The Hardware Store

She loved the hardware store. The odor of fresh, clean wood mingled with the scent of possibility never failed to bolster her spirits. Here, a girl could start anew; make her own future. And it amused her to see the expressions on the faces of the men surrounding her. Grizzled old-timers and beefy construction types alike, paused in their study of the merchandise to observe this strange creature meander past. Because she chose to wear her normal attire (no dumpy work-stained clothing here) she was rewarded with both displays of slack-jawed puzzlement and generously amused grins. They thought she might be lost. She smiled secretly. She knew exactly what she wanted and how to find it. She always had.

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