Episode 1166: Let's Not Go ShoppingAvalon paused at the next window, the lower half of her face protected from the crisp breeze by an oversize violet scarf she’d knitted years earlier. It had been forever since she’d last occupied her time with something as relaxing as curling up on the sofa with some knitting needles and a bag full of colorful yarn. She wanted to remedy that. She wanted to remedy so many things in her life.
“Sebastian keeps going on and on about wanting us to take a long trip,” Ava said while watching animatronic nutcrackers set the holiday tablescape inside the window of the fancy housewares store.
“People generally sound more enthusiastic over the prospect of a vacation,” Bowie pointed out.
Ava sighed and they continued into the store, past a twinkling display of Christmas trees, precisely the sort of over the top holiday cheer she’d clung to all season to keep her mood afloat.
“First, I’m kind of paranoid about the book store at this point. I’m leery of leaving it unattended for too long. It’s one thing to take a morning off with my best friend to figure out our miserable Christmas shopping issues. It’s something else entirely to be away from the store for a month or more like Sebastian wants. Even a weekend has me thinking about all the changes a person could implement over seventy-two hours.”
“I promise if you take some much earned time away, I’ll do better this go round about checking on the store,” Bowie said. “Besides, Marques has nothing to do with it now, it should be fine, your employees aren’t going to change anything without your permission.”
“He has me under his thumb, you never know how Phillip Marques will choose to impose his will. That’s the second reason I can’t go anywhere. He made it clear that he wants father and son bonding time so taking off somewhere would be a problem. I’m supposed to encourage that, like, for instance, being super duper fine with going to their house of horrors for Christmas, the cherry on top of which is trying to find a gift that may at least put me in Katherine’s good graces if not my father-in-law’s.”
“I don’t have any experience with blackmailing in-laws,” Bowie said, “I am, however, familiar with the pressures of good graces shopping.” He gave Ava’s shoulder a commiserating squeeze. “I have a tall order on my plate, what will get me back into Lila’s good graces, what will convince her that I just plain love her, what will say I’m not holding past mistakes against her?”