300 Flowers
Chapter 21

Copyright© 2016 by Allan Kindred

In the middle of the night, as Anna and Derek are still cuddling on the couch deep asleep in the world of dreams, the phone rings blaringly disrespectful to intrude on such a shared moment.

Derek reaches for the phone in the dark, and sleepily says, “Yeah, hello.”

In a near panic Eric spills out, “Derek?”

Derek hears the concern in his friend’s voice and is instantly awake, “Yeah, Eric, what’s wrong brother?”

“Derek, you know how Viagra says if you experience an erection for more than four hours call a doctor?”



“Eric, what the hell are you doing using Viagra? You don’t need that crap!”

Still in a near panic, Eric continues, “We just wanted to try it! And plus I figured since I stood her up to meet Anna, I would do something special for her.” Derek shakes his head and laughs. At this point Anna is up and listening. “Derek, what should I do?”

“Eric, my brother, if you have experienced an erection for more than four hours, marry her!”

“Derek, come on man, how does that help? Oh, wait, that did it! Thanks, brother!”

Derek laughs again, “Sleep tight, brother.”

“I can’t! She’s still here.”

They laugh heartily and hang up.

Derek looks over at Anna. Though it is dark he can see her perfectly in his mind’s eye. “Is Eric alright?”

“Yeah, he’s fine! I got a crick in my neck so let’s move to the bed.”

“Yeah.” smiles Anna. They are still too exhausted to do anything but fall right back asleep, but it is a moment neither of them would trade for anything.

They awake in each other’s arms. Unfortunately they only have an hour to get to Lisa and David’s so they do not make love right then, but for some reason it is okay because something so much more than the physical is happening between them.

“Oh, I slept in my pretty new dress.”

Derek smiles. “That’s okay, just put on the pink flowered summer dress you also got yesterday and on our way over to Lisa and David’s we’ll drop it off at a dry cleaners.”

Anna stops from trying to get the wrinkles out of her new dress and looks at Derek for the longest time. Derek faces her and crosses his arms as he waits for whatever she is calculating in her head. Finally she gives up and comes over and kisses him.

Brown eyes gazing upward making the heart skip a beat. Tender and sweet, this woman’s heart does it glow. So soft and longing to be caressed is both a woman and love. The vista has opened up.

“I’m sorry to say, as it is, we are already going to be late, so let’s change and go.”

Anna sighs forlornly, but smiles and says, “Okay!”

They change together in Derek’s room. For a moment there both of them thought that they were not going to make it out of the house today, but Derek always keeps his word.

As they are leaving, Derek flies out the back door and cuts a white rose from one of his many rosebushes. “A pristine white rose for my pristine Anna.”

“Thank you,” says Anna, being careful not to stick herself with the thorns.

Luckily, not far from David and Lisa’s is a dry cleaners. They quickly drop off the dress and drive the other five minutes to Derek’s friends’ house. Once again everybody is already there waiting for them. Last night they got to feel the power and wonder of the journey that is happening between Derek and Anna, and they do not want to miss a single second of it.

As they pull up in front of the house, Derek sees David, with the help of Eric, loading a tool box into the back of his truck. As Derek and Anna are walking up the driveway, Lisa comes over and hugs Anna and then Derek. “Everybody, if it is okay, I thought we would throw a barbecue tonight for Anna.”

“Awesome!” says Eric.

“I’m in!” says Brandi. Brandi comes over to the left of Derek and Derek puts his arm around her shoulders and winks at her.

“Well, I see my wife has volunteered me to cook again.”

Anna laughs at David and then says, “Oh, that would be wonderful, thank you.”

“Good, in that case let’s check out this car so we can get to it.”

David and Lisa get in their white truck. Eric and Brandi get in Eric’s black Maserati Quattroporte. And of course Derek and Anna go in his red Aston Martin DB9.

As they are driving over to Anna’s, the neighborhoods keep getting worse. It is as if decay has sped up and the world is disintegrating before their very eyes. It is both a wonder and a sadness. Finally, when they turn onto Anna’s street it is row after row of rundown white two-story apartments.

Kids are out in the street, there are several cars on the road that have obviously not run in years, and there is loud Hispanic music. As the three nice vehicles turn onto the street, all the neighbors look their way. Some of the seamier folk give them long looks.

Anna points at her car. Derek laughs and says, “It’s an AMC Gremlin. And it is even in the original green color.”

“My grandma gave it to me. It’s the only car I’ve ever had.”

After Everybody finds a parking spot and descends on the car, a Latino neighbor walks up to Anna and says, “Hey, Anna, we been worried about’ya, girl.”

“I’ve been with my new boyfriend.” Anna says that because she hopes it is true, and plus so this guy will stop bothering her for dates.

“How’ya doing, man?” says Derek, as he is unlocking the car and popping the hood. A lot of people might be concerned about a sweetheart like Anna living in a neighborhood like this, that has obvious gang activity, but Derek knows once you are accepted into their ranks they will watch out for each other.

“Alright, alright! So, Anna’s your girl, huh?”

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