Secret Admirer

February 4, 2011

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Becky did a double take when she saw the flowers.

As she slid into her chair, she turned to her co-worker in an effort to quench her curiosity.  “Someone sent flowers … to Ken?”

Cheryl giggled before responding.  “Well, sort of.  A bunch of us chipped in to pay for the flowers.”

Becky furrowed her brow in an attempt to make sense of this.

“It’s a prank,” Cheryl explained.  “They’re from a secret admirer.”

Becky thought that the joke was a bit sophomoric, but faked a convincing laugh in an attempt to fit in.  Ken – the socially awkward computer geek – was probably the only person who felt less at ease in the group than Becky.  The girls on her team struck her as a bit mean spirited, but Becky knew very few people in this new town, so she tried to stay on their good side.  Maybe they were good people once you got to know them.

When Ken returned to his desk, it was easy to read the confusion in his face – a look that only intensified when he read the card.  After a moment, he appeared to shake off the confusion and return to work.  As Becky glanced around, she could see a few of the girls stifling giggles.

A half hour later, Becky found herself in need of Ken’s assistance.  She was tempted to simply ignore the flowers, but quickly realize that this would look suspicious.

“Nice flowers, Ken.  Who sent them?”

“I’m not sure,” he admitted.  “The card says they are from a secret admirer.  Me, an admirer?  Yeah, right.”  He chuckled and then turned his focus back to work.  “What can I help you with?”

“I’m not getting the output I expected,” she explained, as she spread some printouts on his desk.  “See, I would expect this to be -”

“Yes, yes, I see the problem.”  A few minutes later, he had fixed the problem, and Becky was able to continue with her work.  Such a nice guy.  It was too bad he wasn’t her type.

When Becky came into the office on Friday morning, she knew that something was being planned.  Cheryl, Lindsey, and Jessica were gathered at Cheryl’s desk, whispering conspiratorially.

“We’re going to out tonight.  You want to come along?”

“Sure,” Becky replied.  A night out with the girls was surely better than staring at the four walls in her apartment.  “What’s going on?”

“We’re going to spy on Ken and his secret admirer,” said Jessica.

“But I thought the secret admirer isn’t real?”

“She isn’t,” replied Lindsey, “but Ken doesn’t know that.”

“He got a second note yesterday,” added Cheryl.  “His admirer made dinner reservations and asked him to join her.  We reserved a table with a good view of his – so that we can have a good laugh watching him wait for his admirer to appear.”

“But how do you know he’ll show up?”

“Becky, girl, this is Ken we’re talking about.  He doesn’t exactly have the girls beating down his door.  If he thinks a girl is interested in him, he’ll be there.”

Ken showed up at 6:45 – a full fifteen minutes before the scheduled meeting time.  From their perch on the upper level of the restaurant, the girls had a great view of Ken’s table on the lower level.  By 7:10, he began to fidget a bit, and by 7:20 the face that had been so hopeful when he entered the restaurant now showed signs of disappointment.

Becky decided that she had seen enough.  She grabbed her purse and excused herself, saying that she needed to freshen up.  The other three girls panicked when she made a beeline for Ken’s table – knowing that she was going to rat them out.

Ken looked up as she approached.  “Hi, Becky.  What are you doing here?”

Becky started to tell Ken that he was the victim of a cruel prank, but she just couldn’t bring herself to do it.  Instead, she took a seat across the table from him.

“Sorry I’m late.  I hope I didn’t keep you waiting – I’m your secret admirer.”

The Blind Date

June 11, 2010

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Marina pursed her lips and applied just the right amount of lipstick.  She took a long look at herself in the mirror.  She was wearing an absolutely stunning little black dress and had spent hours getting her hair and makeup just right.  She was ready for her big date.

Marina was going to be meeting her boyfriend for the first time in real life.  She had meet SportzNut99 several months ago on a blog devoted to their hometown Cardinals.  Marina – also known as CutiePie14 – had thought that his comments were smart and funny, and they quickly became friends.

They soon began conversing via instant messaging, beginning with innocent chats about sports before evolving into rather serious flirting.  Before long, love was in the air.  In a playful effort to keep some mystery in their relationship, they kept some personal details private.  Marina had no idea what this guy looked like.  In fact, she didn’t even know his real name – he was just SportzNut99.

At last, they had decided that this night could wait no longer.  They would finally meet in person and have their first official date.  They had talked about the date during their last online chat.

SportzNut99: How will we find each other?

CutiePie14:  Let’s play hide and seek.  I’ll hide and you seek.

SportzNut99: Sounds like … fun.  You’re definitely worth the hunt.

CutiePie14: You should be looking for a hot brunette in a sexy little black dress.

Marina took a last glance in the mirror before heading out the door.  The butterflies were starting to flutter, but she knew that a drink would calm them down.

