300 Flowers
Chapter 18

Copyright© 2016 by Allan Kindred

The music like the moment is palpable. The air is filled with a rare energy and an excitement that is indescribable. The evening would not dare think to end while something so amazing and so wonderful is unfolding before these two good-hearted people.

There are many topics that Derek feels safe to talk about, but there are some that he doesn’t want to bring up this evening just in case it might be a sad note in an otherwise beautiful harmony. When the time allows, Derek will let Anna know that he too served in Afghanistan like her brother who lost his life there.

But for now, Derek and Anna are opening up with each other like they never have before with any one else. “Would you like to hear something that I never tell acquaintances or a date unless it seems there is really something there?”

“Yeah,” says Anna, gazing at Derek wonderingly from across the table.

“I have a Harley Davidson motorcycle and I never feel as free as when I’m riding it.”

“Why wouldn’t you tell other people that? That doesn’t seem like something to keep secret.”

“Because it is so special to me. I will only ever share it with people who are equally as special to me.”

“Like me!”

“Like you.”

“Did you tell Chrissy about your Harley?”

Derek thinks about it for a second and then smiles as he is saying, “No I didn’t!” For some reason it makes Anna feel a little more special.

“When do I get to go for a ride?”

“Well, since Saturday my friend David and I are going to take a look at your car, I would say Sunday. How’s that?”

“Wonderful! You know what?”

“What?”

“One of the things that make me feel free is I volunteer for the USO. I figured since my brother gave his life for this country, the very least I could do is support our soldiers as best I can.”

It is amazing, but when things are right, you don’t have to keep things from each other, it is just right and things flow as they are meant to. “I served in the Army for four years.”

“Really? Where?”

Derek looks at Anna with a sad smile and says, “I served in Afghanistan, just like your honored brother.”

Anna’s eyes flood with tears and she gets up and flies into the now standing Derek’s arms. Just another wonderful hug in an evening of many wonderful hugs. Just then an Elvis song starts to play and Derek holds out his hand to Anna and softly says, “Shall we?” As the song The Wonder of You plays, grace washes over them in this magical place of time and space.

Between the touch of the dance and the touch of the conversation the evening flies by. Before they know it, “Sir, I’m sorry, but it is closing time. Of course, if you wish to stay longer and lock up you can do that.”

“Wow, it’s four o’clock already?” Just then Anna gives a big yawn. “No, that’s okay we’ll be going now. Anna?”

“Hmm?”

I know it has been a long night, but I know this hill we can drive to and watch the sunrise. It is quite beautiful. What do you think?”

“I think that would be wonderful!”

It takes them about an hour to get there. Derek once again is behind the wheel. When Derek parks the car pointing east, he looks over at Anna. Anna is tired, but as she is semi curled up in the passenger seat looking at Derek, she gives him a warm tender smile.

“Anna?”

“Hmm?” she says, sleepily.

“I’ve had the most wonderful time meeting you and spending this time with you.”

Anna doesn’t say anything at first; she just smiles and nods her head. Finally she gets her thoughts straight and says, “I feel as if we have known each other forever. I know it is silly, but the thought of ending this date is breaking my heart.”

Now Derek’s eyes get watery. “I know exactly what you mean. How about after we watch the sunrise we go and eat breakfast, and then I’ll take you to work, and then I’ll pick you up from work and we’ll see where this magical night is leading us. I, too, do not want to leave your side. Unfortunately my work is a little chaotic at the moment so I cannot ditch, but we’ll spend the entire weekend getting to know each other better.”

“I’m not sure there is anything left to talk about. We’ve talked about everything. Things I have never talked with other than ... family.”

“It’s the same for me. If we can’t think of anything to say, we’ll make new memories to talk about in our old age.”

Anna’s eyes go big and so does her smile. “Okay!”

With the rising of the sunrise a new and wondrous world full of endless opportunities is opening up before them. “Oh, Derek, the sunrise is so beautiful, thank you.” Derek just smiles at Anna’s beautiful soul.

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