I was determined not to be affected by this strange man. After all, there were plenty of charity shops and he could not be in everyone. I walked for about fifteen minutes and entered another shop which kept books in the basement. There were not many people inside and the feeling of happiness grew inside my mind. The place was an oasis of calm. Its position shielded it not only from the noise of the traffic outside, but also from the women's voices above who loudly commented every piece of clothing they saw as a bargain. In this wide room I did not feel like a refugee. I was far away from my homeland but these books were like the old friends who I met again and who would make my life easier. They were neatly arranged on the shelves; Swedish, English, German, French literature, arts, history, geography, poetry, pockets...In between there were tables with newly arrived books, hundreds of them. For those who wanted to sit down and enjoy in their reading there were a few comfortable sofas and club chairs.
I enjoyed the place like a keen gardener who had suddenly discovered a pretty small garden in an area he would have never expected to find. He would have probably experienced the same pleasant sensation breathing in the delicate scent of roses and trees just as I did feeling the smell of old books. It was the substance I had become addicted to and without it I could not feel peace. My eyes wandered from one cover to another, from the old time classics to the contemporary best-sellers. Suddenly, I saw Philip Larkin's "Collected poems", a cream dust cover with the portrait of the great poet and my heart jumped with joy. I stretched out my hand but before I could even have touched it, a strange hand appeared from nowhere and in a swift moment which was almost impossible to measure by modern devices, grabbed the book. At the same time my sensitive nose was assaulted by the same cigarette stench I had felt not so many minutes before. It took my mind just a split second to understand that the greedy man was beside me again. When I looked up I saw him searching for another "prey"; Philip Larkin in his hand, pressed to his smelly trench coat.
In that moment I wanted to wrench the book from him. I could not see the great poet ending up somewhere in a dusty and dirty room where he would wait for the "right" moment to be sold again. At the same time I knew that the man would never give up without fight. I already saw the front page of all papers, "KILLING IN A CHARITY SHOP!" with a detailed describing of us two hitting and kicking each other until the end. I knew that I had a considerable advantage over him. After all, I was younger and stronger but one never knows when one have to fight against such people. They fight tooth and nail and they are merciless. Once when they have made profit and their blood got soiled with money they are like bloodthirsty fighting dog breeds. One have to kill them or get torn to pieces by their razor sharp teeth.
My body started to shake and I felt anger boiling inside me. I knew that If I stayed for a second longer I would not be able to contain myself, so I ran up the stairs and out on the sunny street. I did not like to spend the rest of my life in a Swedish prison only because of the greedy man.
To be continued...
I was determined not to be affected by this strange man. After all, there were plenty of charity shops and he could not be in every one of them.
I was determined not to be affected by this strange man. After all, there were plenty of charity shops and he could not be in all of them.