It’s a quick one tonight folks. I’ve got another 900 words to write before going to sleep. But below is a picture of the awesome gloves my little brother made for me tonight because he knew my hands were locking up from the cold, tonight’s weblog, and a quick snippet for you. In it, you’ll meet Jenny, also known as Ginger – whom I had no clue existed until Judas decided to introduce me tonight. I hope you like her as much as I do!
The door is wooden, with a light polish that gives it a warm gleam. It’s worn from years of use, and as familiar as that to my own home. I run my hand across it lightly before entering, relishing the feel of the smooth grain. I have to strain to get it open, with the wind pressing against it, but at last it gives in. The five little bells jangle along with it, announcing my presence.
An elderly man in the corner looks up from his fresh cup of coffee and his newspaper, surprising me a bit. No one’s ever here this early. She couldn’t have opened more than five minutes ago. But then, I haven’t been here in a while. Jenny appears behind the counter, retying her crisp, white apron behind her back. Her frizzy red hair sticks out every which-a-way at the crown of her head disobediently, as usual. She never can tame it. I smile a bit and step further in, stomping the snow off my boots before fully entering.
She glances up, her lightly wrinkled and heavily freckled face just as warm and pleasant as usual. When she catches sight of me, her lips break out into a giant smile, bright enough to cause the sun itself shame. She’s a little older than my mom was, but looks very young and springy. She always has a smile, but this one she saves just for me.
“Jude! Oh, my dear, it’s been so very long!” She sweeps gracefully around the counter, and nearly skips towards me. We embrace each other, and as she pulls away she laces her fingers between mine, looking me up and down with a glimmer in her eye.
“It’s so wonderful to see you! I was worried when you didn’t come visit. How is the…” She cuts off suddenly, glancing at the man reading his newspaper, then clears her throat. “How’s life treating you?” She smiles again, and I understand. She’s always bringing in strays. Not that I can blame her for it. After all, it is how we met. But you can never be sure where their allegiance lies.
“Ginger! Oh, I’ve just been so busy with everything, I haven’t had the chance to come down this way. But I’m doing well! How are you? And the shop? Nothing’s really changed, has it?” I know my eyes must be shimmering, and my smile threatens to hurt my face. It’s been so long since I’ve felt this at home. I need to come here more often.
“Well, nothing’s really changed, no. Old Sarah Lean – you remember, that one with the three little boys? – passed away last month. But I’ve been doing well, and the shop’s still holding its own. I really have missed you, Jude.” She sways my arm in that girlish way of hers, and I have to smile again. She’s been like family to me for years, always there, always loving. She took me in shortly after mother died, gave me a room and kept me fed.
It isn’t the same as having my mother back, of course, but I do love it here. It always smells of lemons, cookies, and coffee. Different spices leave their perfumes as well, but those three are the most prominent. The floor is a red-colored wood, polished to a shine. There are tables and chairs strewn about, never in the same place as before. That’s the way Ginger likes it… as long as they’re clean, customers can move them wherever they wish. The leather chairs are all over by the fireplace in a semi-circle, with one of the shorter tables in the middle. Looks like Ms. Foster’s book club was in here last night.
“Would you like some tea, Jude? Or do you need to go?” She asks, breaking my train of thought.
“Actually, I would love some.” We smile again, and I remove my hat as we walk to the counter. She slips back behind, and I take a seat at the bar to wait while she rummages around for it.
“Peppermint, right?” She asks without turning around or looking over her shoulder.
“Is there any other kind?” I tease. Her fluffy red pony tail flicks back off of her shoulder at my teasing, and I chuckle.
“I don’t know how you can stand that jasmine stuff. It tastes like watered-down, hot perfume.” I wrinkle my nose, and she turns to face me, a box of teabags on her hip.
“What are you going on about, dear?” She sticks her tongue out at me, and I repeat the gesture.
“One would think we’re siblings, the way we treat each other!” She laughs, a sweet, joyous sound like a bird’s song.
Have a great night everyone! Happy NaNoing!