Sophie tapped her freshly bit fingernails anxiously against the greasy glass display case at Lance’s Pawn shop. Checking her surroundings for the 4th time that minute, she exhaled as Lance wobbled in from the back. He had his monocular in one hand and Sophie’s gold ring in the other.
“Finally,” Sophie thought and waited to hear what Lance had to say.
“It’s beautiful, at least 20 karats. And the diamonds are in pristine condition considering how old it is.” Lance’s eye twinkled, he wanted it. Sophie knew he would try to give her as little as possible for the ring, he drove a hard bargain. “I’ll give you 6,000 for it,” Lance smiled, showing several gold teeth and the others rotten. Sophie snorted. She knew the ring was worth more than double that, and with the sentimental value it held, she wasn’t willing to settle.
“12k or no deal,” She said. Lance’s smile turned to a frown as he opened the cash register, he could tell by her demanding tone that Sophie wasn’t going to be an easy .
“I can do 10,” he grunted. And began to to bag the cash. Sophie took one last look at the ring she’d had for so long. She snatched the bag and walked out the door before Lance could see the tears forming in her eyes.
Sophie looked in the bag as she stepped onto Blackbird Boulevard. As she did a quick count of the last of her money, she gets the wind knocked out of her.
“The hell…” She says and looks up or rather down at the short, chubby women in front of her. Her hair was a mess, she had a pen tucked behind her ear. She had a looked up in awe at Sophie, nearly a foot taller than her, and yanked out another pen from her back pocket.
“A reporter,” Sophie thought and rolled her eyes. The reporter began asking something but Sophie was already clacking down Blackbird to City Hall where her car was parked. The stout women sprinted to keep up.
“You’re Sophie Stone, aren’t you?” She questioned. Sophie checked for cars before waltzing across the street. The woman nervously trailed behind, already out of breath.
“I’m from Southern Living. We’re doing a piece on the town- it’s making a comeback.” Sophie couldn’t help but laugh as she reached for her keys.
“Is it?” She giggled and looked around the town over her Kate Spade sunglasses. The reported nodded enthusiastically as Sophie unlocked her car. A yellow glare caught her eye. She held her breath and glanced down at the front right tire.
“You’ve got to be kidding!” She yelled and stomped her foot. “Great, just freaking great.” She turned around to find the parking attendant, the mousy reporter at her hip. The attendant came waddling up, weighed down by keys and at least 50 extra pounds.
“This parking is for City Hall only ma’am.” He squinted up at Sophie and struggled to catch his breath. The reporter began scribbling on a notebook.
“What are you writing? Stop writing,” Sophie snapped. “There’s no parking at Lance’s, where was I supposed to park?”
“I don’t make the rules ma’am. That’ll be $100.” He held out a dirty hand. Sophie exhaled sharply and pulled out a crisp hundred dollar bill from the sack she’d just gotten. She handed it to him and he pocketed it and bent down to take off the boot. The reported straightened her glasses and turned to Sophie.“So, um, Ms. Stone, I’d love to ask you a few quick questions.” She said. “Don’t you live at the Victorian? We’d love a tour of your room.” Sophie opened her car door, knocking the poor off balance. She turned the car on and the A/C at full blast. The reporter continued though, Sophie had to give her props for her perseverance. “Or maybe, your favorite place to eat around here…” She trailed off. Sophie gave her one last look and said, “Honey, this town isn’t making a comeback, there’s nothing to come back to.” With that she slammed the door and sped off, leaving the shaken newsie and hefty meter maid in the dry, September heat.