Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

WEP Valentine Challenge

The WEP (Write, Edit, Publish) Challenge so generously hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee is back.

This month (of course) the focus is on Valentine's Day.  We are asked to say what the day means to us - and can do so through fiction, non-fiction, photography...   Which leaves it wide open.

If you visit here and click on any names with a DL next to them you will be taken to some wonderful pieces.


 I am playing again - and have chosen to go down the non-fiction path this month.

I have shared my life with my partner, known among other things as the Smaller Portion, (because I resented my mother describing him as my better half, and I am taller)  for nearly forty years now.  We have shared good times and bad.  We are very different people and irritate each other on a regular basis.  And the foundation of our relationship is, as it has been since the beginning, love and laughter.


***


A true story.

My partner would say that he doesn't have a romantic bone in his body.
He is a stranger to the truth.  He doesn't do the Hallmark sentimental card caper.  He does better.
Thirty years ago we lived in the country, rented an isolated farmhouse and commuted (by motorcycle) thirty miles or so to work in a large country town.  It was a quiet life, a pleasant life, a peaceful life.  Our nearest neighbours were only visible at night when we could just see the lights from their home. 
Then I came down with glandular fever.  For the second time.  I had it badly and was a sick, grumpy and almost certainly fairly obnoxious puppy.  After a shower I was so tired I needed a rest before I could dry myself or dress.  I remember squeezing myself a glass of orange juice and being too tired to drink it.  I struggled for a while, and then took some time off work.
On Valentine's Day I heard (vaguely) the roar of the Ducati as he headed off to work.  And drifted back to sleep
Some eight hours later I was up.  I had even showered and dressedWhich made it a good day.  A good day which was about to get better.  I had learnt (remember I said it was quiet) that If I put the jug on when I first heard the Ducati it was coming to the boil about the time he pulled into the drive.  On that Valentine's Day I was making his coffee when he came into the kitchen.  I went to hug him - but was waved away.
He unbuckled his jacket, reached inside and pulled out five glorious roses. 
Five glorious heavily scented roses. 
Five glorious and heavily scented champage coloured roses.
Five slightly crushed glorious and heavily scented champage coloured roses.
Both his shirt and those glorious roses were also spattered with drops of his blood, and shortly afterwards generously watered with my happy tears.




Bringing flowers home by bike was always going to be a challenge because the bike had no panniers and he hadn't taken a shoulder bag with him.  Down his jacket was the only place they had any chance of surviving the thirty mile trip. 
Florists remove the thorns.  Florist's roses have no scent. 
He knows that I consider a rose without fragrance a travesty and a tragedy.  So he had gone to a house in town whose rose garden I had often admired  and convinced the owner (who we didn't know) to sell him some of her best roses, and had ridden home with them pressed against his heart.  This from the man who finds talking to strangers difficult and doesn't have a romantic bone in his body.

My heart melted.  And continues to do so on a regular basis.


Word Count: 473
Full Critique Acceptable:

151 comments:

  1. A truly moving account, EC. My wife and I have very different personalities too, and have been together 46 tears. Given another 46 years, we might perfect this marriage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geo: Thank you. I hear you on the work in progress front.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Anne in the kitchen: Thank you. When he does good, he does really good.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. dinahmow: And aren't florist's scent free, never opening roses an abomination?

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. jenny_o: I still remember those roses. And some days my eyes still leak thinking about them.

      Delete
  5. What can I say, Sue, except..awwwwwww!! Such a touching true story, and beautifully introduced and built upon. I could so easily picture those crushed roses in his jacket. Soooo romantic! What a lovely use of the Valentine's Day prompt.

    Thank you for your enthusiastic participation. I've seen you everywhere I've been to comment.

    Denise :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denise Covey: I have been, as always, blown away by the entries I have read. So very different, and often so very, very moving.

      Delete
  6. My parents were together for over 50 years until my fathers death. He was the same way in regards to gift giving but when he did it was very special and had meaning. My mother considered continual expensive gift giving as being phoney and was happier when dad made her a cup of coffee. "Keep it simple sweetie"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DahnStarr: How nice to see you again. And yes, a gift with meaning trumps diamonds. Every time.

      Delete
  7. Hi EC - what a fantastic story .. no wonder your heart melted and still does when you think about the story, or write about it here ... we can now melt too thinking about your love.

