Monday, December 1, 2014
The True Story of the Vortex. The Conception Files. Deleted Scene from Chapter 4.
I was heading home, cheeks flushed with active physical exercise and the chilly October air, a bunch of short-stemmed white chrysanthemums on my left arm, a fresh Vogue under the same arm, and a bag of groceries in my right hand.
The city was beautiful, awash with russet maple leaves, displaying an elegant tiredness of a working Monday afternoon in the violet-tinged autumn air. I could feel leaves rustling under my sneakers as I walked home.
I was singing under my breath as I unlocked the door, threw the magazine onto the rug by the book shelf, then proceeded to arranging the flowers in yet another inherited antique vase, a large spherical Bohemia glass bowl.
As my hands were occupied with the flowers, my thoughts were occupied with Rob. With good reason, too. Finally, a list of questions was formed in my mind, and the seriousness of the situation was starting to bear down on me.
Why was he in the park yesterday? If it was a coincidence that he found me and requested to sit on that bench with me of all people, then I’m Sponge Bob.
Furthermore, who or what was there in the bush that alarmed him? And why did he react so strangely when I told him I come home alone after my night shift?
The crucial one: how come he, who could have any girl in the world, including the one who was looking at me haughtily from the October Vogue cover, was – or seemed to be, or pretended to be – interested in me?
And if he was pretending, why would he need that in the first place?
What was I to him?
I didn’t know whether I’d be able to gather the courage to ask him all of that, but I knew I'd ask one thing for sure. At some point, I’d muster my courage up and ask him whether he would or would not be sorry to break my heart.
My bouquet now looked pretty good in its vase, and I put it on the coffee table. Rose would probably scoff again, asking why I insisted on spending my hard-earned cash on something so inutile and short-lived, but it was one of my numerous idiosyncrasies. To me, home wasn’t home without flowers, and as Rosemary kept telling me that I should get men to buy me flowers if I had to have them, I usually replied that we cannot expect favors from nature and our job was to take them from it.
I paused to think about the last time when I received flowers from a man. It was quite a while ago. Giving flowers to a lady wasn’t in vogue anymore, I guessed. Or was it just me who was excluded from the circuit of flowers in social life?
Big deal. I would continue buying them from that shop by the Square-Victoria underground station, and no harm done, really.
As I was standing in the middle of the living room and admiring my arrangement, somebody rang the doorbell.
‘Who is it?’ I asked into the intercom.
‘Delivery for Ms. Carson’, said an unfamiliar male voice.
A couple of moments later I could be observed standing in the middle of our living room, a huge bunch of blue chrysanthemums in my arms, and an expression of utter amazement on my face.
The flowers were exquisite – long slim stems crowned with purplish-blue stars, emanating their lovely bittersweet scent. I opened the card.
‘What an elegant hand’, I heard myself say aloud.