A Valentines Rose

Posted: March 15, 2013 in #fridayflash, Short stories

Margo had worked as a receptionist for many years; twenty years of them at the same office block on the edge of town. She was a petite lady in her early sixties, with soft white hair and maroon framed glasses, which matched her lipstick.

Being a receptionist required patience more than anything else. Being pleasant; welcoming everyone with a smile; answering the telephone by repeating the same pre-empted speech you’d said ten times already that day; ensuring visitors were happy; and be on hand to assist with any crisis that unravelled in a split second.

Today, was her favourite working day of the year, valentine’s day. A day she was guaranteed to bring happiness to her colleagues through a simple three second telephone call.  She believed it was the best day in a receptionist’s diary.  Bunches of flowers, bouquets of roses and helium balloons attached to teddy bears would arrive in abundance and her job was to distribute them, like one of Santa’s elves.  The electrifying sensation of making the call and handing over a token of someone’s love to another person was immeasurable.

“Hi Carol, it’s Margo on reception.  A delivery for you.” She said it with a cheery smile and jolly tone and it was received with a high pitched, squeal of joy, no matter the age or seniority of the recipient.

She estimated one call every fifteen minutes. At one point in the day she counted 7 bouquets and a mysterious box with a single rose twisted around the handle lined up behind her desk.  The smell of roses and lilies filled the air, whilst grinning colleagues bounced down the stairs to collect their trophies of affection. How could this not be her favourite working day of the year?

She would look forward to a specific florists van pulling up outside the office more than most. “Thanks-a-bunch!”  A purple van with a bunch of pink roses on the side.  Her husband used to drive it.  Barry was a courier by day but reciprocated his wife’s love for Valentine ’s Day and would take a day’s holiday each year to help the local florists to deliver flowers.  At the end of his day, Barry would arrive at Margo’s office to collect her, whilst grasping the biggest bunch of roses she’d ever seen, with ribbons and wrapping accentuating the petals and blooms.

Barry passed away in the April, last year.  This would be the first Valentine ’s Day, Margo would spend without him.  She reminded herself that this was a day she made others happy, her one day a year to spread love and cheer to her colleagues.  As she handed out the last colourful bloom, she smiled and a satisfied sigh left her fulfilled lungs.

As she said good-night to the security guard and lifted her coat to put it on, she stopped dead as if she’d seen a ghost.  Her jaw locked opened and her heart began to skip a beat, leaving her feeling prickly warm all over.  The purple van “Thanks-a-bunch” had parked outside.  It was the exact same time as Barry would have arrived.  The same time for the last forty-two years.

She slipped her arms into her coat in a slow-motion swoop, and picked her handbag from the receptionist desk all whilst starring in disbelief at the delivery man as he walked up the front steps to the reception door.  He was carrying a long box and seemed to be struggling.  She walked to the door and opened it.

“Margo?” the man said as he pulled an envelope from his pocket.  The box was so long that it acted like a see-saw as he balanced it on his knee, as he handed her the envelope and put the box down by her feet.

“Yes,” Margo said sheepishly, as she ripped the seal and pulled out the note.  She could feel her cheeks glow and the internal heat began to rise from her head.  The note read:

My dearest Margo,

Every year since we began to court

Beautiful flowers and roses I bought

and without fail at six fifteen

From your desk I could be seen

To collect you from work in the purple chariot

I was your Nelson and you my dear Harriet

I knew that my time was very close

So I thought of what you’d like the most

Flowers which you can see all year

To remind you that I am still here

I’m in your heart forever more

and shown in the flowers you most adore


Her eyes brimmed with warm heavy tears, as she bent down and opened up the box.  Inside was a window box, painted the same shade of purple as the florist van.  Standing tall above the fresh soil, two dozen perfect red roses, their petals soft like velvet, whilst the air filled with the sweet smell of roses.

This was a valentine she would remember forever.

  1. Beverly says:

    Absolutely brought real tears to my eyes- so, so sweet!

  2. Larry Kollar says:

    So good to see you again! This was a very sweet tale, of love beyond death. You should have posted it a month ago, though! 😉

  3. […] A Valentines Rose by Brainhaze ~ @Brainhazewp ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Slice of Life […]

  4. What a wonderful story! Such a sweet tale of love that even death can’t end.

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