I walked by the windows of the shop on my way home every day for a year. My steady pace rarely slacked, except in front of a particular pair of pristine glass window panes. No matter the time of year it remained transparent, so much so that it seemed as though there was no window to speak of. An open air shop, while not practical in the midwest due to the frigid winters, would carry a certain charm. Instead, I pretended and dreamed of that unsealed marketplace. Everyday I peered in with tempered enthusiasm. For within the dusty stands directly behind the immaculate window it contradicts sat an item that beckoned itself to me. Over the time in which I had swooned it seemed I may have been the only one to lay eyes on it. Despite the window’s clear perfect complexion, it hid in a dusty shadow – forgotten. A month into the inanimate love affair I decided to do some research. This is a necessity. Year, model, etc. The internet is littered with manuals and guides. I even watched a few tutorial videos. The studying was obsessive, as if it were life or death. Each word traveled into my mind and sunk its teeth in. I wanted to master the possibilities.
Saving up my chips took a considerable amount of time, longer than I would have hoped. Life seems to find a way to get in the way. My car, while dependable, was growing exceedingly older. So new tires and a starter and everything in between seemed to crop up. Then my mother fell ill, so plane tickets and such. To top it all off, the air conditioning cut out in my small home. I thought the landlord would cut the expense, but he is a crusty old man who doesn’t want to be bothered. Absurd but not worth the confrontation. So time crept on, as it does. A year, almost to the day, later I strolled in with a pocket full of bills that I counted and recounted (and then washed my hands repeatedly.) My smile was toothy, despite my mother vowing that it should never be so throughout my childhood. The young woman behind the counter of the pawn shop was the daughter of the shop’s owner. She had taken to flashing me a warm smile as I stalked by each day. Her large halo of hazelnut curly hair framed the glowing smile meticulously. It was a highlight of each day. Now, we spoke! She expressed surprise that I was there, standing in front of her. The sentiment was shared. The day had arrived, I would be the proud owner of that old literary brownstone in the window. She lugged it over, money exchanged hands (her’s far softer than mine.) With my fist clinched, knuckles white around its case’s handle; shoe to pavement I sped home at a blistering pace. Far faster than any in the past year. I felt the need to close us off from the world, drawing the curtains and locking the doors after arriving to my small shotgun home.
Set down on the desk with a mighty clunk, the sound of angelic choirs. Clips actioned open, the lid removed. The shop girl dusted it off before boxing it in the case, I almost wish she hadn’t. It was less familiar without the layer of gray fuzz. The first key, the first click was so loud it made me jump a little. The first letter written on a silky off-white sheet of paper. Only the letter was something odd, not a letter at all! Not the K I had chosen. It did not even remotely resemble such a letter, or any letter in the English alphabet. The small symbol was nothing I had seen before in the online manuals or any walk of life. It was equal parts square and squiggle. My hands rubbed their way across my excited eyes out of habit, as if I were miss-seeing the tiny ink blot. But it stood firm, its confidence abundant. I envied this confidence and wondered where it came from.
My fingers instinctually began to push the other keys with frantic immediacy. They too did not produce anything similar to their counterparts printed on each metal key. More symbols. Each one different, each with a different story to tell. While my mind told me to search them out, to learn their meanings, something held me back. I wanted to know, that was certain. The mystery, the wonder as I squinted at the line of symbols that drew me in. But my head was reeling. Then each one started to pang in my skull, as if each symbol was learning from the other, trying to explain their worth to my soul. In an instant I knew, I knew their message. The typewriter was teaching me the axiom.
Based off of this prompt: After a year’s wait, you finally strike – it’s yours. But once you get home you discover that it’s nothing – nothing like you thought it’d be…