Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prompt: Mysterious Flowers

Ginnie was pulling laundry out of the dryer when the doorbell rang. Pepper raced around barking as usual, so she was trying to keep a hold on his collar as she opened the door.

The flowers hid the delivery man’s face. It was a huge spring bouquet of daffodils, tulips and hyacinth, wreathed by delicate baby’s breath. Ginnie could hardly wait to see who it was from as she wrestled with the dog, the vase, and handing a tip to the rather cute delivery man before he jumped back in his van and hurried away.

Inside, she set the vase on the counter and pulled out the card.

“You deserve beautiful things to make you smile every day.”

That was it. No name. Written in the neat, feminine script of the shop clerk, no doubt. Ginnie felt a whiff of irritation, but she swept it aside, looking at the flowers. They were so beautiful and fragrant. But who had sent them?

All day, Ginnie waited for a call from her benefactor. She had a hard time concentrating on her work, because she kept running through the list of people she could imagine might have sent them.

“Hi, Deb, it’s Ginnie. So, um, did you send me flowers? No, I know, I just don’t know who did! I got a beautiful bouquet delivered, and there’s no name on the card. Oh, that’s a good idea. I’ll call the shop.”

When she called, the clerk was very friendly. She remembered writing the note, but she was otherwise unhelpful. “I’m sorry, ma’am. The purchase is marked anonymous. We don’t keep credit card details on file. I don’t have a name or anything more to tell you.”

Ginnie hung up, gazing thoughtfully at the flowers. She pulled a few crisp petals from the tulips and pressed them in wax paper in her grandmother’s Joy of Cooking.

She wondered if her mother had sent them, but she didn’t want to call and ask. Ever since she and Brad had broken up last year, her mother had been so anxious for her to find “another nice young man.” Ginnie was enjoying living on her own, and while she didn’t want to disappoint her mother, she didn’t feel the need for a man in her life for awhile. If her mother hadn’t sent the flowers, she’d go on and on about them, and Ginnie just didn’t want to hear it.

She took a photo of the bouquet and posted it with her thanks on Facebook, figuring the sender would step forward. She kept seeing the flowers out of the corner of her eye while she worked that afternoon, and when she took a deep breath, she could catch the floral scent. But by dinnertime, she still didn’t know who had given her the beautiful bouquet.

She set them on the table while she ate dinner, and before she went to bed, she pulled a few blooms to set on her bedroom dresser. Her eyes shuttered closed and she drifted off to sleep looking at the flowers. The thought kept whispering through her mind. “But who sent them?”

Dogs in house:

Sarah Chang, Selections for Violin, 2009

February word count:

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