Bedtime Story: The Enchanted Bookshop – Night 22



Once Upon a Time…

Sven’s heart leapt to his throat. Could it be his Kiara? Not likely, he told himself; Kiara was a common name in Sweden. But the magic book—his magic book—led him to this Kiara. It had to be her.

Sven wrote an immediate reply, asking if she once worked at the library at Uppsala University, and if she had, did she remember a lengthy email correspondence with a man from the University of Stockholm? He was that man, and he always wondered why she didn’t show up to meet him as they’d planned. He reread what he’d written, scribbled his email address in the corner, sealed the envelope, and took it to the post office before he lost his nerve.

He spent the next two weeks in protracted negotiations with a rare book collector, but the distraction provided scant relief from his anxiety to receive a reply. Whatever the outcome, Sven needed an answer. On the night of the fifteenth day, his patience was rewarded. He checked his email one last time before turning out the light and found her message waiting.

“My dearest Sven,

          When I got you letter about the locket, I’d hoped it was from ‘my’ Sven. My mother told me I was being silly, but I prayed it was you. I thought you had abandoned me! My mother was grievously injured in an auto accident on the day we were to meet. The hospital called me at eleven o’clock. I wrote a note to tell you why I couldn’t meet you and where you could contact me, and gave it to my co-worker. She promised she would find you and hand you the note. I was away from my job for weeks, caring for my mother. I asked the woman and she said she delivered the note to you. When I never heard from you, I didn’t know what to think. I emailed you when I went back to work, but by that time, you had left the University and my emails came back undelivered. I was so brokenhearted, thinking I’d lost you forever.

          I still care for you, Sven, and would like to begin again. If you feel the same, please contact me. Email is fine, and here is my phone number, too….”

Sven dialed the number and held his breath. She answered on the first ring, and all was right with his world.



Copyright 2014 by Barbara Hinske