Sarah woke slowly and grumbled as she rolled onto her back and stretched out her limbs in every direction. She carefully pivoted to swing her legs over the bed and reached over to her nightstand to pet the fluffy cat, Luna, sitting atop the white furniture. She meowed loudly while her tail flicked and curled—she was hungry—and she was demanding the blonde woman to feed her immediately. She laughed and came to a slow crackling stand, stretching her arms upwards once more to bend her back, and yawned. She turned toward the bed, thinking of making the bed but instead just resituated the purple comforter and decided that would suffice. After her morning routine, Sarah found herself slipping into the arm chair nearest the apartment window. She held a warm cup of coffee in her hands, her feet toasty in their slippers which was necessary for the hard-wood floors, but her bare flesh was cool in her pajama shorts and tank-top. Before she sat she had turned up the thermostat but the apartment never seemed to be able to stay warm except in the summer when it was deathly hot and maintenance would never do a thing for any of the tenants. As she stared out the window, though, Sarah found herself appreciating the cramped mediocre apartment. It was better than her previous living situations. For once, Sarah had moved away from home and out of the toxic relationships of her past. People thought she was running away but in reality she was starting over. Step one—get a job; step two—find own apartment; step three—be independent. This had all worked out according to plan which was surprising. The petite blonde woman had been in the colossal and bumbling city for six months and had fallen into a rhythm. The only thing that she was truly beginning to feel was loneliness but it was fairly easy to push it away. She’d rather be here lonely then back home and still lonely—just a different kind.
She brought the porcelain cup to her lips and took a sip of her creamed coffee. She had the day off and with that came several possibilities. She didn’t have a lot of money to work with in her budget, but sitting around the house seemed a bit distressing and boring to her. Her eyes peered over at the mid-height white bookshelf she had found cheap at a local second-hand store and it was piled with books; romances, mysteries, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Shakespeare, basic smut books, supernatural fantasies, self-help books—the shelves were brimming and about to burst. There wasn’t a single one she hadn’t already read and so, in the at moment, the 24-year-old woman decided it was time to turn around that bookshelf.
Sarah knew of a perfect place to go, too, and with that she was dressing and preparing for the exciting but noneventful afternoon. She found an old box she hadn’t taken out to recycling yet and piled in as many books as she could still carry. After throwing on her beige jacket and her brown leather booties, she threw around her shoulder her bag, and fumbled to find a good grappling position with the box. It was a bit of a struggle to get back to the first floor from the 21st, thank god for the elevator, although Betty, the snippy next-door neighbor looked at her with silent contempt, judging me for no reason. The old bat wouldn’t be happy unless the entire world was massacred or just disappeared, and it was debatable whether she wanted to go with them or be the last person alive. Sarah couldn’t help but to let out a breathy laugh and the heavily perfumed woman turned with a nasty glare when the elevator lurched to a stop on the main floor. She rose her brows and looked to the side feigning surprise and humility, and mouthed 'Sorry', then began to giggle again as she strutted away. Although normally she would walk to [I The Book Cellar,] the box Sarah was carrying made the task difficult and she flagged down a taxi. When she arrived it was nearly 10am and Melinda, the middle-aged, dark-haired beauty at the counter smiled in greeting.
“Sarah! Good to see you,” she greeted the woman who then dropped the box on the counter with a loud thud. Melinda’s brows raised in astonishment but her lips tugged upwards at the corners. “I see it’s trade-in time, huh?” Sarah nodded vigorously. This wasn’t a new occurrence; Sarah had always loved to read but when she moved to the city she found that losing herself in books really helped her mental health and was a way to pass the time. Melinda was truly, other than Sarah’s coworkers, her only friend—if they were even that—but it seemed like they were mighty familiar with each other and so Sarah gave Melinda that title. It was the first book store she found and she never left; with rows and rows of books three stories high and plenty of couches and comfortable knocks and crannies, Sarah found herself half-the-time reading here in the warm, comfortable store than home. Melinda also made a wicked cup of coffee and never charged the charismatic woman. “Yep! Figured it was time and what a perfect day!” She motioned to the outside and Melinda nodded. Most people wouldn’t agree; the heavy cloud coverage cascaded the world beneath in in monochromatic shades and dulled the hues. It easily could look dreary and sad, especially in the swollen clouds began to lose their retained water and it would rain. “Oh, I know, isn’t it? Always love to cozy in with a good book on days like this,” Melinda commented and Sarah nodded. Melinda began to pick out the books, stacking them in piles and preparing to put them away. No doubt she was mentally noting the book number so Sarah could steal the same. [i God I love her trade-in policy; eek!]
The two floors above had balconies over the main floor and the stairs toward the side of the room brought you up to each one. It really opened up the place, and with its rustic décor of second-hand furniture, hand-made art for local artists, and intricate rugs and refurbished coffee tables it truly had it’s own unique touch and Sarah thought of it as her second home by now. Sarah found herself on the third floor then, peeling out an oldie-but-goodie, Mansfield Park, a classic and nice on a rainy day. She took off her coat and nestled into a comfortable, rusted couch, laying down with her head on the head rest and holding the book above her head. [i Ah, yes, this is perfect.] She heard a soft pattering then and turned her head where she could see, through the isle between the shelves and over the balcony, rain began to slowly drop and was clinging to the front floor-to-ceiling windows.
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