You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?
Kaye slumped against the door frame of her apartment, letting two bags fall from her aching fingers as she dug in her tote for her keys. “Should have dropped them in my pocket, but no, I had to dump them into the land time forgot,” she muttered. Finally she snagged them, and heaved a sigh of exhaustion as she unlocked her door. She dumped her armful of groceries onto the bench just inside the door, then went back to retrieve the two bags she had dropped.
“Finally, finally!” she thought, as she kicked off her ankle-breaker high-heeled shoes. Her toes sang for joy as they were released from their pointy prison. Letting her tote slide off her shoulder, she grabbed the mail out of it and plunked it down on her kitchen table. Turning to go back for the rest of her grocieries, her eye caught the corner of a dark red envelope. Curious, she pulled it out of the stack and flipped it over so she could see who had sent it.
There was no return address, just her own name and address written in neat, generic cursive script. Even more curious, she opened the envelope and pulled out what looked like an invitation of some sort. The short hairs on the back of her neck bristled, though, when she read the short message: “Go look in the bedroom, Kaye.”
Nothing else. No signature, nothing. The LAST thing her practical mind wanted her to do was go look in the bedroom. Visions of horror filled her mind as she tried to figure out who may be trying to scare her or play some kind of practical joke. She came up empty. She just wasn’t the sort of person that other people tricked or terrorized.
Kaye was ordinary, or so she thought. She was a teacher. English, a little history. Music. All things that she loved, but not all of her students did. Certainly she tried to make her teaching enjoyable and interesting, and her students, at least most of them, knew that she cared about them on more than just an academic level. Also most of them knew that she was presently living the life of an Army wife whose husband was deployed to Iraq, and they were very supportive and sympathetic. They had all sent him cards and homemade goodies at Christmas, and for his birthday. Some wrote to him on a regular basis. That meant a lot to both Kaye and Brett.
So she stood there, indecisive and fearful. The situation just felt ominous, and she even thought about calling the police to see if she could get anyone to come and check the apartment for her. “No, that’s silly,” she thought. “They could be saving someone from real danger instead of holding my hand!”
Kaye turned, resolute but scared to death. She took a couple of deep, calming breaths. The bedroom was only a few steps away in the small apartment. She was at the door in seconds, gripping the doorknob in sweaty, cold, shaking fingers. As she pushed the door open, the aroma of fresh flowers flowed past her and surrounded her. The room was banked with roses, dozens of them, spilling out of pots and vases and covering the bed. Dazed, she could only stand there in jaw-dropped amazement, waiting for her brain to catch up with what she was seeing. The roses were mostly red, with some pink or white mixed in now and then. It was overwhelming, and she couldn’t imagine who, why. . . .wait! How? How had someone gotten into her apartment and done all this? Oh, no, this wasn’t good, not at all!
Then Kaye felt the hand on her shoulder, and she sucked in her breath in a terrified gasp, turning without thinking. She’d heard nothing, no sound to warn her that she wasn’t alone. Her arms came up automatically as she balled her hands into fists and looked up into the face of—-“BRETT!” She whispered his name, shaking with relief as adrenalin left her system, trembling with shock and joy as she threw her arms around his neck.
“You can’t be here! You weren’t supposed to be back for another two months! Oh, Brett, you scared me!” The tears began to roll as the reality sank in. Brett was home, Brett had arranged for the flowers. She’d yell at him later for the way he’d scared her. Right now, all she wanted was the solid wall of his body as his arms held her tight against him, as their tears mingled on their lips and cheeks when they kissed.
It was the best homecoming ever.