fiction friday 23: secret admirer.

fiction friday.


Back in November, I wrote a short piece of fiction that I always thought could be something more. And a few readers suggested the same. But I never wrote more… until now. I’m beginning with a slightly edited version of the original post. More to come… but I do not have much written beyond this initial installment… I’ll be making it up as I go. So please set your expectations accordingly…  

secret admirer.

secret admirer.

[Originally posted 17 November 2015. Edited.]

I don’t wear my wedding rings at the gym. For practical purposes. It never occurred to me that anyone was paying attention to my hands… looking for a ring… or looking for not-a-ring.

Inevitably, dragging my tired ass into that loud bright building at the same time each morning, I tend to see the same people. Every time. The staff knows me and I know them. We greet each other. But the other members, well, I don’t talk to anyone. I just pop in my earbuds and go. But there is this guy.

Some members walk past me without a glance. Some eyes meet mine and quickly look away. It’s oddly comforting to see others as stranger-shy as I am. But there is this guy.

I never turn off my music at the gym. Not until I’m back in the locker room. It keeps me going, but that’s only part of it. It’s a security measure… a protective barrier. I’m not forced to interact. Much. But there is this guy.

Every time he sees me, I see him. I really see him. He makes eye contact. He smiles. He’s quite beautiful. Hey, I’m married, not dead inside. I can’t help what sends stirring little shockwaves through my body. It just happens. And, God, it feels good.

divider dots. red.

One day, after I’d seen that guy at the gym, I had an afternoon to myself. No plans, no responsibilities. I took off to read for a couple of hours at the bookshop my husband hates to visit. After those hours passed, I was tempted to have another cup of coffee and read longer, but I resisted. Guilt set in and I knew it was time to go.

I’ve never hidden my strange little psychoses and paranoia. So when I arrived back home and saw an unexpected package resting against the front door, it should be no surprise that I had a mini panic attack. Clearly, something is wrong with me because knowing I was not expecting any sort of delivery, my mind immediately imagined ridiculous fatalistic scenarios. It’s a bomb. It’s some sort of poisonous gas that’s going to kill me the moment I open the box. It’s a dead rabbit. It’s a human hand.

I was shaky when I lifted the box and brought it into the house. (Oh, I know, I am a huge contradiction. I thought it was going to kill me but I brought it inside anyway.) Upon laying it by the kitchen sink, I noticed a small logo in the corner. A logo I recognized. The flower shop next door to the gym. I passed it almost every day.

Flowers. A bunch of gorgeous, vibrant gerbera daisies. I lifted them and searched for a card or a note or anything to tell me who sent them. Nothing. I knew they weren’t from my husband. Flowers for no reason? I laughed for even thinking it. Mom? Sister? If they wanted to surprise me, they’d probably send money! But flowers… no.

gerbera daisies.Assuming the delivery must have been a mistake, I called the florist.

Not a mistake. ‘He wanted to remain anonymous. He paid cash. We don’t have his name.’

I gave up and put them in water. I made dinner. My husband came home and we ate. We watched a movie. He was even still awake at the end. And only then did he ask, ‘What’s with the flowers?’

He couldn’t have truly cared. He had been home for hours before mentioning them. They were on the dinner table so there was no question he saw them. He just wasn’t even curious.

But I answered him. ‘I don’t know.’  The truth. Conversation over.  He didn’t even ask a follow-up question. Another check mark in the he-doesn’t-care column. He probably assumed I bought them for myself. Which is ridiculous because he knows I would never do that. And yet another check mark in the he-doesn’t-care column.

None of those check marks surprised me. I hadn’t felt like he truly cared for me for months. Maybe it had even been over a year. I stopped keeping track. Instead, I tried to forget what my life had become.

Not alone but lonely. Running away to the bookstore… to the gym. Hiding what I felt because whenever I tried to discuss it with him, he couldn’t be bothered to listen. I wanted more than what I was getting. And I was plagued with thoughts that it wasn’t worth trying anymore. Not with him. But I never wanted to talk to friends or family about it because it felt… embarrassing… that my life had become so unsatisfying.

divider dots. red.

On my way to the gym in the morning, I smiled when I walked past the florist. And I promptly shook my head at my own childish giddiness.

