Spying the stand, he pulled his car off on the side of the road and stopped. His favorite country song was still playing on the radio as he looked out the window. No one seemed to be around. Just pretty flowers and a little box to put your money in. Whoever was selling the flowers must be a trusting person.
There were mixed bouquets of carnations and tulips of bright spring colors. Thomas stepped out of his car and walked over to the stand. The flowers looked fresh and their sweet fragrance was much better than the smell of the dead skunk that he had ran over a few miles back. He waited around a little to see if anyone would show up, and then he pulled his wallet out and slipped some money into the box. Decided to grab another bouquet, took one more look around and headed back to the car.
He laid the flowers on his seat, turned the radio on and drove off, heading home. Looking at the time he realized he had no time to waste. He had one hour before he had to pick up Kelly for their date. She would love the flowers.
Thomas had finished shaving and was fixing his tie. They were going to a ritzy restaurant tonight. He wasn’t much into fancy restaurants, but Kelly was, so he thought tonight he would surprise her. He inwardly cringed at the money he would have to spend, but Kelly was worth it. At least that is what he told himself while looking in the mirror. His Mom and sister weren’t so sure, but what did they know. His older sister always thought she knew what was best for him, almost like having a 2nd Mother at times. She meant well though, and he didn’t know what he would do without Stacey. They had always looked out for each other and he was sure they would continue too.
Kelly had looked amazing when Thomas picked her up in her little black dress with her rhinestone necklace and diamond earrings. The ruby red lipstick on her sweet lips and bright red nails, Thomas noticed every detail down to her matching rhinestone anklet. She did have expensive taste for sure.
When seated at the table, as they looked at their menus and Thomas tried not to panic. This restaurant was one she had mentioned and said she came too often. Thomas hadn’t thought to check out the prices. He knew it would be more expensive, but he had underestimated just how much more expensive it would be! From the looks of it he would probably only be eating an appetizer and drinking lemon water!
He tried not to grimace as Kelly ordered the most expensive thing on the menu and then smiled sweetly at him, asking if it was OK. He managed to nod and say, “There is nothing too good for you, my dear.” Looking in her eyes it seemed that she had a smug expression. Was she really playing him, like his sister thought? Suddenly her perfectly styled hair and the sparkling rhinestone necklace didn’t look as stunning, for he couldn’t get her smug expression out of his mind.
“Thomas, Thomas, did you hear me?” Kelly asked.
Thomas hadn’t caught anything that she had been saying, for his thoughts had drifted.
“Yes, dear.” he said.
“So what do you think?”
“Think about what?” he asked nervously.
“What I was just talking about! Going to the Country Club next weekend with Greg and Chantilly.”
Thomas groaned, Greg and Chantilly set his nerves on edge after being around them for longer than 5 minutes.
Chantilly’s fake laugh and how she hung on Greg’s arm and Greg going on and on about being one step away from being the CEO. That he knew he would get the promotion, for he was the best choice. His conceited attitude always rubbed Thomas the wrong way.
Fortunately their food came right then and Kelly moved onto another subject after the maitre d had left. Thomas felt sorry for the poor guy for Kelly had complained about her wine not being sweet enough and she tossed the basket of rolls back at him, saying that they were not hot enough.
What had he been thinking? Kelly wasn’t his type of woman, why was he he with her? As much as he hated to admit it, it looked like his sister and Mom were right.
Thomas realized that he had been so taken up in the ritz and glamour at first with all the money Kelly had, but the thrill of that was now coming to an abrupt end. It was like common sense had finally … “smacked him in the head”.. This may be the life for some people, but not for him.
The night couldn’t come to an end fast enough. When the bill came, Thomas reached for his wallet and … where was it? Oh No! He didn’t have it! A sickening feeling came over him. He remembered that he had laid it on top of the flower stand when he got bought the flowers. He must have left it there and he doubted that it was still there if anyone else had stopped!
He was silently kicking himself. Kelly hadn’t even really liked the flowers, she sniffed at them and tossed them on the counter.
How would he explain to Kelly that he had no money to pay?
“Is something wrong Thomas, you look pale. Are you feeling sick?”
‘Oh dear! Please tell me that you aren’t gong to puke! Not here in front of everyone! I would die of embarrassment!”
Thomas put a hand over his mouth and ran to the bathroom as Kelly sighed.
Waiting a little in the restroom he finally walked out slowly towards the table keeping his head down. When he got to the table Kelly looked at this rumpled shirt and his undone tie and shook her head. “Lets go before the maitre d sees you. I already paid, I had Daddy’s credit card on me. You can pay this weekend when we go to the Country Club.
Relief coursed through Thomas, but he tried not to look too happy as they walked out of the restaurant and to his car. The ride to Kelly’s house was quiet and when he pulled in her driveway Kelly told him to stay in the car. “I can get out myself, I don’t want to catch whatever you have!” She opened the door and quickly got out without saying “Thank you” or “Goodbye”. Thomas watched her walk away and was certain that this would be the last time he was in her driveway. He would call her tomorrow and explain how they were too different from each other and he really didn’t think she would be too upset.
Driving down the country road at night he wondered why he was going back to the flower stand, the chances that the wallet was still there was so unlikely. He almost drove past it in the dark, but stopped just in time. Holding his breath he got out and walked to the stand. Sure enough, there was no wallet to be seen. His heart fell. His only hope was that either the owner of the flower stand had picked it up or a kind stranger. He decided that the would come back first thing the next morning. There was a house nearby and he would go knock on the door asking if they owned the flower stand. It was too late tonight, he didn’t want to disturb anyone.
He had a restless sleep, thinking about Kelly, wondering how he ever had let himself get entangled with her. There were nice things about her, but they could not make up for the glaring differences between them. When the sun rose he jumped back into his car, hoping and praying that he would find his wallet today.
A sad country song was playing as he made his way back to the flower stand one more time. He pulled over to the side of the road again when he got to the flower stand, and hope sparked in him. There was a young lady at the stand. She was dressed in a bright yellow sundress and had a nice tan. He got out and walked over to the stand.
“Good Morning!” he said, and the young lady smiled back at him.
“Good Morning! You are out bright and early, not usually any customers this early. Usually only the birds out here singing as I put out some fresh flowers.”
“Well, my name is Thomas and I left something very important here yesterday and was hoping…”
“You are him! You are the man who left the wallet.” she said.
Thomas sighed with great relief!
“Yes, Yes, I am and so very glad you found it! I was afraid that it would be long gone by now, picked up by some stranger.”
“OH, so you didn’t mean to leave it here?” she gave him a questioning look. ” I thought you were leaving an extra big tip for the flowers.” she said, with a teasing look in her eyes.
“Not quite,” he replied, laughing.
They chatted some more and when Thomas got back in his car, he had one extra thing in his wallet that hadn’t been there before. A phone number of a certain young lady, who sold pretty flowers, by the side of the road.