Art Trip

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  No Houses

Chapter 1 (v.4) - Chapter 1

Submitted: January 19, 2018

Reads: 541

Comments: 2

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Submitted: January 19, 2018



Maggie Harris lazily placed her index finger down on the snooze button of her radio alarm clock just as the voice of Tim Lihoreau of Classic FM announced to a sleeping world that it was 07.05am,

Still lying on her stomach, Maggie let her left arm fall down the side of her bed. All around her lay the wreckage of last night’s one-woman prosecco party. The bedroom smelt of bad breath and stale alcohol, it was times like this she was so glad she didn’t have a partner to wake up too. She thought of countless couples up and down the country now waking up smelling of nightly BO and bad breath. She shuddered at the thought and pulled the duvet up to her chin

When the radio alarm clock went off a second time, Maggie let the smooth sounds of Chopin feel her bedroom. It was Monday morning again, the only good thing about Monday and the week ahead was seeing Richard her co-partner in the antique shop their both run. He was a gentle soul, five-foot ten inches with short fair hair and grey-blue eyes. His toned upper body from his university rugby playing days was still in evident. To Maggie he was quite a dish. In addition to his good looks he was academic, bookish with a dash of practicality.

He confessed to her that he had never been married and was quite open to Maggie that his track record with women was quite low. Richard told her he liked to take his time with relationships and not rush into them. Find out about a woman’s character; see what a potential Mrs M was like when faced with certain scenarios. For instance, how would a future Mrs M handle a burst water pipe? Would she run straight out of the flat back to whatever sanctuary she could find, or locate the stop cock and turn the water off? Maggie remembered laughing when he said to her that was his opening line to a woman on their first date. Maggie said afterwards that she was not surprised he was still living alone.

But that was Richard, always being practical. Not long after her book shop had opened, it snowed quite heavy for Chelsea and Maggie wore no tights that day and wore open toe shoes. Knowing that she had a long walk to the bus stop, Richard gave her a pair of his woolly socks and a spare pair of walking shoes he had tucked away out the back should the need arise for a winter of discontent in Chelsea.

Maggie was an antique dealer specialising in old and rare books, she bought a lot of the books mainly to full-fill client orders but she wasn’t exclusive. Her side of the shop was stacked with antique books that appealed to all types of collectors with varying budgets.

Richard on the other hand was a fine art dealer and like Maggie tracked down paintings by the world’s renowned artists for collectors and art galleries. He was approached once by the BBC who were planning to remake a Sunday tea-time antiques show, but Richard didn’t want to be in a ‘Roadshow’ travelling up and down country on the slim chance that he might find a forgotten Cezanne.

As well as his art dealership, Richard liked to promote local artists and his gallery featured the best of Fulham and Chelsea could offer. However, times were tough and surplus cash was in short supply.

It was his idea to join the two shops together after speaking with Maggie during the local traders meeting. That day both of them had a visit from their accounts and both were told if business didn’t pick-up then the bank would have to foreclose on their respected businesses.

Richard suggested to Maggie about joining her independent bookshop with his art gallery, being his premises was bigger. Maggie didn’t need much persuading she would do anything rather than lose her little shop. She had so loving worked hard to build her business ever since her dismissal from the Piccadilly branch of Waterstones bookshop. She still couldn’t see what was wrong with burning all the One Direction annuals. In her defence, she said she was saving a generation from a fate worse than death.

So, after much discussion it was decided, Maggie sold her shop to an e-cigarette company and moved in, so to speak, with Richard Maple. That was just over a year ago, and in that time, they became good businesses partners and more than good friends.

Maggie was in love with Richard, and Richard was in love with her. The thing was they both had trouble expressing it verbally those magical three little words, I love you. The time showed 07.15, Maggie would have loved to lie there all morning, but she had a business to run.

Three things were about to come together in a perfect storm for making Maggie late for the shop. Firstly, as she slowly came too she could feel a pain across the bridge of her nose and behind her ear. She placed a hand up to her face; she had fallen asleep again wearing her glasses. Bent out of shape, she would now have to go to the optician at lunch-time but more worryingly, she had to find her spare pair.

Secondly, Maggie was becoming concerned of the sticky substance between her legs. She touched whatever it was and brought her hand out from under the duvet. To her horror her fingers were covered in a brown substance.

Now throwing the duvet off she jumped out of bed trampling under-foot an opened tube of Pringles. This was the third thing that made her late, contending with getting crushed Pringles out of between her toes.

A little consolation and somewhat of a relief, the brown substance was not a night-time dose of the ‘Ronnie’s’ but a big bag of open Cadbury Chocolate Buttons Maggie had been lying on in the night. She now has to strip the bed and put a wash on before leaving the flat.


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