Cycling down the hill was always the best part of my journey to Flashback. Going up was deceiving; the gently sloping gradient always made me believe that  I could make it with ease. By three quarters of the way up, gasps of breath stabbing my lungs with their iciness and my calf muscles burning, I had to get out of the seat. But the grinding push to the top was worth it, with the rush of air whistling through your bones as you rush down the hill, gliding past the dying trees and over their shed leaves.

Plus, I had my iPod on shuffle, and it was one of those rare moments where the song built up to a crescendo right as I hurtled downwards. I didn't immediately recognise what was playing, but the name 'Mumford and Sons' came to mind- a recommendation by Lily. I guess the whole banjo thing was kinda growing on me.

Swaying wildly to avoid the bunch of old grannies who had mistakenly decided to walk along the path as I rode down it, I quit coasting as I reached the flat. The ache from climbing still lingered in my legs, but it transitioned into a sensation that powered me forward, out onto the street.

The sound of cars, and with them, civilisation, was now growing more and more audible. I pulled out one of my earphones, the earbud swinging against my collarbone as I rode. The streets were a little busier than usual, and I slowed down somewhat as I got closer to the town centre.

After having to jerk the brakes so hard that I thought I was going to go straight over the front wheel to avoid mowing down some toddler, and receiving the death glare of the century from some ignorant mother who couldn't watch over said toddler for two seconds, I got off my bike and pushed it down the remainder of the way to Flashback.
I'd never really noticed it before, but stuck amongst the crowd of Saturday morning shoppers, I realised that Flashback did look somewhat out of place between the upmarket shops with customers in the thirty-something mum or more elderly demographic.

Wheeling my bike down the narrow passage between Flashback and the kitchenware shop to its left, I approached the back of the shop. I locked up my bike around the metal post by the back door before going inside.

The storeroom was basically a continuation of shop, except off limits, with the tattered junk and latest stock all organised in the same anal-retentive way of Ramona's. Which was really waste of time, I considered as I stepped over a upturned bucket, because only Angie, Ramona and I went in the back. Of the three of us, only Ramona could find anything in here: mostly because I had an aversion to organisation and Angie created more mess with the hoards of things that she'd salvaged from car boots and charity shops.

"About time, asshole," Ramona hissed as the storeroom door creaked open and I ventured out. A cardboard box was promptly slammed upon the counter and slid towards me as I moved out of her way. "Where the hell have you been?"
"Good morning to you too 'mona; it's my birthday, I'm not actually here for work."

"Shit, yeah, happy birthday!" Ramona exclaimed, before ducking beneath the counter that I was stood at,  cursing in both English and Chinese.

"Have you not had a coffee fix yet or something?"

Ramona jerked back up, flicking her fringe, lime green this weekend, out of her eyes as she scowled. "This dickhead two rooms down keeps using all the coffee up. I'm telling you Taylor, if you go to uni then don't go into halls of residence- or at least not sharing a kitchen with seven others for Christ's sake."

"Bet you wouldn't mind so much if Shannon was sharing with you," I teased, smirking at the shift of her facial expression.

"Shut up!" Her index finger toyed with the ring on her bottom lip as if to distract from the glow of her cheeks. "You want your present or what?"

"Sure," I said, watching with some interest as Ramona ducked back underneath the counter and began to search. Almost banging her head upon the till, she hauled up a rather large object and I cleared away the random stuff on the counter so that she could lay it down. The newspaper was so precise that every edge met, the ridiculous Daily Mail front page readable, and my fingers hesitated at such neatness.
"Go on, rip it open. I couldn't even afford you wrapping paper anyway."

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