The Girl that Hades called Persephone

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Chapter Six

The book shop that he was talking about was just a couple blocks away. He felt so much taller than me, but it was a relaxing feeling, as if I was being protected. It felt nice to be able to walk the streets without fear of what would happen to me.

I still held onto Debbie’s phone number in my pocket. But the more I was around H, the more I felt myself getting closer and closer to him. Something about him just drew me in, and I usually wasn’t like this, not with anyone.

Yet with him, it was an odd feeling to have. I had barely known him, but yet, I was still feeling this way.

“So, why is this your favorite bookstore?” I asked him.

“It’s small and simple. I have been to many bookshops in the world, but this one is the one I find myself thinking about.”

“Any reason?”

“It’s . . . like a second home, I suppose. The owners are very nice, and always give me a warm feeling when I come back. They are good people.”

“So, do you like small mom and pop shops?”

He smiled. “I suppose I do? You?”

“No, I like evil cooperation. Big brother type stuff.”

“The flower girl?” he raised an eyebrow.

“It’s my cover, don’t tell anyone,” I joked.

He smiled and winked. “Secret is safe with me little one.”

After a few more words exchanged, we were finally at the bookshop he was talking about. He was right, it was a mam and pop shop for sure, but it felt so cozy.

The owner welcomed him inside. “Hello there! Good to see you again, and I see you brought your . . .girlfriend?”

I blushed. “I um . . .”

“This is Steffi, I wanted to show her my favorite store.”

“Oh, you’re a sweet thing. Well, enjoy you kids.”

H grabbed my hand and pulled me with him gently across the floor. “Come on,” he said like a little child. “Let’s go to the second floor.”

“Oh, okay,” he said, watching our hands together. His hands were so much bigger than mine. He looked as if he wanted to, he could break my hand, but he chooses not to. A gentle giant I suppose. I felt my stomach tingle.

His touch was something different. There was something about it, something I couldn't touch on.

My mind started to wonder what he was thinking if he was just as nervous as I was. He wasn’t showing it if he was, that’s for sure. Though, I wished that he did.

We walked up all the way to the top, and it was as if we stepped into heaven. Miles and miles of books filled the space. “This is where I go when I’m upset or angry.”

“Are you upset?” I asked him.

“Well, not now. I feel, different today.”

“Different good?”

He nodded. “Different good, yes.”

“So, H, do you live around here?” I asked him.

“I travel a lot,” he said. “I live away.”

I frowned. “Oh, you do?”

“But, I come here a lot. Something about this town draws me to it.”

“What do you think it is?”

He stared at me for the longest time, holding his hand up, and pushing my hair out of my face.

“I’m not sure . . . but I’m very drawn to you. Something about you, and I don’t know what it is.”

“Oh . . . I’m sorry.”

He started laughing. “Don’t be sorry little one. You’re a mystery I am happy to solve. Tell me about yourself, please.”

“Not really much, I’m 21, just started college, just a student.”

“You’re just now starting college?”

“Well,” I rubbed my neck. “I was going to start when I was 18 . . . . but things happened.”

“What happened?” he asked, sitting down in the chairs in the corner.

I sat down next to him, looking out the window. It was so pretty outside, so calm, not the right setting for what had happened to me.

“A lot of things. I don’t really like to talk about it. But . . . I guess I need to stop being afraid of what happened. I’m better now. I was really sick after high school. I was in and out of the hospital for years, and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was on bed rest for a while, the doctors tried to figure out what was going on. Still no answer. But one day, I just got better. Just over a year ago. So, I figured I was healthy enough to move on. I’m just scared it may come back one day.”

He grabbed my hand. “I’m sorry that happened to you.”

I turned red. “But I’m better now.”

He kissed my hand. “Yes, you are better now.”

My stomach was going to implode on itself. He was making my knees feel weak. Good thing we were sitting down, he would have made he fall over.

“Come, you must be hungry.”

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