Chapter edited by: Potentialslayer1
It was an early Friday evening in Colorado Springs, there was an unusual fog drifting across the practically empty street in front of Bering and Sons. Thirteen year old Myka Bering sat in her favourite reading chair, hidden behind the classics section of her family's bookstore, which was situated next to a large window overlooking a small side street. The girl was still dressed in her Girl Scouts uniform as she huddled into her bent knees, chewing her bottom lip as she practiced reading Ammianus Marcellinusin its original Latin.
The deal was that, for as long as she continued to keep her grades above 90% in her Latin class, her parents would keep paying for them. They thought it frivolous for their daughter to waste her time and their money on learning a dead language, but the girl pulled the, you-know-I'll-work-hard-and-I'll-help-out-more-in-the-shop card, and won.
Myka's head jerked up out of her book when she heard the delivery man's van park at the side of the street right in front of the window. He got out and waved at her then pointed to the large box in his hand. The curly haired girl grinned and almost tripped over her abnormally large feet as she sprung up. She knew that her dad had ordered some really old books from London. He paid a pretty penny for them too, but their store prided itself in rare finds. Her dad had always said that there is no better investment than an original print copy of a great piece of literature.
Myka scurried to the front door, whizzing past her mom who was checking someone out at the till. The girl then opened the door for the delivery man as he entered.
"Hey-a kiddo," The man in his late forties smiled towards her.
"Hey Brad!" She beamed. "I see you've got my books."
"Your books?" Her dad's voice cut through her sunny disposition like a knife. "Last time I checked, this was my money paying for these," He approached them and took the box from Brad.
It's not that Warren Bering had intentionally ruined Myka's blissful state, he was just a man that spoke short and to the point, making others feel unnoticed by him and sometimes trampled on a bit. "Thanks," Her dad nodded to their delivery man, where Brad gave a quick polite smirk in return before leaving.
Through the glass of the front door, Brad gave Myka a quick wink, knowing that she was about to have the time of her life while looking through their new merchandise.
After the girl beamed and waved him farewell she made her way over to her mother who had just finished up with the customer at the till. Without a word Myka yanked at her mom's arm, knowing that she would understand what she wanted.
Jeannie looked to her daughter and nodded before looking to her husband, "Warren sweetie, maybe Myka can give you a hand with those?"
"Jeannie, these aren't just everyday stock books, these are rare finds."
"Yes, and who else is as careful and meticulous as your Myka?"
He looked to his wife and sighed before muttering, "Fine," just to hinder an argument from initiating.
Myka's grin flashed brighter in an instant before she quickly hugged her mom and made her way over to her dad, box still in hand, as he wandered over to the back of the store. There sat a large oak table that was half empty and half littered with books; some to be put away, some were just displayed only, and others were 'arrived damaged' that needed to be sent back.
Her dad put the box down on the cleared off part of the table before he pulled out the x-acto knife, that he had always carried in his back pocket, and sliced the packing tape, that fastened the box shut. Myka was a tall teen but was still forced to step on her tippy-tows to see inside the box, from just beside her dad. He flipped open the flaps as Myka gawked at all the beautiful leather and fabric bound books inside.
"Are these really, all from London," the girl asked in awe, before she grabbed a pair of latex gloves from the table, and put them on.
"No, some of them come from an old country estate just outside of the city, as well. They were miscellaneous books that I got cheap."
"Hoping to find a diamond in the rough?" She smiled, but got a complete lack of response from her dad. She was quick to downcast her eyes and bite her lip in slight awkwardness, as he put on his own gloves.
"Okay, you can start by pulling out the books and gently placing them on the table." He instructed her as he pulled out the first book and started to examine it, checking its condition. "Don't stack them, I want them lain out so that I can see them best."
