Jerry is single, always has been, and he thinks probably always will be. Not because he’s a boring guy, or homely, or scrawny, rather because he’s just not into the online dating game or picking up women at a bar.
He is a hardworking guy. He opens his hardware store at the early hour of 6 am so the construction workers can come in a buy the supplies they need for their workdays. He leaves the store at 4 pm and his assistant closes the store at the early hour of 7 pm.
“Jerry, why don’t you have a woman in your life?” asked Dylan, his assistant at the store.
“Well, I suppose I just don’t have the time.”
“Seriously? You leave work at 4, how can you not have time?”
“I’m busy, I have things to do, you know.”
“Well, let’s see, I write, I...”
“What? You write? What do you write?”
“Stuff, nothing important. I like to go for walks, or cycling. I go to the gym.”
“What kind of stuff do you write?”
“All kinds of stuff. It’s not important.”
“I didn’t know you write. You’ve said nothing about it before. Tell me about what you write.”
“No, not now. I’ve got to get going. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Okay. Hey, bring me one of your stories, or poems, or whatever it is you write, I’d like to read something of yours.”
“I’ll think about it.”
On his way home, Jerry stopped to pick up a few things at the grocery store. In the grocery store, he was looking at his phone, and he bumped his shopping cart into the backside of another person.
“Oh! Hey, careful,” the woman responded.
“Wow! I’m so sorry,” said Jerry. “Wow. Oh, excuse me.” He turned a little red in embarrassment, “Did I say that out loud? I did, didn’t I?”
Giggling, the woman said, “Yes, you did. It’s okay. I don’t think I brought that kind of response from anyone in a long time.”
“Seriously? That can’t be possible. You look amazing.” Again, he turned a little red because he felt he was being much too forward with this woman he had never seen before.
“Thank you, you’re very nice, too,” she said. She finally put the box of cereal in her cart.
“I wonder, no, forget it,” said Jerry.
“No, ask me.”
“Well, I wonder if I could get your phone number. Or email address? I would like to take you out for dinner sometime. That is, if you’re not married, or have a boyfriend. Shit, I’m sorry, I’m being too forward. Of course, you’re already with someone else, a woman who looks like you can’t be alone, right?”
Simone smiled, reached out her hand, and said, “I’m Simone.”
Jerry took her hand in his and said, “Hi Simone, I’m Jerry.”
“Hand me your phone, Jerry.”
He handed her his phone, and she entered her name and contact info. Then he immediately called her, so she had his info on her phone.
“Hey, what are you doing today? After you finish your shopping?” Jerry asked.
“Well, I have a busy schedule today, but I have the weekend free. Actually, I have every weekend free,” Simone said.
“Okay, I’ll be in contact,” said Jerry.
They smiled and nodded to each other and went on with their shopping. Jerry went home smiling all the way, daydreaming about a date with Simone. Simone went home smiling all the way wondering if what she had just done was a good idea or not.
Saturday, late in the morning, Jerry was getting ready to turn the store over to Dylan, and his phone rang, it was Simone.
“Dylan, this is important, excuse me for a minute,” said Jerry and he went to the office to talk to Simone in private.
“Hi, Simone, how are you?”
“Hi, Jerry, I’m fine, and you? What are you doing this morning?”
“I’m just about to leave work, go home and shower, and call you.”
“Well, I beat you to it. I’m home and already showered and called you first.”
They both laughed and chatted for a few minutes.
“So, we’ll meet at the park on 12th and Fairytale Avenue at 4 pm,” said Jerry in confirmation of their plans.
“Yes, see you then.”
At the park, Jerry met Simone near a garden of colorful spring flowers. It was arranged in circles, each circle had flowers of one color, and each circle was a different color. In the center of all the circles was a rose garden with red roses and white roses. Butterflies were bouncing from flower to flower. Birds were singing in the nearby trees. And the sounds of the city were far enough away that they didn’t disturb any of it.
Jerry and Simone walked between the flower circles. They talked softly as if talking at a normal volume would somehow disturb the surrounding scene. Jerry’s hand occasionally bumped against Simone’s hand, at first accidentally, but after a few times, not so accidentally.
“This place is so beautiful!” said Simone.
“It really is, and the scent of the flowers, it’s crazy, I wonder if it doesn’t have some kind of effect on us, um, on people.”
“Well,” Simone turned her hand just enough so his, when it next bumped into hers, would become entangled in hers, fingers interlocked. “I think it might”.
They walked around the circles and finally made it to the center where the roses were in command. It was peaceful, the scent of the roses was amazing, and Jerry’s phone rang.
