Storage Unit #38

I love to go to silent auctions. This afternoon, AC Doyle Moving and Storage is having one at one of their units. A couple who lived at Hyacinth Hill Apartments are moving to a retirement home, and they don’t have room for all their furniture and artwork. They paid the storage fee on time every month, so they still own their things, but they contacted AC Doyle and said they just want to sell everything in one lot. Two years ago, they moved from a large home on Gemini Lane to the Hill to a small apartment. Rumor has it they didn’t have room for some paintings and some antique furniture. So it could be mine if i bid the right amount. Plus, AC Doyle is a superior company. Their storage rooms are temperature controlled, so furniture, and especially paintings, are not damaged by being in either high humidity or extremely dry heat. One has to pay more to store stuff there, but it’s worth it, and a good sign that this unit holds some real treasures. Can’t wait to get there. My best friend, Valerie is going with me. People always think we’re a couple, but we’ve known each other since we were eight years old.. that’s thirty years. Our relationship is strictly platonic. A lot of people, when they meet her say, geez, Sean, she’s so HOT!  Are you sure you’re not, you know, getting a little on the side?  You two MUST be friends with benefits!  And i say no. No. We’re friends. That’s it. Not that friends aren’t important. They are. But we’ll never be anything more. She’s meeting me here in twenty minutes then we’re driving my Jeep over to the auction.

I eat some quick leftovers, give my Setter, Garth a few pats, then i hear my doorbell. It plays I Walk the Line. Pretty cool!

So.. how much are you going to bid, Sean? Do you know? … No, i want to get a good look at the stuff first. You might be able to help me decide when you see the paintings. You’re excellent at things like that. .. She gives Garth a big hug.. he loves her.. then we’re on our way.

Neither of us says much on the way over. The place is only five miles away, and traffic isn’t bad at all for a Saturday afternoon. She tells me she has a slight hangover from a coworker’s birthday party last night, so i turn off the music and stay quiet.  We get there, and there are only four other people. They appear to be two couples. Hard to believe.. there’s supposed to be some great stuff in #38!  We’re greeted by a Ms. Shaffer, who says she’ll open the door in three minutes. I think it’s a little early, but i’m glad there aren’t more people. Improves my chances. ..

The doors open, and the six of us descend on the place. It’s a 12’×15′ room. I notice three beautiful paintings right away. One is a lovely reproduction of Edgar Degas’ Dancers in Blue which Valerie appears to be in love with. There’s an antique secretary, a great looking maple wood, king sized bed frame, and an enormous oak armoire with carvings of roses, lilies and oak leaves. Too feminine for me, but if i make the right bid, i’ll give it to Val. On top of the secretary, there’s a wooden box full of bottles and trinkets. Val unwraps one beautiful bottle. It’s handpainted cobalt blue glass, about seven inches tall, and the diamond shaped cover appears to be gold. The paintings on it are a pair of tigers and on the other side, a pair of swans. Val opens the bottle and sniffs. Then she whispers breathlessly that she’d like to be the one to place a bid. I say sure. She knows a lot more about this stuff than i.

Ten minutes later, we all place bids. The entire time, Ms. Shaffer has been watching Val. A minute later she tells us that we made the winning bid. AC Doyle will deliver the stuff to my place Monday at 9 am. .. Val asks if she can take the bottle now. Ms. Shaffer just smiles and says sure.

Val and i head back to my place. She says she still has a hangover headache, and she’d feel so much better if she could shower at my place instead of waiting until she gets home.. I say.. uh.. okay. This has never happened before. I look around and try to figure out where i’m going to put everything, and she takes a long, hot shower. It’s what happens when she comes out that shocks me. She comes out in the living room and stands in front of me.. all wet and streamy, hair dripping. .. uh, Val, are you okay?  … Oh, i’ve never been better, darling. … uh, darling?  She moves closer and drops her towel. I’ve never seen her nude. This is not my sweet childhood friend. What do i do?  She reaches out with both hands and untucks my shirt. .. Slides her hands up my chest and pulls off my shirt… Well, this is different….

By M Raynes


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