    Fantastic - really wonderful .. oh those roses were loved and love ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: Some days I think that my heart has never really solidified. My family always said it was butter soft - and it dissolves regularly.

      Delete
  8. Just about as I am about to eat dinner, I have rather wet eyes. Thanks for that :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew: Thank you. It is nice to know that my eyes didn't leak alone.

      Delete
  9. How beautiful!

    In my experience, still waters run very deep indeed. The more they say they are not romantic, sentimental etc etc the more they astound one with gifts like these, meaningful and breath taking and heart melting and utterly memorable. Congrats on 40 years together!

    Loved reading this true story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nilanjana Bose: Thank you. He would still say that he is not romantic. And I would still smile and tell him that the truth is not in him.

      Delete
  10. My heart would have melted too. Excellent non-fiction. I was right there with you. Could see your hubby bargaining for your roses and could also see your tears of joy.
    Shalom,
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat Garcia: He really, really doesn't like talking to strangers. That must have been soooo hard for him. And, all these years later I still leak at the eyes when I remember that day.

      Delete
  11. Dear EC
    An absolutely lovely, romantic story and even better because it is true.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ellie Foster: He excelled himself that day didn't he?

      Delete
  12. I love that, your partner is a romantic sort, great.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I waited all day to read this and is was so well worth waiting for. My own heart has just melted at the way you two love each other. You've made me cry happy tears.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River: What a lovely thing to say. We have our difficult moments (of course) but I am so very lucky.

      Delete
  14. That is just magical. He was determined to bring you home roses not matter what! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret-whiteangel: I can't remember getting roses from him before or since - but those are enough. More than.

      Delete
  15. That is one of the most beautiful Valentine's Day stories I have ever heard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grannie Annie: It is a memory I hug very close.

      Delete
  16. Replies
    1. Sue in Italia/In the Land of Cancer: Perfect comment.

      Delete
  17. Now that truly is the best romantic Valentine story I have ever read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: I still mist over remembering.

      Delete
  18. Oh, I cried when I read this, EC. You are definitely married to a romantic, even if it's something he tries to hide. You've outed him! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DJan: I haven't told him I have outed him. And he would be unimpressed. Tough.

      Delete
  19. What a lovely story. This touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing your very special Valentine.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Replies
    1. Sonya Ann: If asked he would still deny having any romantic impulses...

      Delete
    2. Bahahaha! You are as bad as I am.

      Delete
    3. Sonya Ann: Your 'badness' is a pretty good thing to be.

      Delete
  21. A true man with a loving heart -- roses that cost more than money. I am glad to know such men still exist. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland D. Yeomans: There are good people everywhere. They just get less publicity.

      Delete
  22. Wow. Such a sweet story. Good ones are hard to come by. "Men and roses".
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa: And good ones are worth hanging on to.

      Delete
  23. What a wonderful thing to do. It's amazingly wonderful things like that, that make me still believe in love. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mail4rosey: Love is definitely real. And precious.

      Delete
    2. My grandparents (on both sides) had it. It is precious. :)

      Delete
    3. mail4rosey: I never knew my grandparents (and was in my late forties before I knew I had any relatives other than immediate family).

      Delete
  24. Oh goodness, I'm soaking in tears myself. This is what love and laughter and tears of two truly is. Best Valentine's day ever, surely. Every time I get a chance to smell a true rose, I'm sure this thought of roses against one's chest by motor-bike will come to mind. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen S.: Such a simple loving gesture. Which moved me, and so many others to tears.

      Delete
  25. Oh my goodness, that is a beautiful story, and so well written! You could have entered that into a contest somewhere or submit it for a possible entry into a Chicken Soup for the Soul book! I'm not kidding!! Very beautiful and heartfelt writing. What a surprise from your Smaller Portion!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BECKY: Thank you. I still think of myself as a reader rather than a writer and have never considered publishing anything anywhere other than here - but thank you.

      Delete
    2. I forgot to say, too, that I loved the last sentences in the part before your story: "We have shared good times and bad. We are very different people and irritate each other on a regular basis. And the foundation of our relationship is, as it has been since the beginning, love and laughter." That is SO what marriage is all about, isn't it? Sounds like Ron and me, too!!

      Delete
    3. BECKY: Love and laughter are most excellent ingredients to build with, to mend with, to play with aren't they?

      Delete
  26. Ah, EC, that's a wondrous story. Thanks for sharing it. Sorry to hear you were so sick:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra Cox: Glandular fever is debilitating and unpleasant - but there are many, many worse illnesses about.

