Secret Admirer by Dawn Pisturino

The black and white image of a man in a tuxedo playing the violin and three young women enamored by him
Image Source: Canva

The first day of May had arrived, and the world seemed bursting with flowers – red, yellow, purple, blue, and pink!  As Amy walked home from her office job, she breathed in the sweet fragrances that wafted all around her, from the blooming gardens bordering the sidewalk to the flower boxes – alive with living color — adorning the windows of the apartments and houses she passed.  The balmy air lifted her up, stirred by sweet breezes rustling the leafy green trees that lined the avenue.

       When Amy finally reached home, she was surprised to find a tiny basket of violets hanging from the doorknob.  With a squeal of delight, she dropped her purse to the ground and carefully removed the dainty basket.  The violets were the deep purple ones she loved so much.  She brushed the delicate petals against her cheek, smiling happily.  What wonderful person had been so thoughtful?  She checked the basket for a card.  Hidden deep among the leaves was a small pink card that read, “From your secret admirer.”

       No secret was ever kept better than this!  A secret admirer?  Amy’s heart leaped a mile out of her chest and back again.  Who could it be?  The pimply-faced paper boy?  The shy stock boy at the corner grocery?  The handsome young man behind the desk at the library?  The middle-aged clerk at the post office?  Her cranky old boss?

       Amy did not have a boyfriend.  She had been too busy since graduating high school to think about boys.  Her office job took up the daylight hours, and attending night school at the local community college took up her evening hours.  On the weekends, she cleaned house, did laundry, and studied for long hours in order to keep up with the tough subjects she was studying.  Amy was studying to be a nurse.  Once she had passed the state boards and received her license, she would worry about boys.

       But this small gesture by a secret admirer was so romantic and sweet!  It thrilled her like nothing else had done before and stimulated her imagination.  She could hardly wait to find out who had given her this wonderful token of affection.

       Over the next week, Amy waited with bated breath for her secret admirer to reveal himself.  The weekend passed, and no one telephoned or rang the doorbell.  When Monday came, Amy rushed home from the office to check the mailbox. Nothing.

       She did not catch any young men secretly watching her.  She did not glimpse a sly smile on any young man’s face.  No bashful pup tried to strike up a conversation with her.  By the following Friday, Amy felt sorely disappointed – and scared.

       Wonder if her secret admirer was no admirer but some weirdo trying to frighten her?  Maybe he was lying in wait somewhere, ready to pounce on her from the bushes as she walked by?

       Amy’s paranoia increased every time the telephone rang.  She half-expected to hear heavy breathing on the other end of the line.  Whenever she left the house at night, she carefully checked behind her and listened for stealthy footsteps.  She held her keys between her fingers, ready to gouge out the eyes of any attacker.  But nothing happened.

       One Saturday morning, the doorbell rang.  A delivery boy stood on the doorstep, carrying a huge bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

       “What’s all this?” Amy asked breathlessly.

       “Delivery for Miss Amy Carmichael.  Is that you?”

       “Absolutely!”  Amy received the huge bouquet into her arms, inhaling the mixed fragrances.  She looked for a card but found none.  The delivery boy handed her the box of candy.  No card.

       “Can you possibly tell me who sent all this?” she asked.

       “No, but if you call the florist, they should have a record of the order.  Here’s the number.”  He handed her a business card.

       “Thank you.”  Amy set the flowers and candy on a table and found her purse.  She tipped the delivery boy and then pulled out her cellphone and called the florist.  A woman answered.

       “Can you help me, please,” Amy said.  “I just received a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates from your shop.  There was no card, and I was wondering who sent them.”

       “What’s the name and address?”

       “Amy Carmichael, 2427 Grant Street.”

       After a moment’s silence, the woman said, “Yes, here’s the order.  But there’s no name.  The person paid cash.”

       “Did you take the order?”

       “No, that was Judy, and she’s not here today.  The order was placed yesterday.”

       “Okay, thank you.”  Amy ended the call.  She sat on the couch and racked her brain.  Who could be doing this?  She didn’t know anybody with money to spend on such expensive gifts.  Was it some pervert stalking her?

       Amy heard the mailman filling the mailbox and went outside.  She found a large red envelope waiting for her.  The postmark was local, so it was somebody nearby.  She ripped open the envelope and pulled out a lovely card marked, “For Someone Special.”  Inside, she found a handwritten poem:

“Roses are red, violets are blue,

Meet me for lunch, a quarter to two.

Norby’s Café.”

       Amy’s heart raced in her chest.  She hugged the card to her breast, painting a vivid portrait of the mysterious stranger in her mind.  Handsome!  Well-dressed!  Well-educated!  Rich!  Every young woman’s dream.  Then, a horrible thought entered her mind.  She pictured a wild-eyed psychopath luring her to the restaurant and kidnapping her in his car.  She saw herself gagged and bound in some hideous abandoned building.  Her corpse would be found in the woods somewhere, her photo splattered across the evening news.

       NO! Her mind rejected that scenario because it was just too horrible for her to handle.  No crazy psychopath would give her such extravagant gifts or write her such a sweet poem.  No, the man who did this had to be the most wonderful man in the world!  A kind and gentle man with a loving heart, a great sense of humor, and a beautiful soul.       

That was right, wasn’t it?  But, of course, that’s the only kind of man he could be . . .

-DAWN PISTURINO

Dawn Pisturino is a retired registered nurse in Arizona, USA whose publishing credits include poems, limericks, short stories, and articles. Please visit her at Dawn Pisturino’s Blog.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Dawn’s short story is the perfect blend of romance and mystery. I like how an even balance is maintained throughout and the protagonist’s dilemma extends to the reader. It’s a nail biting and heartening read combined in one. The ending though hopeful leaves the reader slightly nervous and all the ‘what ifs’ that can exist come to mind. The perfect conclusion.
    Congratulations Dawn!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Terveen, I love your thoughtful analysis!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Dawn Pisturino's Blog and commented:
    My short story, “Secret Admirer,” has been published today on Masticadores India. I want to thank Terveen Gill and all of her wonderful staff for publishing it. Please visit them and show them your support. Thanks!

    Like

  3. jonicaggiano says:

    Congratulations Dawn you have your audience imagining all sorts of potential suitors! I honestly thought surely she was sending the flowers to herself. Nicely done. Big hugs 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Joni! I appreciate your feedback. Have a great day!

      Like

  4. tallisman says:

    Darn it! I want to know! Dawn, how can u do this to me! Sob….

    Liked by 2 people

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