A few minutes later, Marina entered The Den.  As she made her way toward the bar, she felt the eyes of every man in the bar following her.  It seemed that her assessment of this outfit was spot on – it was the perfect dress for her first date with SportzNut99.

“Marina,” yelled Mick from the other side of the bar, “you are looking hot, babe.  What can I get for you?”

“Double Dewars, on the rocks.”

“That’s my kind of girl,” replied the bartender.

Mick quickly brought the drink and added it to her tab.  Marina took a quick glup of the scotch in an attempt to gain some liquid courage.  First dates always made her look so nervous.

Marina grabbed what was left of the drink and found a nice, secluded table far from the front door of the bar.  SportzNut99 was going to have to make an effort to find her – Marina was going to play at least a little bit hard to get.

Marina wondered what SportzNutz would be like.  She was caught up in her daydreaming and didn’t hear the footsteps as the man stopped behind her.

“Hey baby, guess who?” came a voice from behind her, as hands quickly covered her eyes.

It took a half second for Marina to recognize the voice.

“Michael?” she exclaimed, as she jumped up and spun around to face her equally stunned brother.

The Librarian and The Waitress: Part 3

December 6, 2009

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For whatever reason, part 1 isn’t showing up in the table of contents. To start from the beginning, go here.

Jaymi watched the calendar for the next two weeks, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 14th. After what seemed like an eternity, the day finally arrived. There was an extra skip in her step when she arrived at work that afternoon. Toward the end of the evening, Ray’s rig pulled into the parking lot, and he hopped out. Once again, Jaymi offered to make him supper at home, and Ray sipped coffee while the waited for closing time to arrive. Ray helped out with a few of the tasks at closing time, and they headed back to Jaymi’s house.

Jaymi had started a pot roast in the crock pot earlier in the day, and it was cooked to perfection when they arrived. The two of them sat at the kitchen table, enjoying the pot roasts and talking about the events that had shaped their lives in the last couple of weeks.

After eating, they went into a living room and flipped on the TV, which was featuring a movie that both of them had seen before. They each settled into an easy chair and mixed conversation in with the movie viewing. After a while, Jaymi began to notice that the conversation starting to become quite one-sided, and Ray’s responses gradually became less coherent. Eventually, he lapsed into complete silence, and Jaymi realized that he had fallen asleep. She nudged him into a somewhat awakened state, assisted him into bed, and tucked him in for the night. This guy was tired.

Ray and Jaymi spent a lazy morning together. They ate cereal and watched cartoons. They headed to Jaymi’s restaurant for lunch before heading to the movie theatre in the next town for a matinee. The movie was a chick flick that Jaymi had wanted to see. Ray said that he didn’t mind, and Jaymi noticed that he did seem to be enjoying the movie.

After the movie, they went to one of the better restaurants in town. They both had the same meal – ribeye medium rare, baked potato with butter and sour cream, and a house salad with French dressing. They lingered a bit over dessert, sharing a decadently chocolaty treat.

When they arrived back at Jaymi’s house, they decided to relax with the nice, friendly, competitive game of Scrabble. The game was neck and neck until the very end, when Ray played “dowagers” on a quadruple word square to put the game out of reach. Jaymi threw the rest of her tiles at him in mock frustration, ceding the game to him. Ray ducked and managed to avoid most of the letters, but a Q smacked him squarely in the head. He laughed and put the pieces back into the box.

Jaymi took Ray to bed with her that night. Meaning that they slid under the covers and watched Saturday Night Live together. On this night, it was Jaymi who fell asleep first, just a few minutes after Seth and Amy had brought them Weekend Update. When Ray noticed that she was asleep, he flipped off the TV and turned off the lamp. Soon he too was asleep.

The next morning, Jaymi drove Ray to the restaurant, where he would be jumping back into his truck and heading down the road. When Ray went to grab his bag, he noticed an extraneous bag in the trunk next to it. Ray was fairly certain that he did not own a bright pink duffel bag.

“What’s the extra bag for?” Ray asked.

“Take me along.”

Ray laughed. “I can’t. You can’t take off work.”

“Sure I can,” replied Jaymi. “I cleared it with the boss. I’m on vacation until the 22nd.”

“Oh, I see. So this was all part of your master plan.”

Jaymi nodded and hopped up in the cab.

The Librarian and the Waitress: Part 2

December 5, 2009

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This is the second part of a three part story.  Catch the conclusion tomorrow.


“Sit down, relax, and watch some TV. I’ll whip up some vittles for you. Burgers OK?”

“Yeah, burgers would be great” replied Ray, and he sank into the comfortable easy chair. He flipped the TV on to ESPN and watched highlights of the games from earlier in the day. It seemed like just a minute had passed before Jaymi appeared at his side, holding a plate with two burgers.