“Hi, Dylan, what’s up?” asked Jerry. It was Dylan from the store.
“I hate to tell you this, but there’s a problem and I need you here, right now.”
“Seriously? Right now? What’s so important that it can’t wait till Monday?”
“There was an attempted robbery and the police are here.”
“Holy shit! Okay, I’m on my way.” He turned to Simone and said, “I’m sorry, sweetheart, but that was Dylan. At the store, he said there was an attempted robbery. I have to get going down there.”
“Oh, wow! Of course, let’s go!”
They hurried back to the parking lot, hugged goodbye, and Jerry hurried off to his store.
At the store, Dylan explained all about what happened. The police asked lots of questions, and business got back to normal within a couple of hours. Nothing was taken, the robbers were scared away before they could get what they came for. But it was still a harrowing experience for the employees and the customers in the store.
The next weekend Jerry contacted Simone again. This time Simone came to his home. Then they both drove to the park together.
They visited the garden again, walked among the circles of flowers, breathing in the scent of them, one at a time. As they did, the feelings they had for each other were building and soon they weren’t just holding hands, they were embracing in a long kiss, next to the red roses.
After their walk in the park they went out for dinner, then they went out dancing. They finally returned to Jerry’s home at almost 4 am. Simone didn’t stay the rest of the morning hours but went home where she had to take care of her mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Jerry went to bed and slept until almost noon.
The next weekend, Simone called Jerry, “Jerry, sweetie, I won’t be able to go out with you this weekend, my mom is having a terrible few days, I need to stay here with her.”
“Okay, sweetheart, don’t worry about me, you take care of your mother. I’ll go for a hike, or a bike ride, today. I’ll call you later.”
“Thanks, darling, talk to you later.”
Simone’s mother had good days, and she had bad days. This time she was having a few bad days strung together. It was a lot of stress for Simone to deal with - her mother’s Alzheimer’s, and her soon-to-be ex-husband trying to make their divorce as difficult as he could simply out of spite.
That night Simone called Jerry, “Hi, sweetie, how was your day?”
“Oh, it was good, but I missed you. I rode around town for a couple of hours, then went for a hike for a couple more hours, then walked around the mall for another hour, then walked in the park.”
“Wow, you were a busy beaver today, weren’t you? My day was stressful. Mom’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, and...” she stopped short of going on.
“And what, darling? What else happened?”
“Oh, it’s my ex, remember, I told you about him.”
“Yeah, I remember, what’s happening with him?”
“He’s just being himself, a jerk, trying to make my life a living hell.”
“But you did nothing wrong or hurtful to him. He was the ass who did the cheating.”
“Yeah, but he wants more than he’s entitled to and he’s trying to get everything and more, just because I told him to leave.”
“Do you need a better lawyer? Or another lawyer to help the one you have? I know one who is very good.”
“Well, that might be something to talk about on Monday. I have to call my lawyer, anyway, so I’ll bring it up with him.”
“Okay. You sound tired, why don’t you go to bed? We can talk again tomorrow.”
Simone said, “Yeah, thanks, darling, goodnight.”
The next week passed quickly, and the two met again. Simone drove to Jerry’s house, and they went to the park. And as has become their routine walk, they walked through the flower garden and to the roses. The scents of the flowers and the roses, the songs of the birds, did their magic on the two and they embraced, kissed, and kissed some more. They sat down next to the roses and talked and held each other, and kissed some more.
When they returned to Jerry’s house this time, Simone didn’t hurry home, instead, she hurried to Jerry’s bedroom. Jerry sat on the edge of the bed and said, “Do you smell that?”
“I smell the scent of the roses.”
“I do, too, now that you mention it. I guess we were there long enough that the scent is on our clothes. I like it.”
“So do I,” Jerry said as he leaned over and pressed his lips to Simone’s. He took her in his arms, and she pulled him back onto the bed.
They spent the night together, there in Jerry’s bed, with the scent of roses filling the room. Their lovemaking was passionate, unlike either had ever experienced before.
Every weekend for the next several months, Jerry and Simone walked through the flower garden in the park, and every time they did they felt the powerful pull of the flowers, of nature, bringing them closer together.
One weekend when they were at the garden, sitting by the roses, Jerry asked, “Simone,” Jerry turned and faced her, kneeling on his knees, “Simone, will you marry me?”
Simone smiled and said, “Yes! Of course, I will!” and she wrapped her arms around him and gave him a big kiss.
They had their wedding in the park, in the garden that brought them together.