Author's Note: Hey everyone! This is just a fun little, hallmarky type story that came to my muse a few days ago. Is it an improbable plot? Yes, it very much is. Is it a little cornbally? Yes it very much is. But, my muse said it needed something fun to write. So it came up with a plot you'd likely see on the Hallmark Channel. haha.
Special thanks to lemacd for convincing me to go for the plot and naming the story. And also, always being a great sounding board for ideas and helping my muse when she gets stuck.
One Time Deposit, All Sales Are Final
Sabrina Louise Smith (Bree) stood in front of her mirror and brushed her dark brown locks up into a high ponytail. She could hear her mother making breakfast in the kitchen. As she tied up her hair, she peeked out through her door to make sure her mother was still at the oven. Then she tiptoed through the hallway and grabbed her baby book off the shelf. Tucking it into her jacket, she quickly made her way back into her room to slide the book into her knapsack.
"Bree, breakfast is ready!"
"Coming, Mum!" She lifted the knapsack, throwing it over her shoulder and feeling a little bit guilty. But not that guilty.
Stepping into the kitchen, she grabbed her plate and sat down at their small table by the window where she and her mother always ate breakfast together. Her mother sat down across from her and Bree marveled at how beautiful her mother looked. She was sure most children thought that of their mothers. Her mother had piercing blue eyes and blonde locks that rested right below her shoulders and pale skin. Bree, on the other hand, had dark hair and dark eyes. Neither she got from her mother. She often questioned her mother if she was sure they were truly related. To which her mother would just laugh and say that she was sure because she was there the day she was born.
"I'm going to need your help today," her mother told her. "We have a new shipment of books, so you and Thomas will need to sort and shelve them."
Thomas Barrow worked with her mother at the book shop. It was her mother's shop, a business she had begun years before Bree was ever born. And for as long as Bree could remember, Thomas had worked there. He was second in command and he made sure anyone else on staff knew it, except to Bree. Of course, she was the owner's daughter, and only 11. So it wasn't as though she was about to steal anyone's job.
"Alright," Bree agreed.
"No hiding in the stacks and reading books all day," her mother warned. Bree's cheeks flushed and she ducked her head down, to finish eating her food. Bree loved to read. Most days she came in to her mother's shop to help, she would end up finding a book and hiding a way to read it. It wasn't her fault, the books had a way of stealing her away from her duties.
"I won't," Bree promised.
"I'm serious, Bree."
"I won't, Mum."
"Right, because if you want your allowance, you'll do your job."
When they arrived at the shop, Anna Smith unlocked the front doors, opening up her business for the day. And like every morning she opened her shop, her lips curled up into a bright smile. It had been her dream for many years to open a bookstore. Since the first day she opened it fourteen years ago until now, she was always filled with happiness that it was still hers.
"Mum," her daughter, Bree, complained. "Are we walking in?"
Anna looked over her shoulder to see Bree already holding a heavy box in her hands. Her brows furrowed, but then she noticed that Thomas was there as well, unloading the truck.
"Here you go," Anna said, pushing open the door so her daughter and Thomas could begin taking in the boxes. "Would it not have been better to go through the back door?" Anna questioned Thomas.
"Yeah, well, the truck was parked here," Thomas gruffly responded. Anna just shook her head and continued inside to get things ready for the customers. She heard Bree mumble something under her breath about not getting paid enough and Anna chuckled.
The shop was small, but popular. They had many regulars who enjoyed the simplicity of their store and being able to take their time looking through the books. There was always free coffee, which also worked in her favor. And they held a book club once a week, which was a big hit for the twenty-something crowd.
All in all, it was her dream place to be. She had her daughter and her bookshop. It was all she had ever wanted.
"I got it," Bree whispered, as she and Thomas made their way to the back of the store. She dropped the heavy box onto the floor and pulled out the baby book.
"What's all this? All I need is a number," Thomas reminded her.
"I know. It's in this book. I couldn't very well tear it out. My mum would have noticed," Bree stated with a sigh.
"You could have snapped a picture with your phone."
"I don't have a phone. Mum says I can't get one until I'm twelve."
"That's right," Thomas teased her. "You're just a wee one. Perhaps, you're too young for this."
Bree's lips pursed and she narrowed her eyes. "You promised, Thomas."
"And if you don't help me, I'm going to tell Mum about the time….."
