Tag Archive | flowers

Laundromat Love (Short Story)

It felt like I’ve waited forever for a girl like her. I grabbed my extra large thermos of hot water and my packets of Swiss Miss. My laundry basket and ceramic mugs were already in the car. I headed out into the cold snowy morning, pausing to stretch and yawn. It had been a long night at the police department. Fridays usually were. I was exhausted, but I had made these plans before that extra shift and I wasn’t going to miss my chance now.

I sat at the Laundromat waiting, tapping my fingers. I couldn’t wait to hear her reaction. Would she know it was me? I had never pushed her. I’d known her for years through various serving opportunities at church. I watched jealously while she was with Andy. I knew what kind of guy he was and was surprised when she had dated him. When it was over, Andy had made snide comments to the guys and I knew she had not slept with him. She was the real deal.

“Hey, Nic!” I called to her. She walked in with a scowl on her face. Something was wrong.

“Hi, Brad.”

She gave me half a smile. Whoa. That was not the girl I usually spent my Saturday mornings with. At least it hadn’t been for a long time. “What’s the matter, Nicole?”

She grunted as she slammed her clothes in the washing machines and put in detergent and quarters.

“Did we get up on the wrong side of the bed?” I got no response but saw her swipe her eyes with her sweater sleeve.

She flopped into her chair across from me at our usual table. I slid over the full cup of hot chocolate, with the tiny marshmallows. It was her favorite.

“Thank you.” Her voice sounded flat.

I watched and waited as she looked at the chocolate. She closed her eyes and smiled as she inhaled the steam. She was beautiful. I was suddenly aware that in my haste I forgotten to shave. At least I had my hair cut for the occasion.

“I got flowers,” she sounded annoyed.

“Flowers?” I tried to act innocent.

“Yeah.”

“Well, if there’s a reason to be depressed I suppose flowers would top the list.” I rolled my eyes. She fought back a grin.

“I don’t know who they are from.” She sipped her chocolate. I started to relax but her eyes were still watery. “They are so extravagant they reminded me of God’s love and how far I’ve wandered from Him.”

I am grateful she can share that with me. I love how honest she is.

“Beauty, mystery and conviction.”

“Yeah, kinda.”

“Andy?” I sure hope she doesn’t think they are from him.

She shakes her head and her long ponytail waves back and forth. I love her gorgeous hair.

“He and Jennifer moved away. He’s in the past.”

There was no bitterness or longing in her voice. Good. She was telling the truth. “Wasn’t it about six months ago. . .”

“That he dumped me?  Yeah, thanks for the reminder.”

She gave me a small smile.

“What are friend’s for? He was all you talked about for awhile. You haven’t mentioned him in months.”

“Flowers that expensive would never have come from him.”

“So who? It obviously bothers you.” Me. Guess me.

She shrugs.

“I get the impression you don’t feel you are worth that kind of gift.”

She sighed. I suspected as much. As frustrated as I was that she can’t guess, my heart hurt for her that she couldn’t see she was worthy of my love.

She looked around as I watched and waited. I heard the swishing of laundry in the washing machines and clothing thunk around in the dryers. Not quite the most romantic environment but I would take what I could get.

Ding.

I got up to transfer my laundry from the washers to the driers. I could feel her watching me. Did she like what she saw? I shut the last door and plugged my quarters. I returned to my chair and stretched out my legs and crossed my arms. It was time I told her some things she needed to hear.

“You are worth those flowers, Nic.” She stared at me. Maybe I had sprouted horns? I leaned my head back and sighed. “Why can’t you accept,” I brought my head back up to look her in the eyes as I leaned forward, “that you are a beautiful and desirable woman?”

“Brad?”

She sounded surprised. Hadn’t I treated her like she was? “We knew each other before you dated Andy. He told me why he left you. I knew then you were a woman of godly character. You had mentioned one day that you came here so I decided I would too, so I could get to know you better.”

I reached across the table, peeled her hands off her mug and held them. They were small compared to mine.

“I’m not as godly as you think.” She focused on our hands, avoiding my eyes.

“Are any of us? Look, Nic. I know Andy hurt you. But you are worthy of more respect and love than he could ever give.”

Her mouth fell open as she looked at me with those luminescent grey eyes.

I shook my head. “Did you know that I have laundry facilities in my condo? And I often, like last night, work a double shift on Fridays?”

Her eyes grew wider and blinked rapidly. “But, really? Why?” she stuttered. It was adorable because she still didn’t get it. I waited.

“The flowers?” she whispered.

I squeezed her hands and nodded. “Today is the six-month anniversary of when I started to fall in love with you.”I smiled with all the love I had in me.

She tried to smile but began crying instead and I dried her tears and drew her into my arms where she fit perfectly. Maybe I would have that honor of doing that for a long time to come.

