It was already 5:30 in the morning of March 23rd, the twenty-six years old Celestine Hale is preparing up her breakfast in the plate. In her every bite of the bacon she cooked, she remembers her mother who used to do their meals back when she was still alive but everything has changed ever since her mother died five years ago, she also never met her father since she was a child and now she needs to be by herself. After she ate her breakfast, she immediately takes a shower because she has a work waiting as a store clerk for Mr. Parker who owns a bookstore in Dyckman Street at Manhattan. According to Celestine “he is a bossy type of man, which is given because he is my boss; he also tends to complain about things easily and sometimes rude especially when it comes to me. But I know that there is a good person inside of him, He is just like that because he wants everything to be perfect and all set on its place.” Sometimes Celestine wishes that Mr. Parker will be nice to her even if just for a minute.
She packed all her things up inside the car and before leaving she kisses the picture of her mother placed inside her wallet which she always brings with her, yet there is always something crosses her mind. “It was a picture of my mom torn apart; she said that the other half is me when I was a baby but why every time I ask her about it she is just response less and all she can say is the other half is me.” The girl never bothered herself thinking, so she start the engine instead; she passed by to her favorite coffee shop to grab a cup of coffee before heading out to the bookstore.
It was 7:30 when she reached the store just on time, there she saw Mr. Parker sitting on a couch next to the counter holding his favorite book, “every time I’m about to approach inside the store I always caught him holding that book very tight like reading every single page of it” but for whatever reason he must be finished reading that book exactly before Celestine makes a step going-in on the store than the usual, but he is not moving or making any sound so Celestine greeted him a good morning and not a surprise for her that the old man never respond, acting like he doesn’t hear anything.
“Sometimes it comes to my mind that maybe he wrote that book but has no guts to publish it, because I never seen that kind of book in my entire life of staying at the bookstore, I even searched for it at different stores but I failed to see one.”
The chimes of the door sounded, she knew it’s time for her to work, she peep to Mr. Parker to see what the old man is now doing and still on the couch holding his book. A young man just came in to her sight,
“Excuse me miss, do you have a book of love?”
Celestine smiled and replied “just go straight to the next rack then you’ll see it right there”
He gave a nod “Thanks!” he smiled then turned away
Celestine chuckled, because the man always ask the same question every time he enters the book store, acting like it is always his first time to visit the store.
Realizes that Mr. Parker has no plan to stand up and be the cashier, Celestine decided to face the counter , she went straight to it, puts her bag under the counter table, then the next customer came to her, she punches the books which the lady bought to the store and saw the young man earlier waiting next to the line. Mr. Parker begun to stand up seems he already finished reading the book, means it’s time for her to leave the counter and to rearrange the book racks instead.
Mr. Parker came over the counter to replace Celestine, the man in line just stared to him wondering if he would pay for the book he get or bring it back to the rack where he get it but before he concluded his decision Mr. Parker immediately took the book from his hand and punch it.
“5 bucks” Mr. Parker said, and right away the man handed it to him.
Before the man leaves the counter Mr. Parker whispered to him “I know your reason young man, I’m pretty sure it’s not the books!” then gave him a pissed kind of smile, the man being guilty rushes to leave the store immediately.
It’s already twelve noon, the store closes for a two hours of break, time for them to have lunch, Celestine directly gets her bag and leaves the store so she can go back on time. She is half way the street of Arden when she realized her wallet wasn’t inside her bag; she was worried, thinking where she has placed it. She can’t think of any reason where, because she always bring that with her before she leaves her house so very impossible for her that she forgotten it there. She even look for it at where she has walked in the street but she failed to find it, until it crossed to her mind that maybe it slipped off her bag when she placed it under the counter table, that’s why she rushed going back to the store and hoping that it is really there. She doesn’t even care of the dibs inside it, the gift checks and anything, or she cannot eat her meal if she never finds it, all she was worried about is the only picture that reminds her of her lost mother.
She is just few blocks away from the book store when she stopped to catch her breath from the long run she had a couple of minutes ago, and from there she can barely see Mr. Parker from the store glass standing, when she stepped inside the store the old man holding her wallet and a piece of something hidden on his other hand.
“Is this yours?” Mr. Parker unease of asking the question,
“Yes sir, that’s mine”, the fifty-ish year old man handed Celestine her wallet and a torn picture.
“Where did you get that picture?” Mr. Parker said,
Celestine in a really big cloud of confusion, ponders that “Is this man really talking to me?” but she answered politely, “She’s my mom”.
The girl is still clueless and just bear in her mind that maybe it’s his tactics, because he doesn’t want me to think of him tampered what’s inside my wallet, after a minute Celestine decided to leave the store again when Mr. Parker loudly call her attention.
“Ms. Hale! Wait a second”, Celestine turned her head back to the old man,
“Wait there” he said, Celestine saw Mr. Parker walked inside the counter, gets his all time favorite book and walked approaching her.
Mr. Parker shown her a piece of a picture torn apart which like he uses as a bookmark, the young girl was shaken, the backgrounds and all is the same in the picture she was holding, she can’t even utter a single word but trying her best to speak and with a shaky voice she ask away “that baby is me, why do you have that?” Mr. Parker was still and silent, “are you my father?” she continued, the old man was standing firm looking directly in her eyes, the girl can see the water formed in his eyes but he refuses to answer and just gave Celestine a warm tight hug.
The room was so silent; the books in the store feels screaming, wanted to reveal something, everything around them stopped, the emotions are high. Mr. Parker breaks the silence, and said “Finally!” she wondered what does it mean, but decided to hug him back instead of asking another question.
Mr. Parker after his long silence speaks up “I’ve been searching for so long!” then faced the young girl, “I’m glad to finally meet you my niece…” the New York girl after her expectations, looked shocked,
The old man continued, “Yes, I’m your uncle Tom… your father’s twin brother”.