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On a winter’s day

* writing challenge entry, topic: SHOP*

She stood outside, collar up against the wind, and placed a gloved hand on the brass handle of the door. The snow had not begun falling, but the smell in the air warned of its imminence. She listened to the clickity clicks and shuffles of people passing behind her, busily rushing to work or running errands, oblivious to the woman standing in the doorway frozen in her sadness. She wondered if they were happy. Her imagination created backstories for every set of footsteps, for every passing of a car. A mother on her way to a coffee date with a close friend, phone full of pictures to share and links to recipes perfect for swapping. The businessman in his slate gray suit, Bluetooth headset in his ear, negotiating a deal that will help him move up the corporate ladder. Even the garbage men, beep beeping down the street, were happily working and whistling as they worked tirelessly to keep the town clean. A gust blew up behind her, the sudden chill breaking her reverie and bringing her back to where she stood. She wondered how she ended up here. The memories of the past few weeks flooded her mind and her eyes welled up. She strengthened her resolve and leaned into the door.

The tiny bells jingled and jangled and she stepped over the threshold. The winds pushed at the door, forcing her to hold the handle tight and push it closed behind her. The shop walls were lined with shelves displaying a wild assortment of treasures. Along the floor stood display tables cluttered and stacked with storied objects. She wandered around wondering what had brought each piece to this place. A voice from a far corner startled her. She forced a small smile and a soft greeting, then made her way to the counter along the back wall. Her hands shook as she slipped off her gloves, tucking them into the pocket of her long wool coat. She slipped off her wedding ring, and laid it gently on the counter.

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