The Pawnshop

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The man I loved broke my heart days before we were supposed to get married.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I count to thirteen, standing at the crossroads, and the air becomes noticeably chillier.

My eyes start to tear up and I feel compelled to turn around.

And there it is. The pawnshop.

I swallow hard and walk towards it.

The lady inside is dusting her wares casually and doesn't notice me come in for a few seconds.

"Hello…" I say tentatively.

She looks up at me and smiles warmly.

"Welcome luv, I didn't see ya there"!

"What would ye like?" She says gesturing to the items in her shop.

"Ac.. Actually", I stammer, "I was hoping to get a wish granted for a ...price?"

A knowing look dawns on her face.

"He'll be with you in a moment, doll!" She sings.

I'm too heartbroken to really register anything that's happening.

"Good evening, Eve"

A tall, dark haired man walks in from behind the counter.

"You know my name?" I say weakly.

"Well, of course" he smiles. "I also know why you're here. Do you really want this relationship back in your life?"

I'm startled. But I nod yes and say, "It's very important to me"

"It'll cost you another relationship"

"Which one?"

"One that hasn't happened yet" he smiles.

A little voice whispers to me, "Don't do it, Eve!"

"I…" I'm starting to hesitate and my head is pounding with pain. I don't want to do this.

"Your wish will be granted in 13 hours" he says alluringly.

"I..I can't do this" I say weakly, and the headache subsides.

"I'm sorry to hear that" the man scowls, "Goodbye Eve".

And just like that I'm back at the crossroads again right where I was standing earlier.

No sign of the pawnshop.

I see a young red-headed man slowly counting to thirteen and on impulse I say to him, "Don't do it" but he's already in a trance. I'm not sure he heard me.

Time passes and my sadness subsides.

I run into the redheaded man at a party one night.

Our eyes meet and he seems to recognise me.

He finds me later in the evening and smiles hesitantly, revealing dimples. He's quite attractive now that I'm getting a good look at him.

"Thanks for the warning" he says out of context but I smile and we share a knowing look.

"What were you going to wish for?" I ask carefully.

"To bring someone back to life in exchange for my own life"

I am stunned. That's a much better wish than mine. I wonder what his story is.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"Yes" he says, "My name's Charlie by the way, what's your name?"

It's been 25 years since that day, we've been married for 24 of those years.

I guess the pawnshop did grant my wish after all.

Just not in the way I expected.

Author of 'How to be a Lighthouse'. I write for those pursuing excellence and meaning.

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