*The above picture has nothing to do with this post. I just like the blue little stars.*
This morning, I’m sharing Part 5 of my story, “Garage Sale Addict”. If you’d like to catch up, here’s:
“Garage Sale Addict, Part 1”
“Garage Sale Addict, Part 2”
“Garage Sale Addict, Part 3”
“Garage Sale Addict-Part 4”
And, here is my disclaimer one more time-because I’m insecure about my skillz as a writer. I mean, does a real writer use “z’s” at the end of her words?
Disclaimer: I am nervous about sharing this. Instead of me being able to use words like “crap” or my made up favorites like “goody-ness”, what I’m about to share will be held to a higher standard. Because it’s part of my hidden soul-my personal writing projects.
Who knows if this will ever go anywhere-but it’s fun to write and to dream. I’d love to hear what you have to say, or maybe I won’t.
Garage Sale Addict (Young Adults)
“Bonnie, guess what I just found for 75% off!,” Rosalyn whispered excitedly into her phone. She tucked the Van der Hoessen handbag into the bottom of her shopping cart and pushed her way down the aisle.
“This season’s Van der Hoessen touring bag for only $355,” she said.
“Wow. What a deal,” Bonnie replied dryly. “And, since when do you care about name brands?”
“It’s not for me. I’m going to use it to lure back my customers for the next garage sale,” responded Rosalyn. “Oops, I’m to the front of the line. Gotta go.”
“This isn’t over,” said Bonnie. “We need to talk a little more about your strategy.”
Rosalyn made it home with the Van der Hoessen bag, a few Chang belts and the largest grand total she’d ever witnessed on one receipt. Guilt nagged at her as she looked at the total once again. Even with the 75% off and a coupon, she still spent more than she had made in the last two weeks.
“It’s my money and I can spend it however I want to,” she said aloud to no one. After photographing the items, Rosalyn posted them online with the headline, “Name Brand Garage Sale this Saturday only!”. She added descriptions to the items, directions to her house and her email address.
Looking at her watch, Rosalyn remembered she had a 4 ‘o clock appointment with an irish setter. She grabbed her camera bag, her keys and was back out the door. Her phone chimed as she backed out of the driveway, notifying her of a new email. Rosalyn decided to look at it later, turned on the radio and began humming along. The radio and her phone were soon having a battle of who could be the noisiest as one email after another made its way to her phone, dinging relentlessly at her. She clicked the radio off and drove the rest of the way-a cacophony of sounds coming from her phone.
“I’m leaving you in the car, since you can’t behave,” Rosalyn pointed at her phone and hopped out. The dog and its master were already in the pre-discussed location in the park, right next to the big elm Rosalyn used to climb as a kid. A middle-aged man, dressed in a sweater-vest, tie and khaki pants held a leash that attached to a gorgeous red irish setter.
“Good afternoon, Mable,” she said to the dog, petting its thick coat. “And good afternoon to you, Mr. Ranford.”
“Please, call me Hal.”
“Alright, Hal and Mable-are you two ready for your session?,” Rosalyn smiled at the pair and Mable responded with a wagging tail. Hal bobbed his head and straightened his tie.
“I’m a little nervous. I never know what to do with my hands,” he lifted them up, fingers together.
“Well, for starters, let’s not have ‘paddle hands’-just relax,” she brought his hands down to his side. “I’ll show you what to do. We’ll be done in no time.”
Rosalyn guided them to the best lighting next to the small pond at the edge of the park.
“My wife wanted this picture for her desk-she said it would be the best photograph ever of her two favorite people,” Hal said as they walked.
“Two favorite people?” Rosalyn smiled and moved Hal into position next to the dog with the forest in the background.
“I know, I know. Since our son moved away she’s really taken a shining to Mable.” He patted the dog’s head, looking more comfortable than his previous ‘paddle hand’ scenario.
“That’s perfect, Hal.” she said. “Just stay right there-that looks natural.”
After a few close-up shots, Rosalyn moved further away to get a few full-lengths but was battling a setting sun.
“We’re loosing sunlight, let’s move over to the other side of the pond.”
“You’re in charge,” Hal said.
“Hey-I’m having a garage sale this Saturday and have a bunch of name brand items your wife might be interested in,” Roslayn led them to a bench and had Hal sit down. Mable instinctively jumped onto the bench and laid her head on Hal’s knee.
“My wife loves garage sales. I’ll let her know.” Hal smiled as Rosalyn clicked off several more shots.
“Also, I’m putting together a dog calendar featuring some of my favorite dog clients. Would you mind if I shot a few singles of just Mable?”
“Not at all. She’s much more photogenic than I am,” he said and straightened his tie again.
