Paulina lived with her parents in a small but comfortable cottage whom they had named ‘Cozy Cottage’. Her father had a stationery business and had opened a small shop near the marketplace. He used to sell Greeting Cards, Bookmarks and gift-tags too.
They were handmade by his wife Harriet. Paulina helped her mother too and so did her two friends Josephina and Stephanie. Roger, her father, got the other stationery items from the wholesale shop in the nearby big township.
Pens, paper, pencils, crayons, markers, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, geometry sets, Xerox sheets, copies, diaries, organisers, notepads and much more could be obtained at the lovely shop whom Paulina had named ‘The Readers & Writers Hideout’.
The shop sold beautiful wall and table calendars too. The days were passing contentedly when calamity struck. Paulina’s father died in a road accident in the big town where he had gone to buy stationery items for his shop. Harriet broke down and closed the shop.
She was heartbroken and depressed. Paulina was a brave and strong girl. She did cry for her loss but decided to help her mother during this sad time. She started going around town with her handmade cards, gift tags and bookmarks.
She carried a bag in which she put the material to be sold and left the house after breakfast. Her mother sat alone crying while little Paula worked hard. By the afternoon, her bad was half empty most of the days. She came home at 1 pm, made some sandwiches for herself and her mom and after resting for some time, began her home visits in the leftover part of ‘Sunset Village’ where she lived. By the evening her bag was nearly empty.
During weekends, she opened her shop and with the help of her 2 friends, Steffi and Josy, she sold most of the items, while continuing to make the handmade items too. Thankfully her school was closed for the holidays so she worked hard the whole day.
After about a month, Harriet came out of the shroud of sorrow, well enough to manage housework and looking after her shop. The difficulty lay in getting items from the wholesalers in the next town. For now, mother and daughter decided to sell more of handmade things for which lots of material was stored in the shop’s cupboard by Roger.
They worked day and night and now since the shop remained open every day and Harriet was there to serve the customers, Paulina decided to sell the handmade items in the nearby small villages. Every alternate day, after school, her 2 friends cycled with her to 2 small villages nearby and helped Paulina sell the handmade products.
Steffi and Josy were earning too now because the 3 girls were making enough money. “I feel so good Steffi that you and Josy are earning too. I used to feel very bad asking you to help me without getting anything in return.” “Oh! come on Paula, don’t say things like that! What are friends for,” smiled Josy.
One day a stranger walked into ‘The Readers & Writers Hideout’. He told Harriet he was looking for a job. He was retired and did not want to sit idle. He had come from the big town where he worked in an office. He lived in a caravan and had no family. “Maam, do you think I could help around your shop for just enough wages to keep me going?”
“Well, I do need someone to buy stationery from the big town where there is a wholesale shop.” “Oh! Do you mean ‘The Book & Stationery Shed’? asked the stranger who had given his name as Timothy. “Well yes Tim, that’s the one.” “Sure I can do that and help around the shop as well.” Just then Paulina arrived at the shop with her 2 friends. Her mother told her about Timothy’s offer and she was happy to know that he would help them out.
Timothy started working at Harriet’s shop. Once a week, he would visit the wholesalers and fetch whatever was required at the shop. He parked his caravan near the shop. Paulina was advised by Steffi’s father to inform the local police station for verification because it was always safer not to trust any stranger.
The police checked out Tim’s background and were satisfied. Very soon old Tim got attached to Paula and loved the shop. He would also look after the garden at ‘Cozy Cottage’, Paulina’s home. He helped in the cleaning of both her home and shop.
After about a month and a half, Harriet sometimes left Tim to attend to the customers while she went around to a few of her friends house for tea or went shopping.
Sometimes on a Sunday, Tim would take mother and daughter to the big town to do some special shopping. Christmas was approaching and Harriet got very busy making Greeting Cards in which job she was greatly helped by Timothy. Now Paulina was a young woman who finished school and started going to college with Steffi and Josy to the big town’s only good college.
The owner of ‘The Book & Stationery Shed’ had a son in college too. His name was Brandon and he liked Paula a lot. Steffi already had a boyfriend called Barnie who used to work in a music shop and was in the same college too. Josy was introduced to a new boy who had joined college and was Brandon’s friend from another nearby town. Storm was a handsome lad who fell for Josy’s lovely blue eyes and long golden hair.
After finishing college, all 3 girls were married at the small church at ‘Sunset Village’. Their grooms Brandon, Barnie and Storm looked dashing and debonair. Harriet was very happy because her dear daughter would be living in the next town and both could visit each other whenever they wanted. Thus came the happy ending to Sweet Paulina’s story.
Contributing Story Teller: Amita is a budding poet, children’s storyteller and a Spiritual Writer. [email protected]
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