Part 1

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That's what Rob called me, Second-Hand Sally. But most often, he called me Second, especially when he was annoyed with me. Like now.

He pointed his finger at me as we stood in front of the apartment building. "No more junk, Second. The apartment walls are about to burst!"

"This isn't junk, it's a treasure." I put down the three-legged stool with the worn velvet cushion from the garage sale down the street. "All it needs is a little love, and it will be good as new."

Rob smacked himself on the forehead.

I put my hands on my hips. "Anyway, what about your junk?"

"I don't have junk, I have collections." Rob raised his voice.

"What about all those fountain pens your uncle gave you? Most of them leak ink." I was shouting now. "And what about all the boxes of baseball cards you found floating in the lake? They're probably ruined."

Everyone in the apartment building was watching us now, from windows, doorways, and leaning over railings.

"That stuff will be worth lots of money someday." Rob smirked.

"Then there's your T-shirts. You must have a couple hundred by now. Which you never wear, by the way."

"They're mementos of all the places I visited."

"Do you even remember all those places?"

Rob took a deep breath to expand his chest. "That's beside the point."

"Really? Then what is the point?"

"The point is, Second, that I make more money than you, so I get to make the rules." He blew out all the air in his lungs and returned to normal size. "And my new rule is that you have to move your junk into storage."

"So that you have more room for your junk...."

"Collections."

"Whatever." My jaw tightened. "I don't know why I stay with you."

He smiled that you're-just-a-worm smile. "Because I'm the only one who will put up with you. And your junk."

"I may have a solution for you." Mrs. Carson, the apartment manager who lived on the first floor, joined us. "Why don't you check out my sister's antique store in the old theater building on Cherry Street? She has some wooden chests for your—"

"Junk." Rob interrupted.

I rolled my eyes. "It's cheaper than paying for storage."

Her prices are very reasonable." Mrs. Carson continued. "It's called Old Lace."

"Fine, we'll go." He shook his finger at me. "But remember, don't buy any junk."

Mrs. Carson winked at me and blew her nose.

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