Stream

You'd never think a bookstore could change a life, did you? Well, that's where this story starts. In a small town, a lonely girl visits a new bookstore down the road, and boy, she's in for a surprise. You never know who could walk right in.

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1. The first day of the rest of my life.

It was a rainy day in Maryland. This was where it all started. A small town in Maryland, where an 18 year-old girl named Samantha lived. Fresh out of high school, and she had absolutely NO idea what to do. Yeah, she had a plan for her life. Samantha wanted to be a singer. But she just didn’t know what she wanted to do today. I’m Samantha, and this is the ever-so-interesting story of how my life changed with one single word: Stream.

So I have been sitting in bed for the past half-hour, with blank thoughts running through my mind. What was I gonna do today? My first day of freedom, and I didn’t have a plan. The mall was out of the question, because that’s where everyone goes on the first day of summer vacation. But for me, this wasn’t just the first day of summer vacation. It was the first day of the rest of my life. I needed to do something memorable. Maybe I could head down to that new bookstore down the road…I heard it has a café too. Perfect. I could sit down and enjoy myself with a good book. This sounded so perfect.

I really didn’t feel like doing much today, but I decided that I should be somewhat productive, so I had to get out of my bed. I quickly got dressed, pulling on a pair of yoga pants and a baggy grey hoodie. I took my hair and pulled it into a messy bun on top of my head. Hmm, it actually looked kind of cute! I found my favorite pair of black converses and put them on. I grabbed my umbrella and my phone, and walked downstairs to make myself a smoothie before I had to leave. Being about 10:00, I flipped on the channel to see that the news was on. I listened as I gathered up some fruit to blend. It didn’t take me too long, so after I was finished, I took a long, refreshing sip.

“Breaking News! 5 worldwide boys have been spotted in our little town of Stevensville. Who is this you may ask? Well, none other than One Direction!”

And there goes my smoothie, all over the TV screen. Holy mother of god. This was something else. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll forget today after all. Good god, the last thing I need is to run into the people I’ve been obsessing over for the past 3 years of my life. I think I’d vomit. I don’t get butterflies when I think of them, I get the whole freakin’ animal kingdom prancing around in my stomach. This is just…whew.

I don’t think I’ll see any of them at the bookstore. I mean, they’ve got better things to do right? Heh, yeah, I think I’ll be fine.

The bookstore isn’t that far away from my house, and the rain had let up to a comfortable drizzle, so I decided to walk there. Grabbing my keys, I locked up and left the house, and started to walk on the sidewalk, admiring the flowers growing in the cracks with a smile on my face. I like the little things.

5 minutes went faster than I expected. I walked into the bookstore, hearing the little bell above the door tinkling quietly.

“Hello! How are you today?” The woman behind the counter asked.

“Oh, I’m fine, thank you. And you?” I replied.

“Wonderful. Thanks for coming to Stream. My name’s Ruby, and I’ll be glad to help you find a book if you need me to.”

Ruby smiled at me as I nodded and told her my name. “I’m pretty sure I’ll be here frequently, so I guess you’ll have to get used to me.” I chuckled at my own remark, and I heard Ruby laugh as well. It felt nice to know that I could brighten someone else’s day, even if mine seemed kind of lonely.

Stream, I like that name. It suits a bookstore. I wandered around a bit, taking note of the armchairs scattered about, the little café with a barista that looked my age, and the many shelves filling the middle of the floor, and the ones lining the wall. I knew that this was going to be like a second home to me. With a little more exploration, I found an extension in the back filled to the ceiling with records, CDs, and a few guitars hanging on the walls with a sign that said, “Sit down and play!” And off of that little room, was a recording studio. Lord, save me, I think I’m in heaven. Could this get any better?

A particular book caught my eye, one that I’ve been wanting to read for a while now: The Perks of Being A Wallflower. The movie sounded good too. I set it down on a really comfy-looking armchair and wandered around some more. I walked into the guitar room, picked one up, and sat down. I’m a little rusty, I haven’t played in a while, but I remembered enough to start strumming the chords to Collide by Howie Day. Hey, I even remembered the lyrics too.

I was so into the song that I didn’t hear the little bell above the door tinkling as someone walked in the door. Not just one someone, but two someones, with british accents. Ruby welcomed them, and they started to walk over to the bookshelves, but didn’t stay long, because their eyes wandered over to that little room where I sat, strumming and singing quite loudly if you ask me.

It turns out that those two people were Zayn Malik and Liam Payne. And they didn’t look like they were in any rush to leave. They walked a bit closer, and I, still oblivious to their presence, didn't stop playing. In that moment, I had forgotten about all of the worries of my everyday life. I know it seems kind of stupid to say that I had worries, but I did. I wasn’t ever really happy with my appearance. I had done some stupid things that made their mark, and I regret it with all my heart. And it looks like they aren’t going to go away any time soon. I hated my weight, my face, I just hated me. I hated how I never felt good enough; I always felt so worthless. Of course, I had people lined up telling me that I wasn’t worthless, but then my paranoia kicks in, and I feel like they’re only telling me what I want to hear. Music has always been there for me, and it was my way to escape when I couldn’t talk to anyone else but the radio.

I strummed the last chord, and smiled. I looked up to see two people quickly turning on their heels and shoving their faces in some books. I felt my face flush red. They had been listening to me this whole time…I don’t know whether I should feel embarrassed or loved. I set the guitar down on a stand and got up to leave the room. The two guys shuffled away some more. This was too good. I was trying so hard to stifle a giggle, but to no avail it escaped my lips, dry and quiet. I fail at life.

Picking up my book that I saved, I sat down in the armchair, crossing my legs underneath me. I felt like I was being watched, and I found out that I was, because when I looked up, the two guys were peering at me from the top of the books they were “reading”.  I kept my eyes on the page after that, but I looked out of the corner of my eye at the two guys, who had put their books back on the shelf. Their faces were too familiar. I suddenly felt my stomach flip-flopping, and my head started spinning. Okay, I’m NOT going to faint in this bookstore. I finally came to the realization that Liam Payne and Zayn Malik were in this little bookstore, smack dab in the middle of an EXTREMELY small town that really wouldn’t be on the top of a “Places to Visit” list. This is the very LAST place I expected them to be, let alone in the same room as me.

Suddenly the words on the page started to quiver, and this book didn’t seem that interesting anymore. I quickly got up and walked over to Ruby. “Save this book for me? I just need some fresh air.” I handed her the book and she nodded with a smile. “There’s a pier out back.” She suggested, pointing to the door in the back of the store.

I thanked her and quickly made my way to the door, eager for some fresh air and a place to sit and think. Unfortunately for me, Zayn and Liam were standing REALLY close to the door, so close that I actually had to say “excuse me” to get by, and that’s too much interaction for me. I felt like I was going to hurl, like I couldn’t walk fast enough.

Finally, I reached the door, and pushed it open so forcefully that I thought I was about to rip it off of the hinges. Oh my, it was so pretty back here. A few birds were pecking at the reeds, lining the bay where the pier extended into. The sky was a beautiful blue, and a few clouds spotted it, white and puffy. I wish I could stay here forever.

I thought I was alone. But I thought wrong, just like I had been all day so far.

 

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