BOVVER BOOTS: Part 2 (for part 1 scroll down)
The interior of the shop seemed unnaturally bright after the dusk outside, and smelt as only second-hand shops can: that musty odour of clothes over-worn; books over-read; records over-played. The elderly female shop assistant placed the Doc Martens down on the counter between us.
They stood silently side by side. Heels together, toes slightly apart.
The woman was wearing a pair of bifocal glasses that were perched rather precariously on the end of her thin bony nose. She tilted her head down, studying me from beneath almost non-existent grey eyebrows. "Size eight you say?"
I nodded, then watched as the shop assistant picked up one of the boots and examined its chunky rubber sole. "Seems like your in luck." She lifted her gaze, her rheumy pale eyes meeting mine. "Size eight they are."
I grinned. "How much do you want for them?"
"You know-" the woman said, ignoring my question, "-it's rather peculiar - but I could have sworn I sold these boots just over a week ago - to a plump gentleman. He said they would be ideal for his work." She paused. "He was a bricklayer I think," her brows knit together. "Or was it a plasterer?" The woman's eyes glazed over for the briefest of moments, then she shrugged. "Oh well, that's neither here nor there. How much? Five pounds. take them or leave them."
"I'll take them."
The woman gave a curt little nod, dropped the Doc Martens into a blue and white striped carrier-bag, at the same time taking from my hand the five pound note I was holding out to her.
At the door I stopped, my fingers resting lightly on the handle. i turned round to bid the woman good-bye. The words of farewell dried up in my throat.
The elderly shop assistant was staring over the top of her glasses. Staring down at the bag by my side.
The look of puzzlement back on her face.
TO BE CONTINUED.....