“Hey, you made one with American cheese and one with Swiss,” he remarked. “I like that.”

Jaymi grinned. “Well, you switch back and forth between the two, so I figured I’d give you both. I’m afraid I don’t have any coffee – would you like a Pepsi instead?”

“That would be great. Caffeine is caffeine!”

Jaymi disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a tall glass of Pepsi.

“Hey, you can change the channel to something else,” said Ray.

“No, you go ahead and watch whatever you like. I can watch TV any time.”

“I can’t thank you enough for this. It’s so nice to be inside an actual home for once. This is so much cozier than any restaurant. I definitely owe you a big favor.”

Jaymi laughed. “You supply me with an unending array of books. I think you’re ahead on points.”

“I am simply your humble librarian” replied Ray, with a smile.

When Ray finished the second burger, Jaymi whisked away the plate and put it in the dishwasher.

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to be a bit of a party pooper,” Ray said with a yawn. “This has been an incredibly long day and I’m dead tired.”

“No need to apologize. Let me show you to your room.”

Ray grabbed his bag and followed Jaymi down a narrow hallway. There were two doors at the end of the hallway. Jaymi opened the door on the right.

“Here you go – one nice, soft bed. There are some extra blankets and pillows in the closet. Let me know if you need anything. I’m right across the hall. Oh, yeah – we just passed the bathroom. It’s the other door on the right.”

“Thanks. I should be all set. I do appreciate the hospitality.”

Ray brushed his teeth, climbed under the blankets, and was asleep a few minutes later.

He awoke in the morning and heard noises coming from the kitchen. The noises sounded an awful lot like bacon and eggs frying. Ray climbed out of bed, threw on some clothes, and followed his nose to the kitchen. Jaymi was overseeing bacon and eggs on the stove. She had obviously just stepped out of the shower – she was wearing a pink robe and slippers, and her hair was still damp. Ray noticed that she smelled quite nice.

“Hey, sleepyhead,” she said, turning to face him. “I thought you’d like a nice hot breakfast before you had to hit the road.”

“You’re going to spoil me, Jaymi. Not that I’m complaining.”

Jaymi grabbed a plate, slid two eggs and several slices of juicy bacon onto the plate, and placed it in front of Ray. The toaster popped, and Jaymi grabbed the two slices of toast, butter, and silverware and returned to the table. She sat down across from Ray.

“You’re not eating?” asked Ray. “I can share.”

“No, that’s OK. I don’t usually eat breakfast. It’s fun to watch you eat.”

As Ray devoured the bacon and eggs, he wondered if perhaps the restaurant was not making the best use of Jaymi’s natural skills. It seemed that she was actually a better cook than whoever was actually in the kitchen.

When he finished breakfast, Jaymi had a fresh towel ready for him. He went into the bathroom to take a shower while she went into her bedroom to change into clothes that were more appropriate for the outside world.

Ray turned the water to a near-scalding temperature and soaked in the soothing heat. The showers at the truck stops were usually lukewarm, and it was nice to take a hot shower for once.

When Ray was finished with the shower, he went back to the guest bedroom ad changed into jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers for the long day ahead. He gathered his minimal possessions, put them in his duffel bag, and zipped it. He took the bag into the living room and settled into the easy chair to wait for Jaymi to appear, so that she could drop him off at the restaurant.

A few minutes later, Jaymi pulled the car into the parking lot. Ray grabbed his bag and they headed toward his truck.

“We should do this again. Maybe you could take a day off the next time you’re in town and we could have a real date.”

“I’d like that,” replied Ray. “Let me grab my schedule and see when I’ll be back in town next.” He jumped into the cab and grabbed a notebook. “It looks like the 14th, and then again on the 21st. I think I can take off the 15th.”

“Sounds great.” Jaymi climbed up next to Ray for a second and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll see you on the 14th.”

The Librarian and the Waitress: Part 1

December 4, 2009

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Editor’s note: Sometimes, the writer is not in control of a story. This story was supposed to be a simple 500-700 word story for Fiction Friday. The characters, however, refused to go away quite so quickly, insisting on a longer story … which is why this story ended up being 2000 words. Catch part 1 today, part 2 tomorrow, and the conclusion on Sunday.


“Whatcha reading?”

Ray looked up to find the waitress smiling at him. He held the book up for her to see.

“Ah, the latest book by Martin Kelly. I love his stuff. How do you like this one?”

“It’s pretty good,” replied Ray. “In fact, I have just a few pages left. I’ll leave it behind for you to read, if you want.’

“I’d like that,” replied Jaymi with a smile. “You could pick it up the next time you come through town.”

Ray was about to tell her that she could keep the book, since he usually stopped for a bite at the truck stop ten miles to the east, and was only eating at this hole in the wall because the other place for closed for remodeling. Then he thought the better of it. He realized that he really wouldn’t mind seeing Jaymi again.

