Stocking Up Part 7

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21st July 2019 All Rights Reserved


Lila's POV...

I was doing very well for myself with my little store. That was without Coral's help on those days she would man the store. Even she too was doing very well for herself. I actually like her soaps so much that I actually buy some and take it home.

It is hard to find a good soap maker these days that does not use chemicals and synthetics of any kind in their soaps these days.

The one thing I did say to her though nearly upset her until she saw the sense and logic to it.

" I don't like your bath bombs. Not because they look or smell bad. They are just not financially economical for me. I prefer something like this." I went on to tell her what I liked and after she thought about it, she saw that it would be more viable to do these as well. 

One of the good things about Coral doing something new is that we get to sample and try them first. But I think she wants us doing that as an experiment or testing to see how they go. Which we don't mind. Although, with one ingredient she used, we found out that Jennai is allergic to it when combined with the other ingredients. So, now, we avoid shea butter. 

Jennai has a slight allergy to nuts and Shea butter is part of the nut family and she had a reaction to it. In a way, this was a good thing. Now my daughters get special soaps and bath bombs made exclusively for them.

Esme still comes in every week or so. Sometimes she comes in twice a week. She just stops in for a visit and to see what else I might be making out the back. I ask about her husband and grandson and she says that the two men are off pottering around the gardens doing whatever their heart tells them to do.

From what I have learned from Esme, her grandson has been very helpful since he came home.

When I asked her where he was before that, she smiled and said nothing. I got the feeling that I probably won't like whatever it was she was not not going to say. But I did hear her mutter once about it being wrong and he was cleared or some such thing. I am sure that when the time is right, she will tell me eventually. When she is comfortable enough and trusts me enough to say something. But not until then.

It was on one particular day when Esme was with me at the store when Coral came in through the back entrance stopping suddenly when she saw the older lady with me. She would often pop in and rearrange her displays and add something new like she was about to do.

" Oh, hello. I was just going to add a little more stock." Coral said with a smile as she nodded to Esme before she headed out into the shop.

Esme nervously smiled back at her before we resumed our conversation. Coral didn't hang around much. She left shortly afterwards without much of a word which was unusual for her since she usually stops for a chat when she comes. But with Esme here, she just continued on and left.

It was later on that Coral came up to the house and filled me in on a little more about some of the things that have happened in the town since I left years ago.

It was Esme's daughter and son in law who had been killed by a drunk driver up on the mountain road one afternoon. Their daughter, who was sixteen at the time, was with them and she too was unfortunately killed.

Esme had already more or less shared that with me, which I thought was sad. You can only offer a word of comfort when these things happen. Maybe even a hug.  Or just a listening ear.

I provided all that and was considered to be privileged when Esme opened up about that horrid time in her and her husbands life which she shared with me. But, it was what she didn't share that Coral did that stopped and made me think.

" Her grandson was arrested and charged with rape a few years ago. He was already a wild boy always getting into trouble. But it was not until after he was sentenced when the evidence was overwhelming against him that the truth came out. He was innocent as he said all along. Diane, the girl who called rape, was arrested after she bragged about causing the whole thing just to get a compo payout. But she bragged to the wrong people one evening when she had one drink too many." Coral was telling me over a coffee one morning.

" As much as it annoys me to see, hear or know of cases where people cry wolf like that for some reason, it should remind us all that when the times and something does really happen for a person to really cry out about the wolf, no one will listen. I just want you to know that I do not like listening to gossip, Coral." I held a hand up to her to stop her from continuing on with the story that I am sure Esme will eventually tell me if she thinks I need to know about it.

" Sorry. I'll know next time." Coral said to me with an apologetic expression on her face.

Esme and I had been talking about her doilies. Esme admitted that she likes to tat and has been doing it since her own grandmother had taught it to her when she was a young girl. She brought some of her doilies she had made and I loved them that much that I asked whats he does with the ones she does not use.

" They just go into a drawer and I give them away eventually when I see someone getting married and I gift them some." Was what I was told by her.

" Have you thought of selling them at a market or something like that?" I asked her after I thought about having some in my store to use as props.

" Ellen, my daughter had suggested that I do that with them. But I never got around to it." I felt for the older woman. I can't imagine what it is like to lose a child and a grandchild like she has.

Then I sat down with her once again in the back and had a cup of coffee with her and asked about showcasing some of her sets here in my store. I wanted to buy some off her first and use for displaying my own craft and some of Coral's soaps. Coral thought it was a good idea when I broached the subject to her first before speaking to Esme.

Needless to say, I now have on commission, doilies added to our stock. So, apart from my sewing items and Corals soaps and bath products, we now have some nicely displayed dolies that looked lovely enough to actually be selling out within the first few weeks of them being displayed.

I don't know who was shocked more, us or Esme. 

What Esme also didn't know was that we added the commission onto the price she wanted so that she didn't lose out any financially. Esme was tickled pink when she found out. Of course, she pulled out another box that she had stored and brought them down.

It was the tall, broad shouldered grandson who carried the box inside the shop for her. He was wearing a stetson, so I couldn't see his face properly. Plus, I got the feeling that he didn't want to stop and talk to anyone anyway. He was very quiet and spoke very softly and only to his grandmother. Then, once she was settled, he left as quietly as he came.

Had I not seen him with my own two eyes, I would have doubted that he would have even been here. That was how quiet the large man was. But what stuck with me was that he looked somewhat familiar. I know that he is someone from my past. But who, I have no idea.

Anyway, I just shook my head and went about sorting out this next lot of stock for a very surprised Esme who just smiled as if she was a marshmallow and someone with a sweet tooth came strolling on in.

This stock of hers, I had to increase the price of since it was in even better condition and quality that her first box. Which customers didn't care. They just loved her doilies and came from far and wide once word got around about them. That was good business for me and Coral as well when word started spreading about our things in the little old vintage shop a block down from the main street of Twin falls.

It was a win win for the three of us who had started to enjoy having a nice relationship with each other.

I was on my own when the doorbell rang again alerting me to customers coming into the store. I stepped through the beaded curtain like I normally do and stopped when I saw who it was.

I wondered what Cole wanted.

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