The Book Shop Diaries

About a girl, and a boy, and a book shop.

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1. Chapter 1

    ‘Do you believe in magic?’ I am hooked from the first line of the blurb. I read on. ‘On the night of the solstice, magic is at its highest. Ever since he was three, Nathan has seen a girl at the stone circle near his home. She calls herself Saracen. But he only sees her twice a year – Midsummer and Midwinter. Now Nathan is sixteen. Things have changed. But will Saracen be there when he needs her the most?’

It looks good. Definitely readable, at least. I pick it up and walk back to the Desk. The shop is empty, apart from me: Craig has gone to grab some lunch, Julie’s ill, and everyone else is either off or on holiday. I’m not bothered – it isn’t exactly crazy busy...  I open the book, but before I can start, a gust of cold air signifies the door opening. I look up, smiling, expecting to see Craig, but instead I see you.

 

   You blink, your eyes adjusting to the light, smile back, then wander off into the pages of a book. I’ve seen you around the bookshop before; I remember being irked at you. I have watched you start a book, then read and read just up until the point when I’m going to ask if you’re going to buy it, and then you close it with a snap. Then you start all over again, this time with another book. You read less this time. You know your (and my) limits. Once you asked me what time it was, then our expression changed to one of shock and horror when I told you. You swore under your breath, then left, almost running. I wondered about you, that night. I wondered whether you got into trouble, or whether you lied it off. I doubted then, and I still do now, that you’d have admitted you were in a bookshop. You don’t seem like that kind of guy.

 

   But you are, and right now I have no choice but to know it. I roll my eyes and turn back to my book. It’s interesting; it consumes me so much that I jump, startled, when your watch beeps, reminding you to go.

 

   I have seen that before, too. I watch you leave, silently. When I can no longer see you, I walk to where you stood minutes before. I replace the books gently, carefully.

 

   Craig walks back in, and soon a gaggle of customers follow him. You seem inconsequential, meaningless.  

      You’re not. I’ll find that out soon. But for now, you’re just the boy in the Book Shop who annoyed me.

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