Connections Jan 2015 - Page 11

information about his personal life and she was too hesitant to ask him. At her apartment, Linda checked the mailbox for the invitation. A huge black envelope with the End House return address caught her attention. She believed that black was a much too morbid color for a party. She unlocked the door and tossed the mail—along with the curious invitation—onto the hall table. She glanced up into the mirror hanging above the table and noticed her very tired reflection. It was Friday and she’d worked a long, hard week already. She had been planning to work the whole weekend— even on Sunday—to catch up on her mounds of paperwork. She had to finish stocking her shelves with the piles of books that were stacked up high in her office—still in their original cartons. At least she had friends to come home to. When she’d lived in New York with her family, she had attended college and worked part time at a bookstore—not leaving her much free time to develop long-lasting friendships. She remembered the day, right after graduating from college, when she’d been searching through the newspapers for a job. She’d run across an ad for a bookstore to rent in Oasis that appeared large enough to also accommodate a coffee shop. At the time she recalled thinking that the name Oasis sounded perfect for a place to start over. She was only twenty-two at the time, but she’d wanted to find a new, more exciting direction for her life. That week she’d visited Oasis for the first time. As soon as she’d entered the bookstore, she’d known that this was her oasis. The prior tenants had already moved out but had left behind rows and rows of bookcases. She’d stood by the entrance, contemplating the empty store, visualizing: a long coffee counter by the entrance; tables, chairs, and comfortable couches in front of the wide, corner windows; and long lines of bookshelves filled with books covering a broad range of topics,extendin r