Daily prompt: secret admirers


This challenge is; you find a surprise bouquet of flowers with a note. Tell the story

Her arrival at work was met with giggles and comments about her secret life, undeclared lovers and dark horses. As always she pretended she understood what was going on and she laughed along with them. Always the outsider she’d learned to do what was needed to blend in, be one of the team, although of course she never really did, blend in that is. Always on the edge looking in. All those moves as a child perhaps. “Don’t get too attached as you’ll be moving on before long”. Perhaps that’s what she’d taught herself and it had just become a habit. Never quite one of them.

Anyway here she was at work, the focus of some attention and laughter and cameraderie and not really understanding why. What dark horse? What secret lover?

Eventually she got to her workstation and there lay a bunch of red roses. A small envelope nestled in amongst the lush blooms.

Anna, the label read. A secret admirer? For a moment she felt a tingle of anticipation. Briefly. Very very briefly. Unlikely to suddenly have a bouquet in at the age of forty she reminded herself. It had never once happened before. Not once in her forty years so far and unlikely to be the next forty either as things stood. She had already got accustomed to the idea of a single life. A Saga holiday single room supplement was what lay ahead. Bouquets of flowers had no part to play. Of that she was sure.

She opened the envelope. “Thanks for last night. B”. She blushed. Blushed even though there had been no B in her life last night or any other night for as long as she could remember. There was a George once some ten years before but that had never got beyond an awkward meal and a dry hasty kiss on the cheek on parting. No, there was nothing to thank her for with roses after last night. She folded the card back into the envelope.

In her usual flamboyant style in came her young colleague and took her seat with a flourish of Prada bags, silk scarves and heady perfume. She reached into a pocket for her buzzing mobile and listened. Looking at Anna and the flowers reached out for the card and the bouquet and laughed at the misspelling of her name. Silly boy she said, it’s ANNE not ANNA.

Anne. Of course they would be hers. Anna laughed with the others at the confusion. Of course she hadn’t really thought they were hers. Not for a second. Her laughter felt hollow though. Just for a moment she had had a glimpse of a life she’d always longed for. A life with red roses.

“I knew they weren’t for me” she said again and laughed with the others at the absurdity. And even before the words were out she was forgotten as Anne regaled them with her latest romance. A banker it seemed. Crazy about her. Weren’t they all, for a week or so anyway.

Anne sat back at her workstation. On the outside again. If only they’d been for her. Just once.