My grandmother left the shop to me, saying “Everything comes to he who waits”. She always talked in cliches. Every dog has its day, I thought. Nobody expected me to inherit, least of all myself. I suppose they all thought I would run it into the ground, make a dog's dinner of it, after all a fool and his money are soon parted. Well I didn't. It turned out I took to it like a duck to water.
Every day was the same. I started with the dusting and gave the silver an extra polish. I made sure grandmother's clock behind the counter was straight and showing the correct time. Then I hoovered and tidied before pulling back the iron door bolts in order and turning the key in the lock. Finally, I flipped the closed sign over before standing guard behind the counter. I was successful because I knew what they wanted. Office workers on their lunch break; a watch battery replacement. Well turned out young couple “in love”; an engagement ring from our premium range. Less well turned out couple “in love”; an engagement ring from our value range. And so on. I actually knew what they were thinking. I had a gift. The last young couple “in love” I had in here were a case in point. She was thinking my shop was old fashioned and she wouldn't wear a ring from here if you paid her. He was thinking about another woman. I treat them all the same, of course, because that's business.
The day he came in I knew straight away. I almost enjoyed it because of the shock on his face. He wasn't expecting me to be ready. I pulled out grandmother's gun from its resting place under the counter. A place for everything and everything in its place. He thought I was a foolish old man who he could rob blind. “Rob me will you?” I said. Then a devilish idea came to me, “Put your watch on the counter, your wallet and your phone” I said. What a joke, I was robbing a robber. “Now walk slowly backwards with your hands up”. The sweat was pouring from his brow as he did what I asked. Then he finally turned and made to leave my shop, tripping over the doorstopper as he went. More haste less speed, I thought.
“And don't teach grandmother to suck eggs!” I called after him.