      Delete
    2. Unfortunately, you're right. There's always something worse:( You don't deal with it now do you?
      We're looking down the barrel of our 40th too.

      Delete
    3. Sandra Cox: These days I live with multiple sclerosis. And there are many worse illnesses than it too (though it wasn't on my wish list).

      Delete
    4. Kudos to you for such a healthy attitude. Life is certainly challenging.

      Delete
  27. Replies
    1. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson: It is, isn't it?

      Delete
  28. What a beautiful, beautiful story. No wonder you have lived with him for forty years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olga Godim: Thank you. Not quite forty years, but I hope to make it many more.

      Delete
  29. A lovely story...and one that shows that love is still around...and although love is priceless...it doesn't have to cost money to show it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee: The gesture was so much more valuable than the expense. And the rose pricks healed quickly.

      Delete
  30. What a wonderful, sweet story. What a wonderful, sweet man. This is one of the best stories I've heard - and you tell it so beautifully. Thank you for sharing this very special moment with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carola Bartz: Thank you. It really is a very special memory. One of many.

      Delete
  31. Hi Sue,

    I shall keep my comment brief. Wonderful, magical and the very essence, on more than one level, of true love. Bless you both.

    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  32. That is the best story I've heard in a long time. Years ago when I became ill and the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me, we learned that one of my husbands ancestors was French. I laughingly asked him, "Where's the romance?" I wasn't working so we were really poor. That night he brought me a single cupcake, a candle on it and one flower. There was the romance. I cried.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. N.R Williams ~ Nancy: Yes. And my eyes misted over when I read about your cupcake. A perfect gesture.

      Delete
  33. So funny to know why you call him the 'Smaller Portion' (among other things), so much better than the irritatingly subservient 'better half'. The romance story is a beauty, and what could be better than love and laughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim: Thank you. Love and laughter are pretty good foundations to build on.

      Delete
  34. a beautiful memory, and it sounds like every bone in his body is a romantic one.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Wow! What a great flash fiction with emotion! Really connected me as a reader! Well Done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginger Dawn Harman: Thank you. Nothing fictional about it though.

      Delete
  36. Well, that was...just...why must you make me feel feelings?

    A beautiful and touching tale. Perhaps your husband just chooses to call romance by another name, but apparently it smells just as sweet. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arpan Ghosh: Welcome and thank you. He is a master at denying feelings. And I don't need the talk while he continues to walk the walk.

      Delete
  37. I liked how you describe your partner's attitude to Valentine's Day. Your post delivers quite a pay off when the flowers are delivered to you and their origin explained. I was tickled by your description of the problem carting the flowers with the motorbike. A question raised for me is just what is a Ducati. I would need a word of explanation as to what that is, to hit home. A word there about your partner's line of work might add to the story as well. I didn't completely understand why you went to sleep once he was gone to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. odel01: Thankyou for your comments. A Ducati is an Italian motorcycle. And he still has and cherishes that bike, though he rides it less often. I went back to sleep again when he left for work because I was too sick to do anything else.

      Delete
  38. This is something you will never forget.... a rose from the rose garden of the house in town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haddock: You are right you know. I have no idea to this day who the owner of that garden is (or was). And it doesn't matter, I will always remember her roses.

      Delete
  39. What a glorious story! You wrote it to perfection, bringing both a smile to my lips and tears to my eyes with your description. A beautiful memory to hold in your heart. :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Replies
    1. Author R. Mac Wheeler: A two awwww story? One from you and one from Denise. I am v chuffed about that.

      Delete
  41. Maybe no romantic bones, but his heart is full of you. This is a precious story. Thanks for the smiles.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, what a wonderful story and so much more romantic than any Hallmark card could ever be. I wonder with your love of roses, if you might have rooted those roses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mason Canyon: Now? I would certainly try. And you have reminded me that house was the first we lived in where my gardening obsession took hold (took root). Rented it was, but I built a garden where none had been before. And have had gardens in every home we lived in since.

      Delete
  43. Ouch! All those thorns, but that's so very sweet! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madilyn Quinn: All those thorns driven further into him with every mile. And yes, it was sweet. Beyond sweet. Have you got your laptop back?

      Delete
  44. Really enjoyed this touching story and now I'm terribly fascinated about your outlook on life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scheherazade: Welcome and thank you. I don't think my outlook is anything out of the ordinary.

