“Oh my god. OH. MY. GOD. There it is! THERE IT IS!” I said to my group as I increased my pace. My eyes grew wider as I reached the display stand. I stopped just short of it, as if its beauty deserved my reverence.
A friend in my group was quickly next to it and was about to touch it, when I gave him the stink eye. He wasn’t deserving of it! I was sure of it! He looked uncomfortable under my stare and instead of looking at it himself, he placed it in my hands.
I couldn’t believe that it was in my hands. That the glorious perfection would make its way into our local store, fifty miles from civilization. My hand quivered as I went to touch it and suddenly I was unsure that I was worthy of it.
My group of friends stared at me as I acquainted myself with it. With every caress, flip, and the occasional sniff, my friends’ faces showed deep embarrassment at their association with me. I had always been an eccentric being, but not generally in public, or at least in our town where people actually knew me.
“Michelle, it’s just a –,” my boyfriend began.
“It’s not just anything!” I exclaimed. “It’s special edition! One of five hundred made! And it’s here! In our town! I have to have it!”
“But I don’t see anything special about it. You’ve got like a million of those,” he said to me. Boy if he wasn’t cute and this wasn’t special edition, I would have thrown it at him in a heartbeat.
“But I don’t have one that’s like this,” I started. “LOOK at this craftsmanship! LOOK AT IT!”
I put it into his hands so that he could admire what I had been waiting six months to go out onto the market. He manhandled in that same way he manhandled everything I wanted or owned. I guess it’s to be expected from a man who works with his hands.
“Honey,” I continued. “Feel this leather. It’s super soft. And look at the color. It’s purple! No… not purple.. it’s a deep, beautiful amethyst. And it’s got that cool leather stringy thingie so it stays shut! Open it!”
Uncomfortable, he did as I said and I made him riffle through the inside.
“See how the edge has been painted with watercolor to match the leather? And feel the paper! You know, you can tell a lot about a person by the type of paper they use in life,” I said.
“Well, what would this paper say about you?” He asked.
“… uhhhhh …” Suddenly I was at a loss for words. I actually didn’t know what the type of paper a person used said about them. Well, I thought I knew, but I couldn’t really describe it in words. Maybe paper selection just mattered with busines cards.
“You just want because it’s pretty. She probably won’t even use it,” his friend said. I rolled my eyes at him and wondered why I would bring such uncultured slobs to the one place in town where they seldom set foot into.
Upset for being teased, I snatched it out of my boyfriend’s hand and walked away to look at the rest of the displays.
He came up behind me and placed his arm on my shoulder. “Michelle, if it means that much to you, I’ll get it for you. How much is it?”
I turned my head and smiled. He was too sweet. I turned the pages until I reached the back, where the barcode was placed. My eyes bugged out and my brows furrowed. Immediately, I turned back and roughly put it back on the display, not caring if it fell to its demise. I stormed out of the building and shook my fist at the storefront.
“What happened?!” my boyfriend asked as he and our friends caught up to me.
“Fifty-nine, ninety nine for a journal?! They must be out of their goddamned minds!”