The tinkling of the bell made the old man lift his head. Nestled within a polite nook among the shelves, he adjusted his glasses curiously. He owned a small underground shop that was filled to the brim with miscellaneous objects; toys that were once loved, vintage photos that were fragments of memories, the like. Purchases were few and far between the adventurous commuters that dare to examine his armamentarium of antiques, a collection close to his heart.

Stretching his back, he adjusted his glasses and hobbled around the towers of boxes that sprawled across the floor, making his way to the front desk. At his footsteps, the girl turned and offered a polite smile, wispy hair drooping onto her shawl.

“Good day,” his voice sounded gruff even to his own ears. With wizened hands, he brushed the dust off the books and peered at the price tags, the text written in his own handwriting. A dull silence fell between them like fog.

He coughed, “that’ll be 29 pounds in all miss.”

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