddy Ryan, he’s handsome and very successful..”
Aurora immediately regretted agreeing to it, but she would do anything to take her sister’s mind off selling the store,
“Fine.” She agreed and Mia clapped excitedly, jumping to her feet, “I’d set you two up for tomorrow night.” she squealed, before glancing at the wall clock and cursing, “Shit! I need to get to work.” she rushed over to the rack to grab her things. “I won’t be back tonight, so don’t wait up for me.”
“And, where would you be?” Aurora asked concerned.
“With David.” She answered and Aurora rolled her with a sigh, “Ah! I almost forgot.” Mia said turning back to her. She watched as Mia wracked through her bag and pulled out a wrapped box and extended it to her, “What’s this?” She asked as she reluctantly accepted it from her.
Mia shrugged nonchalantly, “they dropped it in this morning, anyway see you later.” She said lastly and ran out of the door.
Aurora curiously took herself to the chair and unwrapped the package.
Once she unwrapped it, she opened the white box, and it revealed a black thick book, she pulled it out of the box and stared at it, before searching through the box for a note or anything that described the sender, but the box was empty,
“Who must have sent this?” She pondered to herself, but couldn’t come up with an accurate answer, so she assumed it was a mix up from her book dealers.
She moved the box to the side and opened the book to the first page, but nothing, the page was blank; she flipped through the other pages, but there was still nothing,
The pages were glittering white,
“What the hell?” She muttered, flipping through the pages and then she stumbled on a note in the middle of a chapter, she picked it up to see the words were drawn in Greek, good thing she learned to read and understand Greek in college.
She brought the note closer to her eyes and read out the words, “σε έναν κόσμο χαιρετώ πέρα από.”
At the last syllable everywhere went dark.
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