WRITTEN BY LISA ALLEN
A chance encounter – but what would it bring for Amy?
Amy huddled under her umbrella, the rain tapping over its papery canopy. She hadn’t meant to stop here; the sudden cloudburst had swept her along to find shelter.
However now, staring through the shop window misty-eyed, it was love at first sight.
A black vintage typewriter sat up proudly on an aged display desk, as if ready for its next assignment.
Painted in gold, the sign over the shop read: Bert’s Antiques.
In the window’s reflection, a figure hurrying towards the shop caught Amy’s attention.
A man stopped a few steps away, glued to his phone. Eventually sliding it into his coat pocket he looked up, noticing Amy staring at the window display.
“Seen something you fancy?”
Amy looked round, meeting his dark melting eyes. They sparkled even under the gloomy sky. She felt her neck flush beneath her scarf.
“I was admiring the typewriter. My great aunt used to have one just like it, decades ago.”
They both peered through the glass.
“She was a private secretary travelling the world with a wealthy family. Quite something for a single woman back then.”
“I bet she has some wonderful stories.”
“She does. But sadly, she’s been forgetting parts of them lately, among other things. I suggested she dictate them, and I write them up.”
She looked at him, eyes filmy.
I want her to know her life will never be forgotten.
He nodded his understanding, with a smile which reached his eyes. “That’s a lovely thing to do.”
“She found the idea quite novel – her, having her own secretary. Aunt Lucy boarded at one of the houses on this street as a young clerk,” said Amy, “I was taking photos just now, until it started raining – to help her remember.”
“Then I saw the typewriter. My aunt always says there’s nothing quite as perfect as the sound of the old machines clacking away. It would be so lovely for her to hear one again.”
He followed her gaze to the window.
“Then she should have this one.”
Amy sighed. “Oh, I couldn’t possibly afford it.”
“I’m certain they’d give you a discount,” the man said.
Amy shook her head, chuckling. “I’d be too embarrassed to ask. They’d only refuse.”
The rain was clearing, just the babble of water trickling along the gutters. Amy suddenly felt embarrassed; she’d been babbling a bit herself.
“I better go,” she said, “and take a few more photos.”
Glancing at the typewriter again, the man said, smiling, “My family have lived in this area for generations. I’m sure I could dig out some old photos of this street, if you like.”
Amy looked surprised. “Really?”
“I could meet you here tomorrow to show you them. Same time? I’m Richard, by the way.”
She smiled. “I’m Amy. And only if you’re sure it’s no trouble.”
The sun cast a cheerful beam over the shop window as Amy waited. It’d been ten minutes and there was no sign of Richard. She felt a tinge of disappointment. Was he just being polite yesterday?
Suddenly the bell over the shop jingled and a face appeared around the door.
Amy glanced up.
“I’m so sorry I’m late. I got caught on a telephone call with a customer. Do you want to come in?” He waved some photographs.
Amy’s mouth gaped in surprise. “You work here?”
He bit his lip. “Sort of. Maybe I should have said yesterday. This is my grandad’s shop – I help out from time to time.”
Amy followed him in, staring with intrigue at the plethora of items from years gone by lining the shelves. Sitting on the counter by the till was the typewriter.
Amy ran her fingers along its cool metal keys, wondering what secrets it held, what stories, letters or messages it had typed.
“Have a go if you like.”
Amy smiled at Richard, unable to resist.
She pressed a key, watching the lever spring forward and back. A joyous sound clicked and clacked and tapped through the air. Letters flying forward and back, stamping the ink ribbon, until finally a ding announced the carriage needed returning.
Amy wound the roller until the paper expelled. It curled over her hand and she saw that something else was typed on the back…
Typewriter SOLD. To Amy. £0.00. May it bring you and your great aunt much happiness.
Amy blinked away a threatening teardrop and stared at him.
Are you absolutely sure? That’s an incredibly kind thing for you to do.
His cheeks spotted pink. “No, what you’re doing for your aunt is incredibly kind. I’m just making sure the typewriter goes to a good home again. Please accept?”
A flicker of something passed between them, holding each other’s gaze.
“OK,” Amy said. “On one condition.”
Richard lifted his brow.
She smiled. “We deliver it to my Aunt Lucy together. I know that she’d love to meet you.”
He smiled back. “Now that definitely sounds like an offer I can’t refuse.”
Our My Weekly Favourites series of lovely feel-good fiction from our archives continues on Mondays and Thursdays. Look out for the next one.
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