THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One That Got Away.” What happens?
“Ugh,” I muttered to myself as I struggled to get Marcy’s Flower Shop door open. Her store was flooded with a flurry of busy bodies of course, because it was Valentine’s Day.
I snaked my way through the perfumed crowd, my destination Marcy’s counter. She was fussing over a beautiful pink ribbon that wouldn’t sit straight on the bouquet of flowers she mounted in a crystal vase. She had insisted that I come directly to her store to visit her that day. She knew otherwise I would just stay in my apartment all day in my PJs and watch some oldies while stuffing double chunky chocolate ice cream. Boy was I boring. The only things I was missing were some cats. Mom would have already fixed me up with a secret Valentine for that day. Mom…I shook the thought away.
I stood studying Marcy for a moment. Her hair was tied back and was as beautiful as a sunset with golden streaks which glimmered like the last of the sun’s rays toppling over an ocean. Tender curls caressed her face which was elegantly dusted with light makeup. She had what you’d consider a model’s figure which she dressed in a neat navy blue skirt with a white blouse and matching blue pumps. She was the epitome of my best friend.
“Hey Marcy!” I said finally.
“Oh! Kindra! Hi darling! Happy Valentine’s Day!” she said as she plucked a single rose out of another vase as handed it to me along with a long hug and a peck on my cheek. It was a rare Veilchenblau rose and there was a card with my name written in cursive handwriting.
“Aww! It’s breathtaking Marcy! Thank you!” I beamed. It was surely going to be my only Valentine’s Day treat, I was sure. I snickered to myself at the thought.
“You’re welcome Kindy, how’re doing?” she asked kindly.
I evaded her eyes, “I’m really good, I started that new job last week, and it’s pretty good so far.”
She placed a caring hand on my shoulder, “Kindy, you don’t have to hide from me. I know it has been hard since your mom passed, and I’m always here for you so please don’t shut me out.”
I smiled, “Thanks, I know you are. You’re amazing! I just don’t feel like pouring over things that can’t be changed, you know? Momma had a good life, and I cherish every moment that I ever had with her. Even though she’s not physically here with me, she gives me the strength to wake up every morning and get on with my life. It’s what she would have wanted, and I don’t want her to be disappointed in me.” My eyes welled with tears, but I refused to cry in the store.
Marcy embraced me and I felt myself being put back together. I don’t know how I would have survived these past few months without her by my side. She really was amazing.
“Oh! I almost forgot! There’s a surprise for you in the card on the rose,” she winked at me.
Curious, I opened it up. I had not noticed how heavy it was until now. Upon opening it, a brass key was taped onto the inside with the message, “Ginger is awaiting your presence!”
“MARCY! You didn’t! Is it really? How did you…” I trialed off as she embraced me yet again.
“Don’t ask questions, I know how much your beautiful Benz, Ginger meant to you and so I got it back for you, no questions asked!” she chided me.
I was speechless. I had to sell Ginger in order to pay Momma’s hospital bills, and I missed her since! She was the first car I had ever owned and I worked and saved up for it on my own. She was my baby. I’d often call her my better half because she had seen me through the last of High School, all of College and my working years until I sold her. She was there with me through all the ups and downs and she never let me down. Some of my friends chided me for having such an unhealthy relationship with my car but she was mine and no one could have come between us. She was the only constant in my life. She was the one that got away.
After giving Marcy some of her favourite truffle chocolates and thanking her profusely for getting me my Ginger back, I leaped through the back door of the store to find my baby staring right at me. Her paint was a perfect glowing red which glittered below the sun’s rays. I jumped into the front seat and took a deep breath. She smelled so good, just as I remembered. I inserted the key and the engine purred to life—music to my ears. I reversed out of Marcy’s driveway and rode my way onto the highway.
As I cruised on to no place in particular, I felt happy. I was truly happy. Finally, I was on my way to being whole again. Valentine’s Day 2013 was the day I got back my Ginger, the one that I couldn’t let get away.