Flan looked at herself in the mirror for much longer than usual. A practice she didn’t much care for. She had been worn down by acts of kindness and in a moment of weakness, after a feeling of belonging at work, she accepted the offering of another date with Roy.
Roy is charming, I’ll give him that, and handsome… in his own way. But he’s a bit too much of a goody two-shoes. A Victorian of a man. So straight laced and….so…uh….ordinary. By now she was smearing make up all over her face in a controlled tantrum. I can’t do this.
The elevator shaft began cranking. Flan sensed he was early, but he’d have to wait. She cleared her face to start over and thought back to how this all began.
Flan was gliding after seeing a performance of Les Miserables. She went because the title resonated with her spirit, but didn’t expect to feel so empowered on the way home. She even looked up to enjoy the coming rain on her face, as she bumped into a man in a drenched burgundy suit. They seemed to be the only two around not minding the sudden downpour; both happily distracted in thought.
He just finalized his divorce the day before, finished work and was ready to celebrate. He was on his way to meet a few friends at his long lost favo(u)rite, the Barcade. SMACK! Roy collided with Flan’s wheelchair. She had her arms stretched out with her head to the sky when they hit and she lost control towards the road.
Roy’s immediate reaction wasn’t to grab his foot that was now aching in pain, but quickly grasp the back handles, pulling Flan to a halt right as a taxi skidded to a stop well beyond Flan’s projected momentum. He had saved her, while also being the cause of her near-death event. Flan was shaken at first, sitting motionless, as Roy began his apologies. Soon she regained her composure, and assured him that she was fine.
He wasn’t going to have it, so with a restored confidence in who he once was, he told her he would make it up to her. As he began pushing her to wherever she was headed. Oh, right. That’s how he knew where I lived. I forgot about that night, she thought recalling the events.He was charming the whole way home, so full of passion and energy, like he’d just been unleashed.
They walked twenty blocks to her place, occasionally she’d speak, but he seemed perfectly fine filling the silence with freedom from a cheating spouse. He was free, like Jean Valjean. She listened in admiration and hope. When they finally arrived at her place, she kind of liked this idealistic, squirrel of a man. Roy pushed her to the door, but sensed that’s as far as his help would go. He still felt he owed her more, and actually kind of liked her, or at least having the attention of a woman again. His wife, ex-wife, had long forgone any thought towards him for at least the last three years.
‘Flannery, was it?’ Roy asked sheepishly.
‘Yes. Flan is fine.’ She said confidently.
‘I feel I owe you a night out at your favo(u)rite restaurant.’ Roy said.
‘Owe me? OWE me?’ Flan said forceful, yet playful.
‘Oh no! I mean, I think, I just think it would be nice for us to, uh, for me to get to know you, to go out and have a nice food? And…’Roy sat idle for a second trying to say something right.
‘Have a nice food? Here, how about trying that again?’ Flan said enjoying his painful inability to form a sentence.
‘Would you like to go to dinner with me next week? Your restaurant of choice.’ Roy said as valiant as he could.
‘Just so long there’s no more mention of your ex-wife.’
Roy sighed, as he started laughing. ‘Of course.’
Flan went in, shut the door and sat for a second in the elevator. Am I going on a date? It sure sounded like a date? Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Today was ok. And ok was good. She pushed up.
Roy knocked on the door, knocking Flan back into reality. Maybe this date will be better than the first, she thought.