The Little Shop of Second Chances is found a way out, on Fantasy Lane in the town of Regret, on the same dirt road as Bernard’s Magic Shop and the butcher who sells hens teeth.
As you enter the Little Shop, a 19th century brick building with a corrugated iron roof and rickety wooden door, the old bronze bell rings ‘ding-a-ling’ announcing the arrival of yet another lost soul.
‘Well hello there,’ says the man behind the counter, I’ve been waiting for you.’
A small man, thick rimmed glasses, wispy grey hair and an inappropriately bright, sky blue suit jacket, ‘Nafasi’s the name, welcome.’
‘Hi,’ you look around and see the shop cluttered with boxes, picture frames, stacks of paper, notebooks, toys, homewares and knickknacks. Like an overstocked second hand shop that has not a sale in years, yet is still taking donations. Mementos of chances offered and wasted. Lost love, missed opportunities, bad luck and stolen possibilities.
Nafasi is a quick judge of character and has you pinned in seconds. He knows exactly why you have come to see him and whether you are worthy, year after year he has read the faces of those interested in what he is selling.
‘So you’re looking for a second chance?’ he says with a brilliant poker face.
‘Tell me, what happened? What happened to your first chance?’
You tell him your story.
Perhaps it was taken from you, perhaps you wasted it, or did another chance seem more right at the time and now hindsight has you by the throat? Did you not realise the delicacy of chance? Was it your fault or someone else’s? Were there circumstances beyond your control? Could you have done anything differently? Will you learn if given another chance? Will you make a success of your second chance? Or was it simply your fate?
You tell him everything.
From behind his spectacles Nafasi bores a hole into your soul, his stare pierces you. He wants to know, if you are given a second chance, will it be worth his while?
‘Second chances do not come cheaply,’ he reminds you.
‘And you know, I think I’ve seen you here before…’