Flash: A Single Rose

Image courtesy of Pixomar at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Score!” Rashawn pumped his fists in the air upon seeing the Valentine’s Day candy had been marked down by half. One rose bud and several rose petals fell onto the cement floor. Horror quickly followed the initial triumph as all three guys stared at the strewn red.

“Um, I better take them.”

Rashawn quickly handed over the surviving flowers to Bobby. “Yeah, … thanks.”

The red hearts covered in silk, cellophane, and cardboard presented limited options, but enough to bring the boys to a standstill. “Maybe…” “Nah, doesn’t she like…?” “Stupid diet vegan …”

Bobby plucked the smallest heart available, offering only four pieces but each containing dark chocolate, coconut, or both. “I think with the bear, I can do this and a single rose.” He looked over the sorry bouquet one more time. “That will leave five good roses.”

He smiled widely at Doug, his eyes sparkling. “One for each year you have been dating Stephanie.”

“And if I pick up something from the Jewelry aisle…” The wide reciever’s eyes went unfocused.

“Something real small like earrings, but will match another piece for her birthday next month after your next paycheck. You can put it aside on layaway.” Bobby dropped his head further down. “Aquamarine, I think that is the birthstone. Get her something with an elephant or aquamarine gem of some sort. Oh, and write a poem down. By hand, not that card crap.”

Doug’s green eyes grew round. “Eiffel, you are going in my speed dial when I’m at college.”

“Frigging absolutely amazing.” Rashawn lifted the largest heart off the shelf. “How did you not get a girlfriend before now, bud?”

Bobby shrugged his response before putting a hand on Rashawn’s choice. “These are dark chocolates, Ami likes milk chocolates.” He kicked a foot at the lowest shelf. “This one, idiot.”

“Jerk, I knew that.” Dropping his initial choice, Rashawn reached for the slightly smaller and cheaper option. “I knew that.”

“You did not” Douglas ragged him.

“Shut up.” Rashawn frowned angerly at them, before breaking out laughing. “Yeah, you’re right Second String. Not a clue.”

Heading to the jewelry counter for the last purchase, Rashawn turned around and walked backward to talk to Bobby. “So how come you know my girl wants better than me boyo?”

Bobby rolled his eyes behind the bangs half-hiding his face. “Turn right.” Rashawn quickly glanced over his shoulder before turning right to follow Douglas.

“Well?” Rashawn raised an eyebrow.

“Dude, crew party.” Ami was a fixture in high school drama and musicals, often dragging Rashawn in as an extra. Bobby worked sets, mostly the construction and painting which could be done after sport practices; anything to delay going home a little longer. Closing night parties involved cake, chips, hot dogs, candy of all sorts and some drinks, none officially alcoholic.

Rashawn pictured Ami carefully peeling a Kiss before popping it in her mouth, staring at him with intent and invitation. He stumbled a bit. “I’m an idiot.”

“I said that. And stop.”

Rashawn stopped, then turned around to watch Douglas venture into the glass and metal area, the tired lady behind the counter perking up when he made a beeline to the pricier section with the good pieces. “Better him than me.”

“Amen.” Bobby affirmed.

Series – Lonely Teddy Bear

  1. Lonely Teddy Bear (2/16/2020)
  2. A Single Rose (3/1/2020)

(words 545; first published 3/1/2020)