Flowers from God (Flash Fiction Romance)

The flowers were lovely. But who sent them? And why?

I gazed at their beauty. It was December. Who could afford flowers like these at this time of year? Lilies in hot pink, yellow and orange. Red and pink roses? Certainly no one I could think of. And one white daisy. That flower always made me think of innocence. Purity. I looked heavenward. Okay, God. You have my attention. Thank you for the flowers. I shook my head as I placed the vase on the table. They reminded me of God’s expansive, beautiful, grace-love. A love I had been numb too since. . .  Why did something beautiful have to stir up yuck?

With one last glance at the splash of color that made it look like spring had exploded in my kitchen, I grabbed my laundry basket and headed out into the cold snow. It was still coming down. I would be shoveling later. Sigh. Work, chores and church.  My life.

“Hey, Nic!”

Brad was already settled in at our usual table at the Laundromat. We had been friends for awhile now and he was my one safe person to talk to. Other than Saturday mornings, we saw each other at church and that was about it. He worked second shift with the police department. Me, I worked an administrative job at the hospital.

I forced a smile. “Hi, Brad.”

His left eyebrow lifted. “Did we get up on the wrong side of the bed today?” His lopsided grin showed the dimple on his right cheek.

I grunted as I slammed my clothes into the washing machines, added detergent and plugged in the requisite quarters.

“What’s the matter, Nicole?”

I swiped my eyes with my sweater before I turned to sit down at the table across from him.  He placed a ceramic cup of hot chocolate in front of me. There were even tiny marshmallows. My fave.

“Thank you.”

He was watching me, but I pretended to be absorbed in the steamy chocolate. I closed my eyes and inhaled heaven. When I finally looked up across the table, I saw compassion in his dark bloodshot eyes. His face was unshaven. He still looked handsome though. I was suddenly jealous of his future wife.

“I got flowers.” I sounded whiny even to my own ears.

“Flowers?”

“Yeah.”

“Well if there’s a reason to be depressed I suppose flowers would top the list.” He rolled his eyes.

I fought back a grin, not willing to give up my funk quite yet. “I don’t know who they’re from.” I sipped the chocolate, savoring the comfort. I still felt a weight in my chest. “They reminded me of God’s love and how far I’ve wandered from Him.” Who else but Brad could I have shared this with? No one.

“Beauty, mystery and conviction.”

“Yeah, kinda.”

“Andy?”

I shook my head and felt my ponytail wave in response. “He and Jennifer moved away. He’s in the past.”

“Wasn’t it about a six-months ago. . .”

“That he dumped me? Yeah, thanks for the reminder.”

“What are friends for? He was all you talked about for awhile. You haven’t mentioned him in a long time.”

“Flowers like that would never have come from him.”

“So, who? It obviously bothers you.”

I shrugged.

“I get the impression you don’t feel you are worth that kind of gift.”

A sigh escaped my lips. He had me pegged. I sipped my chocolate and leaned back in my plastic chair and let the sounds of the whirring washing machines and the thunking items in the dryers distract me. I glanced around. White and grey. Blah. I looked outside through the steamy plate glass windows. More white and grey. Dirty. The world looked dirty. That’s the way I had been feeling deep inside since Andy’s betrayal and my subsequent anger at God. I didn’t like it. I just wanted to feel loved.

Ding.

Brad rose and went to take his clothes out of the washer, and transfer them to the dryers across the aisle. He looked good in his jeans and sweatshirt. The casual clothes didn’t hide his fit physique. His dark curly hair must have been cut recently. It looked nice. He returned, stretched his legs and folded his arms across his broad chest. His eyelids lowered as he looked at me.

“You are worth those flowers, Nic.” His voice had deepened.

I was speechless.

He leaned his head back and sighed. “Why can’t you accept,” his head came back up and his eyes searched mine as he leaned forward, “that you are a beautiful and desirable woman?”

I blinked. “Brad?” He’d never talked to me like that before.

“I had noticed you while you were dating Andy. I heard why he left you. I knew then you were a woman of godly character. You mentioned at church that you came here. I decided I would too. So I could get to know you better.” He reached across the table and took my hands in his.

“I’m not as godly as you think.” I focused on our joined hands. My insides tingled.

“Are any of us? Look, Nic. I know Andy hurt you. But you are worthy of more respect and love than he  could give.”

My mouth dropped open as my eyes met his.

He shook his head. “Did you know, I have laundry facilities in my condo? And I often, like last night, work a double shift on Fridays?”

My eyes got big. I blinked again. “But, really? Why?” I stuttered. He could not have been coming here to be with me. Could he? Calm down, Nic. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

“The flowers?” I whispered. His hands squeezed mine.

He nodded and smiled, flashing white teeth and two adorable dimples. “Today is the six month anniversary of when I started to fall in love with you.”

Beautiful, extravagant love, indeed.