Valentine's day is a day everyone thinks of as romantic. If you're in a relationship, you usually at least get a card, maybe some chocolate or flowers, and a hug or kiss. My husband and I tend to celebrate the week before Valentine's because it's when we originally started dating, but we still at least wish each other happy on the day itself. And my kids are all into giving and receiving cards and candy.
But what if you get a gift and don't know what to think about it? Has that ever happened to you? Did you ever have a secret--or not-so-secret admirer? Get a surprise bouquet? My character, Chris, in Writing Home, has that happen to her. I thought you might enjoy reliving this fun scene where she first gets flowers--and freaks out a little bit.
Chris glanced up from her computer screen as Danielle’s voice pulled her from the struggle of rearranging all of one doctor’s appointments on a week he suddenly decided he needed a vacation. On the other side of the plexiglass, brightly colored flowers stared back at her. She tentatively pushed the window open and tried to see around the bouquet.
“Can I help you?”
A delivery guy held the floral arrangement out. “Christiana Jones?”
No way. Flowers for her? After she’d sat here all morning accepting deliveries for the other girls, fighting off jealousy, trying to not think about the fact that she didn’t have a Valentine of her own . . . again? “Yes . . . ”
“These are for you.” The guy tipped his hat. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Thanks.” She set the vase down in front of her, hands trembling. Who? Who on earth could have sent these? She stilled as Gregory ran through her mind. Or Garrett.
“Who are they from?” Danielle asked.
“I’m afraid to look.” Chris pushed them toward her coworker. “You look for me.”
“Seriously?” Danielle searched through the foliage. “You don’t even know who would send such beautiful roses?”
Roses! Weren’t those flowers that declared love? Did she know anyone who she might consider in relation to that word? Her thoughts travelled westward, but then denied the possibility. They were just friends.
Finally, after a short eternity, toward the back, Danielle plucked a small white rectangle from behind a leaf.
“Happy Valentine’s Day. Jordan.”
Her heart added a couple extra thumps to its normal rhythm.
Jordan sent her flowers? Flowers that meant something? But that couldn’t be right. Jordan was her pen pal. Tina’s cousin. Did he think they were closer than she did?
“Who’s Jordan?” Danielle’s black hair tickled Chris’s cheek as the other girl handed
her the card.
“A friend.” Chris quickly tucked the card back in the vase and pushed the whole thing to the far side of the desk. She didn’t have time to analyze this right now even if she wanted to. This didn’t feel like disappointment. Or anger. Fear? Happiness?
“Those are very pretty.”
“Mm-hmm.” Maybe if she remained noncommittal with her answers, Danielle would let it go. Happiness, really? Why couldn’t these have been delivered at the end of the day instead of now? Now, she was supposed to be answering phones and filing insurance paperwork for Sandy who was out again for some unknown reason.
“Is he a friend or a boyfriend?” Danielle’s voice was very singsongy.
A family approached Danielle’s counter. Chris pointed them out, grateful for a minute out from under Danielle’s microscope. “I think they’re ready to check out.”
She turned back to her own window, the flowers catching her eye once more. He was just a friend, right? Wasn’t he? Had she misled him into believing something more existed between them? This had to be because she’d sent that stupid card! Or had she missed some indication in one of his last few letters that he thought this might be going somewhere beyond friendship? Was she okay with that?
Sure, somewhere in her imagination near the beginning of this letter-writing experience she’d wondered if it might play out more like her grandparents. End up as more than friends. But this was faster than she’d expected, maybe even faster than what she’d been trying to avoid when she suggested the plan.
Two hours until she could escape from here and have a moment to figure it out. It stretched out longer than Christmas Eve looked to an eight-year-old waiting for Santa. She took a deep breath before answering the phone. The light scent of the roses and other flowers wafted over to her, almost masking the normal smell of hand sanitizer and ink. That was nice, at least.
If only the beauty of the gesture didn’t come with so much confusion and uncertainty!
Can letters from the past spur a couple on to the future of their dreams?
Christiana Jones dreamed her whole life of living in Huntsville, Alabama, so she can’t figure out why it doesn’t feel like home. Her relationships—on social media and in real life—seem shallow and empty. When she unearths a stack of her grandparents’ letters, it spurs an idea. Could she find something deeper with a pen pal?
Jordan White is taken aback when his cousin Tina suggests he become pen pals with her childhood best friend. What could a Louisiana boy have in common with a girl two states away? After all, he’s happily settled on his family’s property and working the job he always wanted. But every letter they exchange has him wishing for more.
As they grow closer through their written words, the miles between them seem to grow wider. Can love cross the distance and bring them home?
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)