I eyed the eclectic jumble of items on the counter, some of which were completely exotic to me. He had to have searched the whole store, because I hadn’t even remembered stocking half of the stuff he was trying to buy. There was dust.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

A wide grin spread over his face. His face always lit up when he smiled, or when he was talking about something he was particularly passionate about. It made the freckles on his nose wrinkle.

“Of course I’m serious.”

I laughed. I stopped when I realized that he wasn’t joking.

“This is just a pile of junk! What could you possibly make with all of these things?” But of course he could make something out of nothing. It was just the way he was.

It took me a full ten minutes to run everything under the scanner.

“I can’t tell you,” he said, looking at me with an expression I had never seen on his face before. “It’s a surprise.”

“For me?”

He just made a gesture that said: I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

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