Bob and Lily had a long-standing date for Valentine’s Day, and he always brought roses. He rang the doorbell and waited. No answer. “Damn the fog!” he thought. “This must be the right house.” He rang again. “Just come on in,” a voice called out. “It’s open.”
Bob walked into the vestibule and looked around. Lily had redecorated since he had last been inside her house. He didn’t think it had been that long, but she always was efficient.
“Sorry I’m taking so long,” the voice called out. “My zipper is stuck. Can you come up and help?” Gee, that didn’t sound like Lily, Bob told himself. Maybe she has a cold?
He walked to the foot of the staircase, still holding the bouquet, and started up the stairs. “I’m on my way. Be there in a sec.” Suddenly, he heard a soft rustle coming from above. He looked up, startled.
“What the …..?” he sputtered. “Who are you and where’s Lily?”
“I’m Maureen. Who are you and what the hell are you doing in my house?” she riposted angrily. “Are you Tom?”
“Tom? Who’s Tom? What have you done with Lily?”
“Lily? Who the hell is Lily? I’m Maureen. This is my home, and I’m expecting Tom. I met him on Facebook, and we have a date for tonight.”
"Um... I guess this isn't 1225 Maple?" Bob ventured.
“No, this is 1225 Sycamore. Maple is one block over.”
Bob reddened in embarrassment, mumbled an apology, and turned to go.
“Wait,” Maureen said, her voice perceptibly more welcoming as she slowly walked downstairs, the fingers of her hand tickling the banister. She reached the foot of the staircase, and held out her hand invitingly. “Let’s start over. My name’s Maureen.”
Bob took her right hand and pressed it to his lips. “And I’m Bob.”
“Those are beautiful roses,” she whispered. “Won’t you have a seat in the living room while I put them in water?”
©2013 Phyllis Entis. All rights reserved.
A Note of Explanation: The prompt for this piece was a picture of a young man standing at the foot of a staircase, staring up at a beautiful woman who was smiling enigmatically down at him.