Ignorance is Bliss- AU //brokendeals and magicisacrutch//

There is no worse sorrow than remembering happiness in the day of sorrow.

Mr. Gold had a very strict schedule: wake up, get dressed, make breakfast, walk to the pawn shop, open the pawn shop, spend the day at the pawn shop, lock up the pawn shop, pick up dinner, go home, eat, and go to bed.

One day a month, collecting the rent was thrown into the schedule. But other than that, it never changed. He didn’t have any friends, nor did he want them. He was content being the most powerful man in Storybrooke, to have everyone fear him. No one ever stopped him on the street to chat- in fact, when they saw him coming, they normally walked in the other direction to avoid him.

He rarely even had customers at the shop. No one came to him unless they were desperate, unless they wanted something that only he could give them. He was a deal-maker. Most of his time was spent in his office, polishing antiques or making up contracts.

He couldn’t remember ever having had a family. And the only love he’d ever known had been Belle’s… But of course, he’d ruined that, as he ruined everything. He’d gotten angry with her one night and sent her away. The following week, he’d received the news that she had killed herself by jumping off the bridge near the marina.

Being alone was for the best, he supposed. Alone in his manor, alone in his shop, alone with his guilt. Quite alone in the world, in general. But, after all, he had power. What more could he need?

On one particular day, he had had next to no customers at the shop, and had decided to tidy up a bit. Some of these things had been there for ages. Actually, he couldn’t even recall when he’d bought them. Or why he’d bought them. Like this ball, for example. It was old, worn… Why on earth had he paid someone for that?

Shrugging, he placed it back on the shelf, just as he heard the familiar sound of the bell ringing at the front door. “Yes? What can I do for you?” He turned around to face whoever it was. He’d been expecting Mayor Mills- she was usually his only customer- but to his surprise, he saw a young boy instead.

He’d never seen him before, which was strange, because he made it his business to know everyone who lived in Storybrooke. And they rarely had visitors. And, if he thought about it, they never had visitors. “Oh. Hello, lad. Can I help you with something?”