Earbuds in. Treadmill rolling. I tried to get those flowers off my mind, but I couldn’t. I didn’t really want to. The florist said he wanted to remain anonymous. He. A man. A mystery man. I adored the attention.

I stepped off the treadmill and peeked at my phone to change my music. While walking. A brilliant move. Of course, I crashed into someone. My earbuds fell from my ears. I looked up to apologize, and there he was. That guy. And his eyes. And his smile. And his hand… holding a beautiful vibrant gerbera daisy.

Hi.

swirl.

To be continued… 

You can also read Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and more. In the menu bar at the top of the page, click fiction/secret admirer.

©2016 what sandra thinks
Advertisements

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Hawaii where she could learn to surf. She loves music, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
This entry was posted in fiction, fiction friday, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to fiction friday 23: secret admirer.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great start. Take it forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hooooolllllllyyyyyyy hell. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I died the first time I read this! 😀 I hope the next installment is for next Friday! Woot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved that everyone (well, mostly, it seems) thought it was true. I’ve certainly had “that guy” who I love to run into in the places I know he’ll be, but it’s usually from afar and I’m sure it’s completely one-sided…

      And yes, next Friday is the plan!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mr Modigliani says:

    I loved this! A wonderful little piece of fiction with, I suspect, some small elements of truth woven through.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How romantic!! Can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I love this! More please!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Miriam says:

    Very tantalising.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lonely but not alone

    Sad commentary but so often true. Been there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can’t wait to read the next part!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kay Morris says:

    Great start!! I am intrigued and want to know more. I see that part two is now available; off to satisfy my curiosity 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. rmlenzi says:

    I am totally swooning!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: ReBlog – fiction friday 23: secret admirer. | Brickley Jules Writes

  13. mandibelle16 says:

    Wow. Wonderful exciting piece of fiction! I’m going to read part 2. I’m hooked!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. VictoryInTrouble says:

    Brilliant start. I love how you set up her relationship with her husband. It always amazes me what they don’t notice. Gym guy seems delicious! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: fiction friday 31: secret admirer. part 9. | what sandra thinks

  16. Pingback: fiction friday 32: secret admirer. part 10. | what sandra thinks

  17. Pingback: fiction friday 33: secret admirer. part 11. | what sandra thinks

  18. Pingback: fiction friday 34: secret admirer. part 12. | what sandra thinks

  19. Pingback: fiction friday 35: secret admirer. part 13. | what sandra thinks

  20. Pingback: After Party Goodie Bag – Drop It Like It’s Hot August Event! #SundayShare @sundayshare | Simply Marquessa

  21. Pingback: fiction friday 36: secret admirer. part 14. | what sandra thinks

  22. Pingback: fiction friday 37: secret admirer. part 15. | what sandra thinks

  23. Pingback: fiction friday 38: secret admirer. part 16. | what sandra thinks

  24. Pingback: fiction friday 39: secret admirer. part 17. | what sandra thinks

  25. Pingback: fiction friday 40: secret admirer. part 18. | what sandra thinks

  26. Pingback: fiction friday 41: secret admirer. part 19. | what sandra thinks

  27. Pingback: fiction friday 30: secret admirer. part 8. | what sandra thinks

  28. Pingback: fiction friday 26: secret admirer. part 4. | what sandra thinks

  29. Pingback: fiction friday 28: secret admirer. part 6. | what sandra thinks

  30. Pingback: fiction friday 24: secret admirer. part 2. | what sandra thinks

  31. Pingback: fiction friday 42: secret admirer. part 20. | what sandra thinks

  32. Pingback: fiction friday 43: secret admirer. part 21. | what sandra thinks

  33. Pingback: fiction friday 29: secret admirer. part 7. | what sandra thinks

  34. Pingback: fiction friday 25: secret admirer. part 3. | what sandra thinks

  35. Pingback: fiction friday 27: secret admirer. part 5. | what sandra thinks

  36. Pingback: fiction friday 44: secret admirer. part 22. | what sandra thinks

  37. Pingback: the monster. | what sandra thinks

  38. Pingback: fiction friday 45: secret admirer. part 23. | what sandra thinks

  39. Pingback: stuck on empty. | what sandra thinks

  40. Pingback: powerless. | what sandra thinks

thoughts? talk to me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s