In Starting Over, Victoria met Toby in the antique store she owns in Oak Grove Square. The man is a frustrating mix of coldhearted developer, sweet and charming hunk, and a broken-hearted little boy still mourning his grandparents.
Toby and Victoria have had a disagreement about his latest development project. They’ve patched it up and are headed out for their first formal date since their big fight. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘shoes’. Return to Tuesday Tales here, to read more snippets from the talented Tuesday Tales bunch.
The antiques that filled every square inch of Victoria’s shop, Serendipity, failed to captivate her as they usually did. Typically she could spend the entire day in her little oasis, wandering the store, dusting and rearranging the multitude of pieces of the past, lost in a time warp.
This week she didn’t notice the Fiesta ware pitchers that usually gave her such delight. The sparkling depression era dishes seemed colorless and bland. The vintage linens that she loved to stroke whenever she passed by, thinking of the hours that some nameless hand spent lovingly stitching the embellishment…they lacked their magic too.
Instead, she had visions of blond, handsome Toby. Memories of their passionate embrace and mini make out session heated the smoldering flames into a blaze. She counted the hours until their Saturday night date. She spent hours musing about what outfit to wear. She daydreamed about how the evening would progress…and where the night would end.
Customers had to repeat themselves. She’d catch herself staring off into space, not even hearing the phone ringing in the background. One day she totally forgot to eat lunch.
Sally, from Crafter’s Cottage stopped in Saturday morning. “You all right?”
“Fine,” Victoria answered, slightly confused about why Sally had even asked that question.
“You haven’t joined us for our morning walks this week. We wondered if you were sick.”
A surprise visitor later that day momentarily brought her focus back to antiques. When the bell tinkled over the door, Victoria looked up to see a woman coming straight towards her. She appeared to be in her mid-thirties, but Victoria knew that sometimes looks were deceiving.
“Hi. I’m Susan Copeland.”
“Uh…hello. I’m Victoria.” It seemed odd, because customers didn’t usually introduce themselves. Unless they were leading up to a sales pitch of some sort.
“You left a message on my phone a few weeks ago.”
“I did?” Victoria’s brain was spinning, trying to remember who she’d called and why. She came up clueless, not having the foggiest idea of who she’d left a message for.
“About the letters.”
“The letters…” A puzzled look must have conveyed her confusion to the woman.
“My grandmother’s. You said you came across a stack of them and were looking for her descendants. Charlotte Copeland…from…”
“Those letters! Of course. I’m so sorry. I’ve been so distracted these past few weeks with fighting an inappropriate development and…and…oh gosh, you’re not interested in all that. So, Charlotte was your grandmother?”
The two woman whose only link was a stack of love letters postmarked in the forties chatted and forged a bond as they honored Charlotte and the memories of her life.
“I’m so excited that you found these and tracked me down. All I have of my grandmother’s is her wedding outfit – her dress and shoes. I’m looking forward to seeing a piece of her life.”
Victoria disappeared into the office and returned bearing a ribbon wrapped stack. Minus one letter – one of her favorites – that she kept as a memento to remember the day that Toby appeared bearing this unique gift his workmen had uncovered in the house they were demolishing.
Finally – she could close the shop and rush home to prepare for her anticipated date. After the fantasizing that filled her mind all week, she hoped that the evening would be as special as her imagination made it. She primped for an hour, working on her makeup, her hair and her outfit. Goodness, it took her longer to decide whether or not to wear underwear – and which pair – than it normally took her to dress for the day.
When the doorbell rang, she rushed to the door and flung it open. Toby stood on the front porch, freshly showered with hair still wet. His periwinkle polo shirt tucked into starched khaki’s wrapped tightly around his muscular forearms. A subtle aroma of his cologne wafted towards her and enveloped her in its masculine scent.
Victoria stood mesmerized. Feeling tongue tied and suddenly nervous, the words that popped out of her mouth were not what she’d planned. “I met Charlotte’s granddaughter this afternoon.”