Ida’s jaw dropped open – Friday Fiction
Ida’s jaw dropped open. “Five dollars?”
He pushed the glasses back onto his nose a second time and nodded.
“Five dollars is not fair-priced,” she said indignantly. “I may not be wealthy, but I’m certainly not looking for charity!”
“And I’m not giving any,” Peter replied. “You’ve got to understand, when people sell previously loved treasures it’s not about the money. It’s about finding the right home for something they’ve spent years loving.”
The dubious look remained on Ida’s face. “Okay, so you charge me five dollars, and I give the bed a good home. Then what? You charge two hundred for delivery?”
“Free?” Ida thought back on how Big Jim always said, You get what you pay for , and she searched her mind for what the catch might be but could not find one. Again she clarified the terms. “So this is a one-time payment of five dollars, and you deliver the bed free?”
Peter nodded. “That’s the deal, Missus Sweetwater.”
“How’d you know my name?”
“I make it my business to know the names of people in town.”
Ida could feel a ball of suspicion pushing against her chest, but she was torn between heeding such a warning and wanting the bed. After several more questions, she followed Peter Pennington inside the store, pulled five dollars from her purse, and paid cash for the bed. As she turned to leave, the funny-looking little man said, “I think you might also need a picture for that room.”
“Yes.” He reached beneath the counter and pulled out a framed photograph of a young man. “This one.”
“Ha. Seems your ‘read the need’ is no longer working. I have no need of a picture like that.”
“Oh, but you do,” Pennington assured her. “You just don’t know it yet.”
Ida laughed so hard her belly bounced. “Well, when I figure out what I need it for, I’ll be back,” she said and left the store still chuckling.
On the way home Ida again found herself singing along with the radio. Peter P. Pennington was indeed a strange little man, but despite the suspicions picking at her she liked him. And the rosewood bed was every bit as beautiful as the burgundy sofa she had let go.