By Nancy Lou Henderson
There was an aroma of coffee perking, as the alarm buzzed loudly. Elsa knew it was time to get out of bed, but she laid there thinking, with her eyes closed, before turning the alarm off. She loved the bookstore downstairs, but as the owner, she knew it had monopolized her life, keeping her robotic seven days a week.
The bookstore was only open to the public Monday thru Saturday, but on Sundays, Elsa did book work and restocked the bookshelves. Knowing it was Sunday, Elsa felt even more alone than usual as she got out of bed.
Since it was Sunday, Jed knew the bookstore was closed, and Elsa would be there working alone. The first time he had walked into the bookstore, Jed had felt an instant attraction to Elsa, but she always seemed to be in a trance just walking through the motions of life. As he packed the picnic basket, He prayed today would be different.
Once dressed, Elsa smelled the freshly brewed coffee while walking down the stairs. She walked through the bookstore, then into the small kitchen at the back of the store and poured herself a cup of coffee. As Elsa took her cup of coffee then entered the bookstore, there was a knock on the front door. Startled at the unexpected visitor, she unlocked the door to see Jed standing there.
When he saw the surprise on Elsa’s face, Jed smiled and said hello, but then brushed past her on his way to the kitchen while reminding her to shut and lock the door.
Elsa closed the door and locked it then followed Jed to the kitchen. Why was he here? What did he have in the basket? As she entered the kitchen, Elsa saw the picnic basket sitting on the cabinet, and Jed was taking out breakfast fixings.
Turning around, Jed told Elsa, “Today will be different, special, and fun. I will fix us breakfast then we will go for a walk in the park. We will laugh, smile, and maybe even dance. Today will be different.”
Surprised, Elsa replied, “Jed, I have lots of work to do. I can’t just leave the store and go to the park. Gosh, that bacon smells terrific. Do you want me to make some toast? ”
Throwing back his head while laughing, Jed flipped the bacon, then handed Elsa the bread, knowing he had begun the process of breaking through her outer shell.
Jed and Elsa sat down to eat breakfast at the kitchen table. They talked, laughed, and smiled while eating. It had been years since Elsa had felt so alive, and Jed could not stop staring into her eyes. As she looked into Jed’s eyes, Elsa realized that she had never really seen him.
Elsa asked Jed, “Why are you here?”
Jed stood then turned on the radio, pulled Elsa from her chair into his arms, twirled her around the floor then told her, “Waking you up, Elsa to life and love.”