A bunch of daffodils

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 10, 2018

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Submitted: May 10, 2018

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A bunch of daffodils.

Jane Hardcastle; no she reminded herself, she was now Jane Philips looked at the wedding guests spread out before her. Family, friends and work colleagues; all chatting excitedly waiting for their master of ceremonies to get the proceedings started. It was the happiest day of her life. A wedding day she never thought she’d have. She could hear her new husband Simon chatting to her mother. It was good that they got on! Jane couldn’t help looking round the room and silently thanking the Princes of Serendip for the unlikely circumstances that had put her and Simon on the road. Her eyes took in the beautiful flower arrangements that adorned every table. Huge bowls of daffodils. She reflected on the bizarre, almost comic part that the flower had played in bringing her and Simon together. Her mind clicked back eighteen months to a time when she’d almost given up the idea of finding a partner.

She’d been sitting in her office one day mulling over private thoughts on marriage and motherhood. When you get to a certain age; finding a partner or better still a husband can be very difficult. More and more in those days Jane asked herself what she was doing wrong; perhaps she was being too fussy.  No that wasn’t it she just hadn’t found the right man. Jane had been thinking about it a lot. Maybe it was because she had a milestone birthday coming up; or perhaps she could feel her biological clock ticking.  Whatever the reason Jane had felt unsettled. She was intelligent (or so her boss often said) and she was solvent. There must be someone out there who could make her happy. On the form, Jane listed herself as gregarious, hard working and not bad looking (when she’d got her makeup on).Jane had worked in advertising since she left university seven years ago. She’d been promoted to account director the previous year and was now looking after two of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Europe. Jane was proud of the progress she’d made. She worked with a great team of professionals, media buyers, copy writers and commercial artists. But she couldn’t find a man, well not one she considered suitable.  That’s why she joined the dating agency in the first place.

Over the years she’d had numerous boyfriends of course but none of them managed to inspire any long term interest. Her mother had encouraged her to look for nice boy at the agency she was working for. A lot of relationships start in the work place her mother had said; your dad and I met when we worked together. Jane had patiently explained to her mother that she’d tried that but the people she worked with were not really her type. Jane had studied the “creative male” at close quarters and found him wanting. The only two men in her office she found remotely attractive turned out to be “gay”. She had nothing against gay men but she didn’t see them as husband material.

 No, joining a dating agency had been the only logical if nerve wracking step. She needed to advertise herself. The trouble was that some of the people who use dating agencies are less than honest. Her first two dates had been a disaster. One had turned out to be a Jehovah’s Witness who was looking for a wife and a convert and the other, a man old enough to be her father. Those first two dates had been disappointing, so disappointing that she’d become very nervous of meeting strange men in public places. So when Mrs Martin called from the agency and said she’d set up another date Jane had been sceptical. Jane had been in the office at the time and had taken the details down on her note pad. She tore off the piece of paper and stuffed it into her hand bag.

 

Jane remembered the day she’d met Simon; the agency had suggested they meet on Friday evening at 6.30, under the clock at Waterloo station. The days leading up to their date had been hectic for Jane, she’d spent three days in Geneva presenting a new advertising campaign to one of her accounts. She only got back to London on Friday morning and had seriously thought about cancelling. When she’d arrived at Waterloo, to her horror she discovered that the piece of paper with her dates details on it was not in her handbag.  It must have fallen out; it could be anywhere, the airport, Switzerland in the taxi she’d taken to the station, Jane began to panic. All she could remember of the conversation she’d had with Mrs Martin was that he would be carrying a bunch of flowers and she’d joked about him being tall dark and handsome; but what was his name, she had no idea!

Then she saw him; standing under the clock nervously clutching a bunch of flowers speaking to someone on his mobile phone. She looked at him from a distance and tried to take stock. He certainly looked the part, about her own age; tall rugged with a serious face. She couldn’t hear what he was saying but she felt his look of concern. As she approached he thrust the phone back in his pocket and just stood there. Are you here to meet someone she babbled?  She’d felt her cheeks redden and the butterfly’s infused the cadence of her voice with a nervous squeak.

Yes I am here to meet someone as a matter of fact he said; but before he could add anything she jumped in; that’s me I think said Jane. The agency gave me your description but I’m sorry I don’t know you name she said apologetically.

 Well that’s easy he said I’m Simon Philips. She noticed the look of total surprise change to a warm smile.

Jane Hardcastle she replied. Sorry she blurted out. I did write your name down but I lost the piece of paper.

Oh, so I wasn’t all that important he said with an even bigger smile. She looked at the bunch of flowers. Would you like these he said; and handed them to her with a short bow. They stood there looking at each other. Look said Simon I’ve got a table booked for an early dinner and theatre tickets for later on; would you like to join me. That’s what I’m her for said Jane with a voice that had regained some of its normal confidence. There followed an evening that Jane would never forget. The start of a beautiful friendship she told herself. Simon proved to be witty confident and full of life; he kept her laughing and occupied that evening and for the weekend that followed. They arranged to meet later in the week and Jane went into the office on Monday morning feeling that life had really changed for the better.

It wasn’t until Tuesday that the spell was broken. Mrs Martin from the agency rang in a state of high dudgeon; and asked where Jane was on Friday evening. Her date had turned up waited an hour and then gone home. Jane was now on the agencies “unreliable list”.

When Jane called Simon, he sheepishly admitted that he was at Waterloo that evening waiting for his maiden aunt to arrive from Bournemouth. He’d promised to take the old girl out to the theatre for a birthday treat. She’d apparently fallen over on the platform and rang to say she couldn’t make it. She was ok but the Para medics had suggested she go to hospital for a check up. Simon then added with a laugh; then some mad woman came up to me and insisted she was my date for the evening. What could I do!  

Jane was shaken out of her thought process by the sound of the master of ceremonies calling for attention. She turned to Simon who was sitting next to her; she touched his arm and whispered; you know if you hadn’t been carrying a bunch of daffodils that day we may never have met. I know he said squeezing her hand “it was written”.


© Copyright 2018 Peter Piper. All rights reserved.

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