spring sale at the stitch and bitch by juleshg

14 Mar

“Let me get that…”

Hammond rushed forward to hold open the door and bowed from the waist with flourish gesturing for the small, white-haired woman to go ahead and enter the store.

The older lady smiled and thanked him with a giggle.  “Oh Hammond, you are such a gentleman.”

“Thanks Mrs. Grant.  Glad to see you out today.  There are lots of big sales: time to stock up!”

Hammond took a deep breath as he entered the store and let the door close behind him.  The Stitch and Bitch was his favourite shop and it had become a haven for him after his divorce.  As the only male patron who came in regularly, the older ladies had all wanted to take him under their wing which made him somewhat of a celebrity.

His crochet work was no longer an embarrassment.  In fact, the ladies at the store found it charming and each week he would bring in a stack of dishcloths that he had made to pass out to his new friends.  When he arrived they would give him a little hug and ask him about his health and his job.  They all commented on how he looked too thin and many of the women had pulled him aside to try to set him up with a daughter, grand-daughter or niece that they were just sure he would love.

“A man can’t live too long on his own,” they had told him.  Or “look at you, you are fading away.  You need a woman at home to make you a proper meal.”  At first he had made excuses but eventually he caved in to their wheedling and started to go on some blind dates.  For the first time in a long time he had felt that he may have something to offer a wife.

The store was incredibly busy as he entered and all of his friends were milling around the bins of wool for the Annual Spring Sale.  Knitting and crocheting were most popular in the winter and as the warm weather arrived the older wool stock was put on clearance to make room for lighter-weight cotton fibres.

Hammond was working on some new crochet projects but he still wanted to get some of the sturdy polyester yarn that he used to make dishcloths.  The ladies at the store loved them after all and they looked forward to seeing him arrive with a few new ones each week.

As he headed to the back of the store he heard his name several times and he stopped to hug or shake hands with a few of the ladies along the way.

“Hi Mrs. Thompson!  Thanks for the baking you left me last week.  No one makes brownies like you do.”

“Mrs. Phelps, I am glad you liked the dishcloth I made you.  Yes, I have a few left.  I will bring one in for you next Saturday.”

“Mrs. Carnegie, what in the world are you making with all of that grey wool? I just saw a picture of your grandson last week, he can’t possibly be that big yet!”

“Suzette has my special order arrived?  Super, I will be over in a minute to get it I just have to pick up a few things first.”

Finally he found his way to the back of the small boutique and selected a few balls of the sturdy fibre he had been working with for so many years.

“Hammond?”

He looked up slowly.  The voice was so familiar yet so surprising…. Madeline.

There she was.   His ex-wife was standing across from him at The Stitch and Bitch.  He worried for a quick moment knowing that the legions of old ladies around him would not be kind to the woman who had broken ‘their Hammond’s’ heart.

“Wow… Madeline…. what are you doing here?”

She chuckled quietly.  “I took up crocheting after our divorce.  It turns out that I was right about one thing.  No one makes a better dishcloth than you do. “

Too surprised to respond he just nodded his head and continued to stare at her.

“You look well,” she continued after an awkward pause.  “You look …happy.”

“I am.  I really am.  The ladies here are wonderful and they spoil me with home-cooked meals and all the baking I can handle.”

She nodded at the four small balls of yarn in his arms.  “I thought you would have needed more than that.  It’s a sale.  You should stock up!”

He looked down nervously at the beige yarn he had selected.  “I don’t do as many dishrags as I used to.  I have taken on a new project lately so I don’t have as much time.”

As if on cue Suzette held up two balls of baby pink cotton and called over to him.  “Hammond it’s here and this cotton is even softer than we had imagined.”

The color drained from Madeline’s face as she stared at him.

“I’m making a layette – well three so far.  My wife and I are having a baby girl.  Suzette is the baby’s grandma.”

Madeline stammered a goodbye and congratulations as an excited Hammond rushed over to the counter look at the pink cotton with a pack of twittering old ladies.  It appeared that Hammond now had a new life and she was the one who was left behind.

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3 Responses to “spring sale at the stitch and bitch by juleshg”

  1. ingridfnl March 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    I had a rush of happiness for Hammond. 🙂

  2. jmforceton March 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Exactly as it might happen. Well done.

  3. J Adamthwaite March 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    I’m really pleased for Hammond – I’m glad he got a happy ending! And I really like the name of the shop!

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