Crook Takes Pawn Part 25

Greg nervously drummed his hands against the counter. He was humming to himself, a tune he couldnt place. He had heard it over the speakers of his store on the radio. Little did he know, the song was Ode to Joy, by Beethoven. It suited his current temperament. Greg awoke that morning with a passion to move. He wanted to get up, to run around, to clean up his clunky shop. He couldnt wait to get out of bed. At 6am, Greg rose and hadnt sat down since. His store opened at 9am, but he busied himself with chores he had neglected for too long.
    His first errand was disposing of countless empty boxes that cluttered the back space. Greg broke down all the boxes to cram as many as he could in his car and trunk. It took him two trips to the recycling center to rid himself of them, but now he had breathing room to work with. Greg now felt the advantages of being his own boss. He could close the shop up today altogether, as he had contemplated last night. It was like calling into work, but with no voice message that had to be left. But, with that laziness, Greg would only be hurting himself. If a customer came by during store hours, and the place was closed, they might never return. Why go to a mom and pop store when you dont even know if theyll be open to the public?!?!
    Greg would open the store today. It would kill time waiting for Rebecca. In the meanwhile, Greg was sorting boxes, trying to get some semblance of order to this chaotic mass of junk. Before Greg had the roof fixed, many of the boxes had water that dripped and seeped into them. The former owner, Georges solution had apparently been to pile yet more boxes on top of the base of moldy cardboard. As Greg dug through the pile, the smell began to surface. It was a damp, moldy stink that assaulted Gregs senses. Greg shifted one box on the floor, and a herd of millipedes scattered about. There were at least 4 that Greg could count. This would not do.    The malodorous stack must go. They were mostly books. You would think George was a connoisseur of reading material, by all the countless books that were acquired. Numerous cheap paperbacks and pulp novels were also carted to the recycling center. Greg had the feeling he would become well-aquainted with the guys at the recycling center before it was all said and done.
    Gregs first customers pooled in at about 11am. They were disposing of their old computer monitor. Greg had worked a situation out with Bill, the computer repair guy. Bill had his hands in the computer arena, and offered refurbished monitors. Greg slyly sold them on the newly obtained refurbished monitors. The customers walked in with a fizzled screen, and walked out with a properly working one. Boy, wasnt sales the best?
    Bill offered Greg wholesale prices on the refurb products, a gesture that was as kind as it was unexpected. Greg had made the run once more to dispose of old TVs and computer screens in a mass grave. Bill had brought up the refurbished option casually enough, and convinced Greg to purchase 5 monitors for $75.
    Greg sensed there were other motives behind this stunningly good deal. Bill understood what Greg had been trying to do with Donny. Greg had intended to pull up his fellow human beings from a pit of despair, but had failed miserably. Rather than chide Greg, Bill felt he should encourage generosity by showing some himself. Besides, Bill was a regular viewer to Channel 9, and knew the depths of Gregs heroics.
    Bill had asked about Donny, and why he wasnt there to help this time. It was a friendly inquiry, but Greg sadly relayed that the guy had stolen from him, and to watch out if he saw Donny around. It felt uncomfortable to portray Donny as someone that needed to be studied carefully, but Donnys actions warranted their own responses. Bills smile had faltered at this news. It was the first time Greg had seen this giant of a man without a carefree grin. Greg had an ally in Bill.
    While cleaning, Greg stumbled upon the book he encountered long ago. Death of a Salesman. Symblically, Greg tossed that on the very top of books to be discarded. Greg would not share a similar fate to that depressing, angst-ridden, door-to-door salesman described in that book. No sir.
    As the 3 oclock hour approached, Greg popped another Oxy to quell his nerves. It helped him relax greatly. Time went surprisingly fast. Greg made it a point to simply not look at the clock. Ignoring the ticks and tocks helped keep the time from dragging.
    One thing Greg could not stop, however, was his thoughts of Rebecca. His mind examined the car-jacking and subsequent gun battle, but this time Greg was honed in on Rebeccas reactions. She had cowered as the bullets flew, trying to shield her only infant daughter. Greg had felt paralyzed with fear, yet somehow the sight of Rebecca and Julie had spurred him onward. All thoughts had been on the welfare of Julie. The little gal had served as an emotional anchor to calm Gregs thoughts and actions.
     The initial shock of being wounded in the neck was disrupted by Rebeccas screams. Had she not been there, Greg very well may have stood in place while Jessie shot him to pieces. Of course, had she not been there, he also wouldnt have been shot in the first place, or running off to play hero. But Greg no longer viewed what happened as a bad thing. It had irrevocably altered his course, sending him on a path neither desired nor clear. And he had survived.
    Now Rebecca was waiting to reunite with Greg and bring these events full-circle. Rebecca and her child were safe now, and the bad man was gone, down into the darkness that Jessie had craved. Greg and Rebecca had emerged on the other side, changed, but alive. Nothing stood in the way now.
    Greg was busy chatting with a customer when she stepped inside. Greg heard those cheap bells atop the entrance again, and shot a glance towards the door. He saw Rebecca standing there with Julie held against her side.
    Rebeccas eye had healed entirely, exposing the symmetric allure of her glance. Her frilly sundress complimented the curves of her waist with subdued blue flowery patterns. The dress was formal, but tight and short. Greg could see the jut of Rebeccas hip as she bent to compensate for Julies weight in her arms. Rebecca was lean and tanned, her dark thighs peeking out from the hem of her one-piece dress. Little details like that seemed to leap out at Gregs attentive gaze. From any vantage point, a beautiful girl shines. Rebeccas smile also shined in similar grace out towards Greg as she noticed him noticing her.     Rebeccas dainty hand waggled its fingers to him in greeting. Her normally straight chestnut hair was curled slightly, sending waves of strands streaming down Rebeccas neck in small arcs. She had evidently gone to the salon. Was it specifically because of this meeting? Greg could not contain his beaming smile, even if he triedHe was overjoyed to see her.
Excuse me, sir? a voice directed toward Greg.    Greg turned, slightly dazed and noticed his customer was still there. Greg continued his interrupted pitch, extolling the features of the portable TV they were discussing. Greg held up his index finger to Rebecca, a signal to wait for a minute. Rebecca nods and strolls through the aisles of the store, gently bobbing up and down to soothe Julie. Julie was equally dolled up, wearing an offwhite dressed adorned with a large bow in back. The lace edges of Julies skirt had complex patterns, and were semi-transparent. Her little booties were also white, with gleaming silver buckels. 
    It turns out Julie was a blonde, and her long wavy hair cascaded down the back of her dress. Julies chicken outfit had hidden her golden locks from view. The childs eyes were large and bright, attentive at seemingly everything. Julie would point with wonder at a particular item and Rebecca would angle Julie towards whatever she fancied. The sale was hitting a dead end, but Greg was tuned out to the customers complaints and requests to lower the price. Just make a dicision
Uploaded 02/03/2012
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