Madeleine slowly gazes at the entire quaint book store with intense curiousity. “Um, Did we travel to another time zone, or what?” Madeleine thought to herself as she concentrated on every graphic novel, with weathered covers, and every antiquated, and used book, and dated magazines.
“Earth calling Maddy, come in Maddy!” Devon says while waving his hands in front of Madeleine’s face.
“Uh?” The startled Madeleine quickly utters.
“You’re back from outer space?” Devon asks in a jovial tone.
Madeleine smiles “Haha. Funny!” She replies. “Where did you find this place?” She asks Devon as she gave the shop another full look over.
“Well Mads…Is it cool if I call you Mads?” Devon asks with a smirk.
“Um…sure.” Madeleine replies eagerly awaiting the rest of his story.
“Cool! This is actually my grandfather’s store.” Devon begins to explain. He’s been collecting graphic novels for a very long time, illustrating and writing them too.”
Madeleine’s eyes opens widely. “You’re telling me that your grandfather is famous?”
“Ahhh, I didn’t say that.” Devon quickly interjects. “He’s always been an artist, and worked for a well known company to help publish kids books for some time, but always wanted his own shop.”
“Wow! This is…this is something.” Madeleine responds.
“Right? Hey, Come meet my Grandad.” Devon says quickly, then grabs Madeleine’s hand to lead her over to meet his Grandfather.
“Hey Grandad!” Devon greets his grandfather who is arranging comic book memorabilia behind the cash register.
“Hey, hey, hey there little Devon.” Devon’s grandfather, Solomon replies, while greeting his grandson with a huge smile and warm hug. Looking up from his embrace, Solomon notices Madeleine. “So who’s this?” He asks Devon.
“Oh! Grandad, this is Madeleine.” Devon introduces her with broad arm strokes resembling a game show assistant.
“Hello Madeleine.” Solomon says as he draws closer to her. “You’re one of Devon’s school friends?”
“Yes sir!” She begins “Well, we go to the same school, but we just met.” She continues.
Solomon chuckles. “Ok. So you’re new friends then.” He announces. “What are you kids up to, today?”
“I wanted to get Mads into some exciting novels Grandad. The ones at the school library have got nothing on these.” Devon proclaims.
Solomon lets out an enormous laugh. “Well let’s see what we can find to satisfy the lady.” He utters, as he gestures Madeleine, and Devon to follow him.
Madeleine continues to gaze around the store in amazement. “I didn’t know a place like this existed!” She thought. “I can certainly get lost in a place like this.”
“So here’s the retro Sci-Fi, Fantasy section…” Solomon interrupts Madeleine’s thoughts. Solomon pauses, smiles, and looks directly at Madeleine. “Madeleine are you with us?”
“Yes sir!” Madeleine quickly replies.
Madeleine continues the tour with Solomon, and Devon fully engaged with Solomon’s stories, including offering up questions of her own.
“Mr. Solomon, so uh, Can I come here everyday after school?” Madeleine asks shyly.
Devon jumped right in; “Everyday?…What, are you a rich kid or something?”
“Oh hush now Devon!” Solomon immediately responds to his grandson. “It’s none of your business what she does, and when!”
Devon retreats, while Solomon encourages Madeleine. “Feel free to visit me here anytime young lady!” He says to the slightly shaken young woman, who took some offense to Devon’s words.
“You can come by, and just read if you like.” Solomon continued. “You don’t have to buy something. Devon is just jealous anyway. Basketball practice takes up most of his week, but he wishes he could consume books everyday.”
Madeleine nods, and puts out her hand to shake Solomon’s. “Thank you very much Mr. Solomon, but I have on intention of being a freeloader.”
After a firm handshake, Madeleine stares at Solomon, and continues. “Thanks for everything. I will be back”. She then walks toward the door as though Devon doesn’t exist.
Devon looks at his Grandfather puzzled. “Go after her Junior. What’s wrong with you?”
Devon staggers for a second then runs out after Madeleine.
To be continued…