Considering his words, she slowly walked back over to him and he returned the box to her, smirking with moist eyes.
“You are right. I am so sorry.” she said remorsefully. She opened the box, lifted the treasure, and placed it back on the table in a different spot than the shopkeeper had earlier. A new storm began, but it still sounded like the whisper of God that she sought. It took nearly two minutes to crescendo to the full-bodied rainstorm it was capable of, and as it grew, she returned to his side, and together they reveled in it.
“I’m Greg, by the way,” the shopkeeper said, “I’m so glad you came in today. And you are, Little Miss?”
“Hobbs,” she grinned, “And I’m happy I came in, too. I can’t thank you enough.”
He chuckled, “Little Miss Hobbs… How fitting. I’ll tell you what… If you promise me you won’t give up until you get exactly what you’re looking for, I’ll let you have the pocketwatch for free, and all the lessons that come with it,” he winked. “How generous,” she blushed, “it’s a deal. And I promise I’ll stop in again, too.”
“It’s a deal,” he chuckled once more, a bit heartier than the first.
“If you listen closely,” Little Miss Hobbs added just before grabbing the treasure one final time with no intent to return or forsake it, “It almost sounds like an applause, appreciative of your fulfilling dreams.”
“I suppose it does, yes,” Greg gratefully returned, “And an applause for never giving up, since there is the promise it will always get better, and there’s always something to be learned.”
Little Miss Hobbs snapped the hinged box shut as she blushed once more, silently shook Greg’s hand, and walked home with all the hope and Love she started the day searching for now filling her heart.
It took her months to place the watch just so, and after setting plates on top of lamps and draping clothes over the corner of her desk and setting spools of thread at the feet of mirrors and portraits which now stood leaned against the walls and chairs, her little space was filled with the pitter-patter of rain, though the Love and whispers of God had been there the whole time.
She didn’t see Greg for weeks after, mostly because she came to realize that she had walked out of the shopping district and into an ordinary neighborhood. Greg had, in fact, welcomed her into his house, explaining that it was clear she was in need, and he was willing to play along however she needed him to in order to provide for her. After the many “oh man’s” and “I’m sorry’s,” Little Miss Hobbs stopped being sorry, and simply learned.
Occasionally, when she asks, he will still sell her his keepsakes, no matter how precious.