Sixteen Pages

"I held it as if at any moment it might have slipped from my grasp and I would have completely lost every part of my Dad forever"

Essie May Davis started her typewriter collection when she was nine. And now when her life has completely changed, She clings to the beautiful machines like they might slip from her grasp forever.

A story about love, loss and the overwhelming feeling of forgotten stories.


4. Page Four

It had been five days since I'd moved in with Aunt Margot and Queenie. I'd spent the last few days in my room or floating around the house when everyone was out. And as I listened to old music I couldn't imagine getting out of this house and going to school.I didn't want to and that was it. I didn't want to do anything. 
    Queenie had tried far too many times to convince me to go to the movies with her and Felix and the answer had been the same; I didn't feel like it and I wasn't going. I don't think it really surprised me when Felix knocked on my door the answer was no.
    No, I'm not feeling great. No, I don't want to go somewhere. No, I don't want to watch a movie. 
    "C'mon Essie!" the answer was still no and he couldn't change that no matter how much he tried. I shook my head and then realised that her couldn't see me from behind the door and said no again. 
    You can't just lie in there listening to whatever kind of music that is for the rest of your life, Essie." Felix turned the doorknob and peered at me from behind the door. 
    "I can always try," when I spoke, my voice was croaky and I tried to swallow it down. My mouth just got drier. 
    Felix walked over and sat on the bed next to me, "Where are your socks?" he asked
    I laughed at him but he looked back at me seriously. It wasn't actually all that serious because his face was blank, his signature frown wasn't even there. That was what made it so much more serious. 
    "Why do you need my socks?" I asked but he was already opening my wardrobe. 
    "You can't go to the movies without socks."
    "Felix," I said, " I'm not going to the movies with you guys."
    "Okay then, stay in here. Be a miserable little person." He walked out of the room and shut the door with a muffled click. Like I was fragile and anything louder than a whisper hurt. Honestly, the quiet hurt more. Noise was supposed to drown out other thoughts. The music I turned up was supposed to block the quiet. He could have been as loud as he wanted, I didn't care. 

    The next thing that interrupted me was Aunt Margot and I honestly couldn't tell how long I'd been sitting there in my room with my music like that but it had been a while. I turned down my music for her to talk.
    "Hey, Essie! You don't mind looking after the shop for an hour, do you?"
    I shrugged.
    "Great, I'll be leaving in a few minutes. I've just got to get the groceries and some stuff like that. The shop'll probably be empty but I need you just in case." She smiled and left my room.
    I kind of just drifted from my room to the top of the stairs where Aunt Margot was putting on her shoes. I went downstairs and sat behind the counter. I regretted not wearing socks then. The tiled floor was cold and I found myself jumping from one foot to the other because of it. 
    Aunt Margot followed down after and in a flustered mess told me what to do and that if I had any doubts I should consult the big book under the counter. I pulled out the book to show her I knew where it was and said a quiet goodbye as she left.
    I don't think I stayed at the counter for too long after she left. I went straight to a hat stand and tried on the various styles of old coats and hats. I waltzed to the mirror and back in each one and admired the details and how they sat on me. I don't remember smiling though. I guess it kind of made me think of Nan. She was dead too but she used to wear a coat like one of them. Just kind of simple but pleated at the back of the waist and with big blue buttons right down the front. I really never saw why she would need a coat like that. 
    In a '20s coat and hat, I heard the door's bell give its warning twang. I took off my hat, a little embarrassed and looked around a large wardrobe to see who had just walked in. 2
    "Hello?" I called, there was a shuffling sound before I got any answer.
    "Is Queenie in?" I still couldn't see the guy but he knew Queenie so I guessed that was a plus. 
    "No, do you want anything?" I took my hat off, a little embarrassed.

    “Actually, she told me I could get a good leather jacket here.” I looked at him with his hands in his pocket and the way that he looked at the shop with that judging kind of look.

    “It’ll probably be somewhere here,” I flapped my hand in the general direction of the hat stand.

    He walked over, giving everything a dismissive glance as he went and stopped in front of the hat stand. He stood there for a second and it looked like he was afraid it would jump out and bite him.

    “This one, huh?”

    I shrugged, how was I supposed to know? If it was leather then yes, it probably was.

    He put his arms in the sleeves and pulled it over his shoulders carefully. It looked a little stupid to be honest. Did he honestly expect it to break that easily?

    “How much?"

    “There should be a price tag.” I walked over to the counter and waited for him.

    “Twenty five?”

    I shrugged.

    “Okay,” he said, ripped the price tag off the jacket and put t down on the counter. Then he started searching in his back pocket for the notes. He put them on the table too and began to walk out of the door. “Hey, tell Queenie I was here. Tell her Ollie came.”

    I nodded and watched as he left with that same twang from the bell above the door that I’d heard so often.

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