Ray cradled the bouquet of flowers in his left arm, he just got it from his local florist. Its delicate wrapping rustled in between strides as he made his way to their favorite deli.
“You there?” read his text to Pearl.
“Yup, just got here” buzzed Pearl back.
He was whistling and snapping his fingers on his free right hand. It was a nice day, not too sunny but not too wet. The usually scorching afternoon is giving way to the playful gusts of the looming evening. It’s starting to get dark but the rains look like they are far from carpeting the streets of his hometown.
Ray spotted his reflection on one of the windows of a cafe he just passed by. He admired the middle-aged man as if he had just seen an old friend who’s now getting the reins back from life.
He fished for his phone from his right pocket and slowly typed a message for Pearl. He was still walking. The deli was not too far away, now.
Pearl was sitting near the window of the deli. The light cream mantle of the table matched the yellow glow from the lights. The deli was not always her favorite spot in town but she learned to love it because of the great food. And of course, that’s where she had met him.
He tapped on the glass window and gave her a big smile, almost a grin. Pearl waved him in and the bell chimed with her as he entered the dainty place.
He hid the flowers behind his back and playfully waved it in front of Pearl. The wrapping rustled in a lively tune. Pearl’s face lit up.
“Thanks, Ray. They’re so pretty.”
The red roses were still moist and supple. Ray had the bouquet carefully picked by the florist and he tipped the man who had been preparing his flowers for almost five years. He was delighted with the finished bundle. He was sure that Pearl would love it, after all, it is her favorite flower and color.
The two had drinks. Ray had spaghetti with the meatballs placed in a separate platter. Pearl had a salad then wine after. The two laughed and talked, both had a good time – a great time perhaps. Pearl kissed Ray on the cheek before they went their separate ways. She lived in a different part of town.
Ray traced the figure of his jeans and found his phone. He dialed a number and waited for a few rings before someone picked up.
“Hi, good evening. I was the guy who came by earlier. Yes. Just a quick question… I just wanted to ask about your return policy on rings. Thanks.”
A drop fell on his beat up wingtips. It wasn’t raining.