The book had been waiting for her as many years as she’d been alive. It had come to the shop by way of the elder Mr. Billing’s estate when he passed. It came with its own history and stories beyond those written upon its paper.
It had been moved from shelf to shelf on occasion and been dusted from time to time. Its pages had been flipped through by sticky-fingered children, distracted mothers, and students in search of more serious literature. But it had never left the room that overlooked Plum Avenue, not since the day she’d been born.
She found it on a brilliantly sunny, decidedly sweltering August day where it had lived for so long in the store’s attic. There weren’t many who ventured upstairs on late summer days, not many who were willing to bear the heat. But she knew the best things were always found where others were reluctant to go.
She found it under a towering stack of baseball caps and a pile of old magazines on the very bottom and dustiest shelf of the bookcase. She picked it up and knew it was meant for her. She ran her fingers over the green fabric cover, embossed with flowers in gold. She opened it and read a few pages, thinking about who else must have read the same words a very long time ago, wondering what color eyes read the same passages as she did now. It smelled of dust and rain, much like the fields did after dark, when it was cool and the moon cast hazy blue shadows.
It fit just so into the crook of her arm, protected and close to her heart. Precisely as the book knew it would when it came all those years ago to the room that overlooked Plum Avenue.