Myka knew the procedure all too well, but bit her tongue and just did as told. The first book she pulled out she had to bite her lip hard to hinder a screech as she looked upon a first edition Journey to the Centre of the Earth. She turned the green, slightly beaten, book over before grazing her hands over the golden text on the cover. She then put it down on the table carefully before she reached in for another. This time she pulled out a thin folder and opened it to find the folio of Titus Andronicus. Myka's arms actually shook as she gazed upon the bard's beautiful text, before it was taken out of her grasp by her dad.
"There you are! What a beauty!" he muttered towards the Shakespearean folio before turning the pages over gently and touching his hand to the words. "If I could only see pretty things like you on a daily bases, my world would be complete," he hushed lovingly to his new pride and joy.
Myka looked away from the sight of her dad caressing yet another object that he fancied more than her. Her gaze fell back into the box as she saw a slightly smaller box inside. She pulled it out and placed it on the table. "Hey Dad," Myka asked, "What's in here?"
Her dad seemed annoyed that she was forcing him to look away from his new prized possession as he answered, "Those are the books from that old estate I was talking about." He pulled his knife out of his pocket and handed it over to her without a word before going back to what was in his hands.
Myka took the blade and opened the box with ease. There were six little pocket books inside, according to the inventory list that lay on top. The first one she pulled out was some sort of child's fairy tale book. It didn't look like it had much value to it though. The second one was a book on early aviation. The girl gave it a once over before placing it on the table.
Then she pulled out a hardcover leather bound book. It had a Victorian floral print texturized into the dark brown leather, but there was no title on it. Curiously; the brunette opened the book and skimmed the first page. Tears started to well up in her eyes, taking her off guard, as she read. The teen then looked to her dad who was still in his own little world with his literature. Myka chewed her bottom lip as she began contemplating something that she would have never have thought of doing until now. She was too responsible to do it. She could never betray her dad by going through with it, but for some reason, the power of the words in that book made her go against every good-girl fibre in her body as she shoved the text under her scouts shirt. She then quickly spurted out to her dad, "I have to go to the bathroom."
"Yeah, yeah, go," he waved her off without looking up like he didn't have the slightest care.
Myka whipped off her gloves and threw them on the table before bouncing off and up the stairs to their second floor apartment. She breezed past their common room and went down the hall to close herself away in her bedroom which was across from her sister's room. Tracy's room was almost always empty for that she was currently at boarding school. Myka's sister was strange in that matter, she begged their parents to let her go to school a few counties over. She said that she wanted a full educational experience, but Myka knew that she just wanted to hang around with her Chic Cliquefriend Katie, whose parents sent her to the school because they moved too much due to her father's military career. Tracy was only ten, but one could swear that she loved her friends more than she loved her family, which was saying a lot for the daddy's girl that she was.
Myka planted herself on her bed as she listened for a few seconds to make sure that no one was around. She knew that both her parents were downstairs, but that didn't stop her from being overly cautious, especially when her heart was beating so profusely. She just stole a book from her dad. She didn't know if it held any value or not, she may have been able to just simply ask him for it. But she didn't want to take the chance of him saying no.
Once her heart slowed down a bit and she was convinced that she was alone up in their apartment, she took the small brown book from underneath her shirt and ran her fingers over the cover lovingly before opening it to the first page, once again.
September 21, 1878
Dear Diary… no, that sounds rather ridiculous. I don't wish to write to a book, I'd rather speak to a friend, a best friend; I'd rather speak to you. Yes, you, the one who has found my diary. I love you. I would have to love the person who I am about to disclosed my life and all its secrets to. So let us try this again.
Dear my darling best friend,
Today is my twelfth birthday, and my favourite aunt just gave me our book. Yes, this book, yours and mine. I am about to tell you everything My Darling in this journal, and I can only hope and pray that you will respond back to me. I'll leave the back of every page blank, just for you to write in. For that you are the most important person in the world to me. We are forever tethered together, I can just sense this.
But for now I must say farewell to you, and that I can't wait to talk to you again Darling.
-Valedico my Love
Myka shut their diary and held it close to her heart. She smiled as she wiped away a tear before muttering to her one and only friend, "I love you too."