Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Storytime Blog Hop: Oh Baby! by J.Q. Rose

Logo Credit: Katharina Gerlach
Founded 2015 by students of “How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writer’s,” 
writing course created by writer and teacher Holly Lisle.
Hello and Welcome to the Storytime Blog Hop! You're probably expecting a story titled "Oh Baby!" I changed my mind and decided to share this story, "Hello Again."  

Take some time to escape from reality by visiting writers participating in this blog hop filled with stories to enjoy. I'm always amazed at the variety of genres and the imaginative characters and plots in the offerings. Click below on the bloggers links to hop around cyberspace and explore these talented writers. You're invited to leave a comment and share your experience with friends.
January Storytime Blog Hop
White rose
Hello Again by J.Q. Rose
Valerie removed the enclosure card from the vase filled with exotic greens and stunning white roses.  Her eyes narrowed as she studied the signature, “With love, T.B.”  Replacing the card in the holder, she turned to her daughter, Rebecca. “Do you know who T.B. is? I can’t think of anyone who would sign a card with those initials.”
Her beautiful Rebecca, dressed in a stylish black suit and white silk blouse, slipped her arm around her mother’s waist.
“I don’t recognize the initials either.” Rebecca’s brown shoulder-length hair flowed around her face when she shook her head.  “Come on, Mom, they’re waiting for us in the family room.  The service will begin soon.”         
Valerie turned from the display of floral tributes and smoothed her simple black dress that snugged her trim figure. She was thankful her daughter and son were by her side. 
Tears surfaced in her eyes.  How could she have any more tears left?  She had cried for days. . How was she going to say good-bye forever to her husband of thirty-five years?  Her best friend. Her lover.  Her life.
 She dabbed her nose and wiped her eyes with a tissue. Taking a deep breath to strengthen her for the difficult day ahead, she squared her shoulders vowing to make it through this service, the cemetery, and luncheon after.
Sitting at her kitchen table a few days later, Valerie stared at the enclosure card enclosed with the white roses.  She couldn’t find a clue to the identity of T.B.  This was the only acknowledgement card left to be written, but she had no idea where to send it.  No one in her family could help her. The local floral shops had no record of the flower delivery.  Mr. Mc Grady, the funeral director, told her he had found the vase sitting on the table in the entryway. He had seen a man leaving the building, but Mr. McGrady only caught a glimpse of his back.
Valerie couldn’t explain why, but she felt close to the sender. She couldn’t stop thinking of the beautiful roses and the card simply signed T.B.  There was something very special about the sentiment, she knew.  But what was it?
* * * *
Spring eventually emerged after the dark days of winter and death.  Valerie had endured.  Seeing the snow melt, the daffodils bloom, and the earth green up helped to lighten her heart.
That spring afternoon Valerie felt the warm sun’s rays on her back as she dug into the soil to plant pansies in the flower bed by the front door of her house.  A large white limousine pulled up to her neighbor’s home and out jumped a teen-age boy in his fashionable tuxedo.  Behind him two young couples piled out. 
The boys seemed so young with their fresh haircuts and fine looking tuxes and the girls dressed in elegant evening gowns of red, black, and deep purple. Their long, thick tresses were cleverly styled in up-do’s for that traditional evening event in high school, the prom. 
The teens’ nervous laughter and banter echoed through the neighborhood.  Residents gathered to watch as the young people posed for photos with the neighbor’s daughter under the flowering crab apple tree in the front yard.  Soon the three couples entered the limo again and were off to make memories.
Valerie returned to planting her flowers remembering her high school proms, dresses, and friends. She smiled as she tamped the soil down around the colorful flowers. Suddenly she threw down her trowel, ripped off her gardening gloves, and raced up the front steps to her house.  When she entered the family room, she didn’t stop to wash her hands or remove the floppy straw hat on her head.  Instead, she grabbed the phone book and turned the pages to a number that she deftly punched into her phone.
“Hello, Valerie.”  A man’s voice greeted her.  Her eyes sparkled as a smile spread from cheek to cheek. It was the same voice she remembered from forty years ago when they had attended her senior prom together.
“Hello, Teddy Bear.”  

If you like a cozy mystery, romance, murder, humor, and animals, check out Dangerous Sanctuary available in ebook and paperback at amazon.

Buy Links for Dangerous Sanctuary


Amy said...

Interesting story.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for stopping by and reading, Amy.

Crystal Collier said...

Nice. That was definitely a great surprise ending. Very cute. Give me hope she's going to find some happiness.

Unknown said...

Awww. That was sweet (a tad creepy with an old prom date knowing your husband died and apparently waiting by the phone x_x But I'm ignoring that! It was sweet!)

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Jessica. Pretty sweet story for speculative fiction, but I didn't think about that when I added it to my blog. Thank goodness for small towns and caller ID's!!

Juneta key said...

LOL that is true to life. When my dad died ex's and unknown women called for him not ever two days after the funeral. Good story. Enjoyed. Liked the suspense. Hopefully, this will let me comment. I have been having commenting problems, It lets me on some blogs and not on others Grrr.

J.Q. Rose said...

Glad you liked the story, Juneta. It was fun to write.

Katharina Gerlach said...

Bittersweet. Well done.

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