Ray had a burger and fries before deciding to prolong his stay by ordering a slice of pie. Jaymi topped it with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream – on the house. Reluctantly, Ray was forced to leave – the road beckoned, and he needed to get his load delivered. He tipped his waitress generously and left behind the book.

Ray made a conscious effort to be finished with his next book before he was scheduled to drive through Springfield again. He ignored the previous truck stop that had been his regular haunt, and ate at the restaurant where Jaymi worked. She seemed pleased to see him. They swapped books – Ray receiving his previous book back and Jaymi receiving a fresh new book to read. After the only other customer in the restaurant left, Jaymi pulled off her apron and sat at across the table from him, and they discussed the plot of Martin Kelly’s book.

Each time Ray drove through Springfield, he’d leave behind a new book and retrieve the previous one. He was quickly becoming Jaymi’s personal bookmobile – but he didn’t mind. A friendship began to grow. Their conversations at first focused on the books that they shared, but eventually spread to many other topics. Ray would share tales from the road, and Jaymi would talk about the people she met in the restaurant.

One night, he pulled into the restaurant a mere twenty minutes before closing time. Jaymi greeted him with her trademark smile.

“How are you, Ray? You look a little tired.”

“Yeah, it’s been a very long day. Once I get a hot meal, I’m going straight back to the truck to grab a good night’s sleep.”

“You know,” commented Jaymi, “I have a spare bedroom. I bet it would feel good to sleep on a real bed for once. And I’m not a half bad cook. If you want to hang around until I get off work at 10, we can go to my place and I could make something for you.”

Ray grinned. “That sounds like a great idea. I’ll just have a coffee.”

Jaymi poured a cup of high test caffeinated coffee from the pot and busied herself with end of day work while Ray enjoyed his hot drink. A half hour later, they pulled up in front of Jaymi’s house – a modest, but well maintained ranch.

Love in an elevator

June 12, 2009

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This is a bit different from my other stories, lacking the “edge” that I typically try to include.

Of all the benefits offered by his company, Andrew found that he valued one benefit much more than any other – the presence of his co-worker, the lovely Charisse.  Not only was Charisse a very attractive girl, but she was smart, had a great personality, and had a laugh that Andrew could listen to all day.  On days when Charisse wore a short skirt, Andrew’s concentration would go completely down the drain, and his productivity would be nearly worthless.  Unfortunately, Andrew was painfully shy, so he adored Charisse from afar.

Charisse enjoyed her job.  Most of all, she enjoyed working with Andrew.  Andrew was a smart guy who was often able to find a creative solution to difficult problems.  He also went out of his way to compliment the works of other members of the team, unlike many of the corporate ladder climbers who were more than happy to stab someone in the back to get to the next level.  Andrew was a great guy – Charisse kept waiting for him to ask her out.

Charisse had no shortage of men asking her for a date.  At first, she declined, in hopes that Andrew would ask her out.  Eventually, it became clear to her that this was not going to happen.  It appeared that Andrew thought of her only as a friend.  Charisse began saying “yes” when men asked her out.  Charisse had enjoyable evenings with a several of the guys, and had a few second dates.  She had been dating George for the last month.  George was a great guy, but there just wasn’t the spark that she was hoping for.  Charisse was trying to find a way to let George down gently.

At work, it seemed that Andrew and Charisse were spending every moment together.  They had a great working relationship, and their manager was smart enough to take advantage of this synergy by having them work together on projects.  They had many working lunches together, and often Andrew would run out and bring back a pizza to share during a late night work session at the office.  Sometimes, they would even hang out after work.  However, to the dismay of both of them, neither of them showed outward interest in taking their friendship to the next level.

On a Friday in May, Andrew and Charisse had finished up a long day and were headed out to the parking lot.  They jumped into the elevator for the trip down to the main floor.  As they chatted about their plans for the weekend, the elevator started downward, then lurched to a stop.  The light inside the elevator flickered and went out.   Darkness enveloped them.

At the moment that the light bulb went off in the elevator, a bulb went on in Charisse’s mind.  She could “accidentally” bump up against Andrew so that they were face to face.  If Andrew didn’t return the kiss, Charisse could simply claim that the collision was an accident.  At the moment that Charisse was finalizing the thought, she felt Andrews lips upon hers – the exact idea had come to him.  For a moment, Charisse’s heart was stuck in her throat.  Then she returned her kiss with the passion that had been building inside her.  She clung tight to Andrew in the darkness of the elevator.

A moment later, Andrew and Charisse felt the earth move.  More accurately, the elevator resumed its downward motion.  They reach the bottom, exited the building, and walked outside into the beautiful spring day and toward a new life together.