Thursday, February 18, 2016
Flash Fiction Friday, Week 25: Happy Valentine's Day
The prompt this week was to write a story that takes place on Valentine’s Day. We also had to include the following words: Love, Candy, Forever, Secret, and Surprise. Please enjoy my story about a lady who is taking no chances with her love life by following her mother’s advice to the letter. After all, Mom knows best.
Happy Valentine’s Day
That blasted phone, she thought. I still have a few things to do to get ready.
“Hello. Not to be rude, but if you’re selling something, I’m very busy right now. It is a holiday, after all.”
“Hi, sweetie. It’s Mom. I just called to wish my dear daughter Happy Valentine’s Day, and to thank you for the candy you sent. You always pick out my favorite kind of chocolates.”
“Oh, Mom, I’m sorry. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too. It’s just that today is such a special day and I’m trying to get everything ready for my future husband, and I keep getting these nonsense calls.”
“Cara, I’m so happy to hear that everything has worked itself out for you and that nice boy. What was his name – Ronnie?”
“Yes, Mom. All is perfect between us now.”
“I told you there’s always a way to sort out problems when they come up in a relationship. It was just wrong when that young man of yours decided to pick that other girl – that Janie. She was definitely not the one for him, only he couldn’t see it. It’s just like when your sister’s young man believed he would be happier with some other girl. I told her the same thing I told you. It’s up to you to take matters into your own hands to show the man you love that you are the one.
“It was the same way with your father. He was almost lured away from me by this little hussy who used to live on the other side of town, but I wouldn’t stand for it. I invited him over for a cocktail and a talk, and we’ve been together ever since. I have never heard an unkind word from your father in our 40 years together. Now, that’s the way a marriage should be. I feel like a princess every day who is married to her prince, and I know we will be happy forever and ever.”
‘Mom, it’s so wonderful to hear you talk that way, even after being married so long. I only hope Ronnie and I will be half as happy as you and Daddy have been.”
“You will, dear. Look at your sister. She and David have been married for almost ten years now and not one problem between them. She had a few issues in the beginning keeping up with proper maintenance, but once she got into a routine, she found out how little upkeep her husband required.”
“I’m not concerned about any of that, Mom. I watched you care for Daddy. Like you said, once you do things the same way day in and day out, caring for your man takes no time at all and you will have tons of free time.”
“That’s the truth, Cara. I get everything done first thing and then I have the rest of the day to run my errands, shop, and attend my committee meetings. I know your father won’t need anything else until evening time, so I’m good to go all day.”
“Mom, I hate to let you go, but Ronnie’s starting to come around. Uncle Jimmy is coming by at 7 to marry us. Ronnie should be fully awake by then. I wish you didn’t live so far away so you could be here, but I know you can’t leave Daddy for very long.”
“I wish I could be there too, but know that I love you, Cara, and I wish you and Ronnie all the happiness in the world. Call me tomorrow and let me know how the wedding went. Make sure you send me pictures of the two of you. Love you. Bye.”
“Bye, Mom. Love you too.”
* * * * *
What is going on? My head feels like it’s in a vise. Where am I? Oh yeah. I remember now. That girl I took out last week on a dare – Cara. My friends were right. She is one weird chick – dressed all in black, her book of spells, the charm on her necklace filled with blue powder, among other things. Five minutes after I picked her up, she’ on me like a leech, and planning our wedding. I didn’t tell her I took her out to win a bet. I didn’t want to be mean. I did tell her when I dropped her off though, that I wouldn’t be calling her again because we weren’t right for each other
Then, she calls me up on Valentine’s Day and asks me to come by for a cocktail and a talk. I remember coming here and telling her I didn’t have much time because I was spending Valentine’s Day with my love, Janie. I didn’t care if I was mean or not because when I walked in her house, she threw herself on me. The smell of incense almost knocked me over. Maybe that’s what’s wrong. That crap probably gave me a stroke or something. Why can’t I feel my face?
“I see you’re awake, darling, I should tell you, it will be less painful if you don’t struggle against the straps. Besides, you wouldn’t want to pull the IV out, would you?”
IV? Oh my God. I’m strapped onto a table with a bottle hanging from a pole next to the table dripping yellowish liquid into a long tube attached to a needle stuck in my arm. Why can’t I say anything? What the…
“Now, don’t panic, my dear. The more you fight the bindings, the tighter they will become. I don’t want you to hurt yourself. And don’t try to open your mouth. You need to let those stitches heal. Mother showed me how to sew the lips together. You’ll still be able to make sounds – you just won’t be able to say any words. Isn’t that perfection, darling? That way, you’ll never say anything mean to me out of anger. Words said can’t be taken back, you know.
“You’re going to be fine because I will take care of you every day just like my Mom takes care of my Dad and my sister takes care of her husband. The catheter won’t bother you after a few days and the IV will provide you with all the nourishment you’ll need. My parents have been married now for 40 years and Dad’s still all right. He’s a bit thinner, but Mom rotates him now and then so his skin is still holding up really well.
“I have a wonderful surprise for you, sweetheart. My Uncle Jimmy is licensed by the state and he will be here after dinner to marry us. Won’t that be terrific? All you have to do is nod for your part of the vows. I don’t want you to worry about your date with that Janie woman. I’ll tell you a little secret, honey. She won’t be worried about it either. It will be quite some time before anyone finds her remains. I didn’t want her to suffer with a broken heart when she found out you married me.”
Oh no. Why is this happening to me? I’m sorry if what I said hurt you. But, I can’t tell you I’m sorry. I can’t. I can’t tell you anything. Or yell. Or scream. Or…
“I’m going to finish getting ready for our wedding and celebration this evening, my dear. I’m putting fresh flowers on the table for our dinner tonight. You are already having yours, but I’m going to have roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and I baked a heart-shaped chocolate cake for dessert. It has vanilla frosting and both our names are written on it with icing. It says ‘Ronnie and Cara Forever’.
“There’s the oven timer. Dinner’s done. I’ll be back once I fix my plate so you can smell how good everything is. I love you more than anything else in the whole wide world, and it is so romantic that every year, this holiday will also be our anniversary. Darling, Happy Valentine’s Day.”