This story is requested by MatsuiLee
Lee-chan, I hope you like this!
One Step Behind
Chapter 1: A Mysterious Shop
"Excuse me, Sir?" I heard a voice called from behind me. I slowly turned to face the person only to see a teenage boy smiling at me.
"Could you possibly be needing any help?" He asked me with a smile. I heard cars screeching over a distance and that's when I realized that the light has turned red already, giving us the signal that it is now safe to cross the streets. I smiled back at him, showing the lines which clearly define my age.
He held my arm as he assisted me in crossing the street. The small distance covering up hardly 20 meters took me a shorter time before we crossed it. I thanked the good samaritan before heading towards the way.
I passed by a couple of high school students walking on their way to their homes. It is somewhat a hot afternoon but it isn't too sunny. The problem is that the breeze felt a bit warm. I felt the small drops of sweat flowing on my temples but I ignored it and went to walk further. At last, I managed to get to my destination.
The security guard opened the door to me with much courtesy and also topped with a bright smile. The cool breeze from the air conditioning unit didn't feel too good especially when I was previously subjected to some hot temperature. I wiped off the sweat with my handkerchief before going into the counter.
The cheerful pharmacist greeted me with a smile before asking me the items I was supposed to buy. I showed her the prescription from the doctor and she read it carefully, putting the medicines into a small basket.
"Do you have a membership card, Sir?" She politely asked.
I showed her my membership card and the senior citizens ID to avail a discount for the medicines. She punched the items into the cash register before showing me the bill. I paid her and after that got off the building with the paper bag in hand.
I started to walk back into the same way back to my house. The sky was getting a bit darker already but the good thing is that the artificial lights have been brighter nowadays. Streetlights have illuminated the streets good enough. The wind started to get a bit cooler and it somewhat added ease to my short journey. The shops on the sides of the streets started to get busier at the moment. It was when my eyes roamed to the fancy lights when it passed by into a not-so-well-lighted establishment. It is a small building with plenty of wood figurines displayed on the show window.
The show window was lighted by a dimmed blue lamp which added up to the nostalgic feeling I feel. I had the urge to enter it to have a look inside but somewhat hesitated. I was about to continue on my way when I saw something on display which caught my eye.
That made me enter the shop. I pushed the wooden door and it creaked heavily. Inside the room, it gave off an eerie feeling especially because of the rhythm of the music playing inside. It was like a strange folk song, I went into the counter where a strange girl sat by, reading a thick book on her hands.
"E--Excuse me?" I asked her. She didn't expect me and got shocked when our eyes met.
"A customer?! Y--Yes. A c--customer!" She smiled slightly before setting the book aside. "Irrashaimase! Welcome to my antique shop!"
She greeted awkwardly which made me chuckle a bit. She sounded pretty much nervous which gives off the vibe that people seldomly enters here.
"I came by to take a look around, Miss. Would you mind if I ask a few questions?" I asked her.
"Sure, gramps!" The girl said with a smile.Gramps.
Yes. Gramps. It has been quite a while when someone called me that. Maybe out of courtesy that I was usually called Sir but the fact that these wrinkles on my face showed my age obviously, being called Gramps somewhat made me laugh. Sometimes, you just forget about how fast time flies!
There were plenty of pottery items and wooden sculptures inside. But the thing which caught my eye a while ago is the enormous dream catcher hanging by a corner.
I went closer, like a force was taking me steps closer into the object. "I'm interested with this item."
The girl looked at the direction I pointed. "Ah, that dream catcher came from a voodoo shop overseas I went to some years ago. The thing is it got soaked into an olibanum incense when I was travelling back here. You know, getting mixed up inside my suitcase. Even my clothes got soaked with the incense! I can't remove the smell no matter how much I washed my clothes so that dream catcher probably smells like the incense too." Explained the girl.
"Oh, interesting. I'll get this, Miss."
She walked towards me and reached for the item with her gloved hands. She put it inside a paper bag before handing it to me and the bill also. It didn't cost much but it was really beautiful. I can put it somewhere inside my room.
"Thank you, Gramps! You are my first ever customer!" She said with so much happiness.
"Well, I hope I bring some fortune on your business." I said with a smile. "I'll get going then."
The girl waved her hand goodbye before I closed the door. I started walking on my way, somehow reminiscing my past with every step I take...
When I was younger, I used to like antique shops. The history lying on each item made my heart pound so much before. I didn't collect any item before because I have been afraid of the probably curse that it might bestow upon me. But I decided to collect something now. Even just a sole item...
Because if I'll be undergoing a lifetime curse, that would cost me probably not more than ten years. I'm already seventy. The average lifespan of people is around seventy that's why I may die at any moment soon.
When I was younger, I didn't get to experience the thing I ever dreamed of. Having a first true love. The pure love which cannot be sullied by anything. A love so pure that it always calms and brings happiness to a solemn heart... I wonder, in my afterlife... Can I feel that, too?
I was daydreaming too much not to realize that I was at home already. I walked into the green lawn before pushing the door open. I entered the quite home and put the things on the table.
I took a quick dinner of fried fish, a bowl of rice and some steamed vegetables and drank two cups of warm green tea. I did my usual routine before heading into my room. I pulled the item out of its bag and take a good look on it. It has a diameter of about five to six centimeters and it really looks antique. I touched it carefully, feeling the texture of it and it made me think about of the dream I dreamed always...
Just how time flew away without me noticing how fast it is. It is inescapable... The flow of time.
I looked closer on the dream catcher, like my eyes were getting pulled in like a vacuum. I heard a bell ringing in my ears and my visions went blank.TBC...