First Page: The Yard Sale (contemporary romance)
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“You want five dollars for that old stadium blanket?”
Startled by her friend Barbara’s skeptical tone, Faith Parker glanced up. Barbara stood in front of a make-shift table, staring at the blue-and-white fleece throw. She had asked that same question, only referring to different items, again and again, since they had started setting up the yard sale.
Was it just an old stadium blanket? Faith wasn’t so sure. But the sooner she rid her life of these old reminders, the sooner she could officially start her new life. “You think that’s asking too much? I guess I could throw it in the box with all the other $1 blankets. It just seems like I’m letting these things go for too little.”
Short and curvy, with a sleek, frosted bob that gently touched her shoulders, Barbara reached out for the blanket. She tossed it in the blanket box that was located near a box of old towels and washcloths, and then dusted her hands off dramatically. “It’s the memories that you’re putting a price on, and there’s really no need. You’ve already paid a hefty price for them. Let the objects go, so you can create new memories.”
Faith’s gaze drifted toward the early morning sky. Since it was March, it was still pretty dark out this early. Like the bare trees, she felt somewhat stripped and exposed. What was she thinking in having a yard sale? Out with the old and in with the new. It was a lot simpler in theory. Barbara looked at her wristwatch and declared, “We open for business in fifteen minutes.”
Faith quickly sorted a stack of romance novels and magazines on another table, trying to keep busy so she wouldn’t cry.
“How much should I price these books for? A dollar?” Faith asked.
“No, fifty cents. That’s it.”
Faith took a deep breath as she reached for her black marker and a clean sheet of paper to make a sign. Barbara loved shopping at yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets, so Faith trusted her to know what she was talking about.
“Thank you so much for helping me, Barbara. I didn’t even know where to start until you came and took control.” With her foot, Faith pushed a box of stuffed animals out from under the folding table. “How much should I price these bears and dogs for? They were gifts from Jason for anniversaries and such.”
“A quarter. The little children who buy them with their piggy bank money don’t know who Jason is. They just want a toy.”
Faith’s head drooped at Barbara’s truthful statement. “I wish I didn’t know Jason.”
That wasn’t true. She had loved Jason. A part of her still loved him. Faith’s divorce was still too painful to talk about, even though it was all she ever thought about. Pieces of him were everywhere in her life still, and when she came across an item, like that tattered stadium blanket, the memories flooded her mind and took control of her body like cancer.
Barbara and her mother both felt that the memory of her life with Jason was keeping her from enjoying a second chance at life. Deep down, she knew they were right. That is why she agreed to have this yard sale and to get rid of everything she and Jason had acquired as a couple, every stitch of clothing she wore during their marriage, and even every book she read when they still shared a home. After this yard sale, there wouldn’t be a shoestring or button left that existed during the era of Jason.