“Nonsense, you’re doing great.” Rosalyn grabbed the leash, leading Mable to a section of the pond filled with cattails. She took several of Mable ‘pointing’ and then a few more of her sitting. The dog’s red fur gleamed in the sunlight.
“She really is a gorgeous dog,” Rosalyn said to Hal over her shoulder.
“Thanks! How much are your calendars going to be? I bet my wife would love one.”
“If you have a dog in the calendar, you get one for free,” she said. “They’ll be done in a few months-I just need one more dog for the month of May. Mable will probably be my June dog.”
They finished the session and walked back to the parking lot. Hal and Mable loaded into his SUV and Rosalyn waved goodbye to Hal and Mable as they drove off. She jumped in her own car and picked up her phone to see the damage. 14 emails, 5 missed phone calls and 2 messages were displayed.
She opened her first email and read the opening line.
“This sale hopefully will be better than your last one. If not, I’m never coming back. Signed-Disappointed.”
“Geesh,” Rosalyn said and hit the delete button. The next one wasn’t any kinder.
“I came last week and all you had was a bunch of junk. Are you telling us the truth or is this some sort of scam because you just want people to come visit you? Please respond or I may not show up. Signed-Don’t waste my time.”
“Holy cow.” Rosalyn deleted that email and went through the rest. Only one was from someone with a legitimate question about the size of her belt. “This ought to be interesting.”
She pressed the voicemail button and listened to two messages back to back from Bonnie. The first just asked her to call back. She listened to the second message from her friend.
“Look, Ros. I know you really enjoyed that first sale. It was fun to get rid of all that stuff from you-know-who. But, I don’t think it’s a good idea to spend that kind of money just to get people to come back. I don’t want to mother you-I’m just concerned. Call me back and let’s grab coffee tonight.”
Rosalyn hit the “call back” button and started to pull out of the parking lot. Bonnie picked up on the first ring.
“I was starting to get worried about you,” her friend said.
“Sorry. I had a photo shoot and left my phone in the car,” Rosalyn didn’t offer the “why” behind leaving the phone in the car. “How does 7 sound for coffee tonight? I need to run home and freshen up.”
“Sounds good. Same place?”
“Same place.” Rosalyn hung up and pulled out onto the street.
Rosalyn washed her face and added some makeup. After pulling on a pair of jeans and her “going out” heels, she once again glanced at the receipt from the day’s earlier purchases. She sighed, but reassured herself that she would make the money back from that weekend’s garage sale. As she locked the front door behind her, she heard her name being called from the street.
“Hey, Rosalyn.” Micah waved from the street, Spartan at his side.
Her stomach did flip-flops. She loved the way her name sounded coming from his mouth.
“Hey, Micah. Hey, Spartan.” She patted the dog’s head and knelt down to be eye level with the pooch. “You know, I still need to photograph you. I have one month left to complete my calendar and you are just the dog for the job.”
“Anytime, Ros. Just let me know what day and I’ll make sure this stinky guy has had a bath.”
Ros. He called her Ros.
She liked that.
“How about tomorrow after the garage sale?” Rosalyn stood up, but hadn’t realized how close she had gotten to Micah while petting the dog. She was eye-to-eye with him and a mere 6 inches from his nose. She stepped back suddenly, loosing her balance on the curb.
“Dang heels,” she said, embarrassed as she caught herself on his outstretched arm. “I don’t know why I ever wear these things. I’m always tripping and making a fool of myself.”
“I don’t know,” he said and helped her stay upright. “They look pretty good on you. And they offer a great excuse for a man to be chivalrous if you do happen to trip.”
He smiled, but didn’t let go of her arm. Rosalyn loved that he used the word ‘chivalrous’ in every day conversation and smiled back at him.
“Where you headed?” He finally released his grip on her.
No-come back, Mr. Arm!
“Just off to have coffee with my friend Bonnie. She’s concerned I’m having too many garage sales.” She tried to maintain a steady voice, but knew her nerves were causing fluctuations from high to low and back to high again.
“Are you getting a cold?” Micah pressed his hand to her head.
Ah. There it is, he’s touching me again.
She leaned her head into the palm of his hand, praying it wasn’t greasy or clammy or both.
“I don’t think so.” She said, proud of herself for finally flirting with him.
Her victory was short-lived. As she said the word ‘so’, a bit of spit flew from her lips and onto his face. He dropped his hand instantly, wiping at his cheek, laughing.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” she whirled around, nearly tripping on the curb again. “I’m late. I’d better go.”
Rosalyn raced up the driveway towards her car.
“Bye, Ros. I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said.
“Ok. Yeah-whatever,” she didn’t look back, unlocked her car and threw her purse on the passenger’s seat.