Thomas put up his hand to keep her from saying it out loud. Bree may have inherited some of his scheming and blackmailing over the years of them hanging out in the bookstore, both things Anna disapproved of and often reminded Thomas not to do at all, but especially around her daughter. But Bree liked him, he was like an uncle to her. And Anna always said a lot of things about firing and losing his job, but he knew she wouldn't follow through. She never did. Although, this, what he was about to do, might just be the straw that broke the camel's back (or literally the huge boulder), because she might not forgive this.
"Give the book to me," he said. "And I'll take a picture with my phone."
"You're sure this is going to work?"
"Have some faith in your old Thomas, Bree. I know people. It's how I make things happen," he told her. He flipped the book to the front pages and found what he needed, before quickly snapping a picture.
"How soon will you know?"
"A week? Maybe two?"
"I'll find out as quickly as I possibly can."
"I don't hear books being put on shelves!" Anna's voice boomed from the front of the shop.
Thomas gave Bree a wink and tapped her nose, before going over to his corner of the shop to start stocking his books. Bree inhaled sharply, her heart pounding in her chest, excited about the information Thomas was about to find for her.
For two weeks straight, Bree asked Thomas if he had found out any information yet. To her dismay, he always came back with a no. So when she entered the back door of the shop after school one day, she was surprised to find Thomas standing against the doorway with a small slip of paper in his hand.
"Is that….?" She excitedly asked, her eyes widening.
"Yep," he answered with a smirk. Bree went to grab the note, but Thomas held it above his head so she couldn't reach it. She jumped up on her feet, but Thomas just stood up taller.
"Come on! I've waited forever!" Thomas sighed, but relented, handing the paper to her.
Bree glanced for any sign of her mother. Seeing she wasn't around, she quickly opened the paper and read over it.
"This address is for an office building," Bree said, unimpressed. The only reason she knew that was because she walked by it every day on her way to the shop from school. Bree was always one to pay close attention to details like building numbers and street names.
"He works there," Thomas told her. Bree's eyes lit up. "Also, your mum had to run down the street for a little while."
"Not going to lose your nerve now are you?" Thomas questioned.
"No, of course not!" Bree indignantly replied. "Are you sure Mum will be away for a while?"
"Yes," Thomas promised her. "And if not, I can cover for you."
"You're the best!" Bree called, as she ran back out the door and down the street.
She did fine until she landed right in front of the huge office building. Her eyes scanned it and her heart beat harshly. This was it. This was what she had been waiting for her entire life. It had taken her two months to convince Thomas to help her. Now that he had, she was here. What was she waiting for?
Taking in a deep breath, Bree opened the door and looked for a sign to tell her where to go. She saw that she would need to go up to the third floor. She stared at the name and blinked. All this time and he was just around the corner.
Deciding now was not the time to dwell on it, Bree hopped on the lift and rode it to level three. When she stepped out, she saw a kind looking receptionist right out front.
"Can I help you?" The woman asked, confused to see a young girl getting off at their floor.
"I'm looking for John Bates," she confidently stated. Over the years, she had learned that if you sounded confident people would take your requests much more seriously. It was something she had learned from her mother.
The woman hit a button on her desk. "Mr. Bates, there is a….."
"Bree Smith here to speak with you."
"Is she here for the new shoe account?" The voice brusquely asked on the other end.
"I don't think….."
"Just send her in!"
The kind lady shrugged her shoulders and pointed toward the office.
Bree swallowed hard. Now was her moment. She inched her head in through the door and saw a tall man staring out the window. As the door shut behind her, he turned. Upon seeing an eleven year old girl in his room, he pursed his lips.
"What are you….."
"You're taller than I thought you'd be," Bree began.
Bree just kept walking closer to him.
"Do you have brown eyes too? I can't tell from this distance. You have the dark hair," Bree continued to comment.
"What? Who are you? What are you doing in my office?" John was clearly confused and thrown off by Bree's visit.
"My name is Sabrina Smith, but you can call me Bree. Everybody does."
"Bree, why are you here in my office?" He asked again.
"Twelve years ago, did you go to the Yorkshire Sperm Bank and make a donation?"
John pulled at his collar, extremely uncomfortable with this line of questioning.
"I am not sure….that is not any of your business or a question you ask someone," a very flustered John Bates answered. "Now, you should go back home. I have business to do here."
Bree remained in her spot and watched him carefully. Then she smiled.
"You did. I can read it on your face. Well, my mum used that sperm bank and had me."
"And I am pretty sure you're my father."
To be continued...
So if you'd like more, please let me know! I know it is different than what I usually write. If you're looking for angst, I have plenty of those types of stories, but this is not that. It'll have some drama, but it won't last long. Mainly a cornball fest. haha. Thank you all in advance!