      Delete
  45. Wow, no wonder you adore him, Sue. He truly is one in an entire earth. Or two (thinking of my husband). This is such a lovely story. I am glad you told us. It's stunning. Never doubt his love for you. It spilled from your words. And yours for him did too. I agree with you about florist roses. BLEH! Please tell your man that I salute him. And thanks for giving me smiles to carry through my day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn Campbell: Thank you. I know why florists do what they do, but I don't like it. At all. Bleah covers it beautifully. Have a wonderful day. And life.

      Delete
  46. Wow what a wonderful story, the best relationships are the ones no one else understands but they shared a special something.
    Merle.............

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merlesworld: You are right. No one else has to understand a relationship, just so long as those in it do.

      Delete
  47. Beautiful story. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Loved your story. At times there is no rhyme or reason to love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rasma Raisters: I dont believe there should be a reason for love. It just is. Which is enough.

      Delete
  49. I LOVE IT!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicky HW: How do you create the hearts? I am so impressed with them, and could often use them. And thank you.

      Delete
  50. What a thoughtful, beautiful moment to treasure! I can see why you kept him around *wink*.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Samantha Redstreake Geary: Yup, he is a keeper.

      Delete
  51. Awww - what a beautiful story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ladyfi: And you have made it a three awww story.

      Delete
  52. Beautifully told, EC! And a lovely insight into the depths of the SP. You are a very special couple. 💞💞💞

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol: Thank you. We are very lucky. Both of us.

      Delete
  53. Darn, I gave you some hearts too, but they just look like question marks. Please believe that they are hearts...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carol: So how did you do that? I am going to interrogate Nicky too.

      Delete
  54. Oh wow what a romantic story! Yes he has a romantic bone in his body.....those memories are to cherish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: Thank you. And cherished they are.

      Delete
  55. Giving a Hallmark card pre-written with someone else's words isn't my idea of romance. Anyone can do that. It's cheap sentiment... well, maybe not exactly "cheap" anymore, but you know what I mean. The thoughtfulness and self-sacrifice your fella put into bringing you those roses is a heart-melting tale of love and romance, whether he wants to admit his true nature or not. It's a beautiful story, beautifully told, about a beautiful relationship. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan: The Hallmark path isn't cheap by any means now, but ... And his lovely gesture conveys so much more. There has indeed been blood and tears (and sweat) in our relationship.

      Delete
  56. EC, such a lovely memory. Thank so much for sharing it with us. Flowers are such a powerful gift. I remember the gift of a yellow bouquet that I never received, and yet held such meaning. Long story, but flowers, more than chocolate hold such magic and convey so much more. Their essence a portrait of love. Walk through a garden and surround yourself with the gift from the creator - peace fills your soul. When a lover hands you that gift, well, enough said.
    Thanks EC, for participating in the WEP Valentine Challenge, it wouldn't be the same without you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yolanda Renee: I hope your editing is going well. Thank you (and Denise) so much for this challenge. I have loved reading the disparate ways the theme has taken people.

      Delete
  57. "He is a stranger to the truth." I've had a few girlfriends like that... sigh.

    But yay for happy tears. This was lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Wiswell: Sadly my mother's relationship with truth couldn't be described as intimate. I am so glad you liked this piece. Thank you.

      Delete
  58. What a lovely story and even better because it is a true one and so heart warming.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Replies
    1. Sandra Cox: And to you. Sunday here. Already.

      Delete
  60. Lovely Love Story.
    Hugs for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. orvokki: Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time and the trouble to read a longish piece in a language not your own.

      Delete
  61. Oh he just doesn't know that he has the most amazing heart...what a fabulous story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna@LivingFromHappiness: He does. He sends me ballistic with rage from time to time, and yanks on my heart strings often.

      Delete
  62. A very sweet and romantic story. Love the title Smaller Portion, ha,ha. I think my heart would melt as well if someone rode in on a motorcycle with roses tucked in his jacket. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deborah Drucker: Over the years we carried a lot of things on that bike. The roses were the only things which drew blood though.

      Delete
  63. This is the true spirit of romance. Champagne coloured roses, full of fragrance, slightly crushed and dotted with blood. You couldn't have been given a more sincere and authentic love offering. I loved your story and how skilfully it unfolded.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Loved this! Reminds me of a play I saw with the hubs set in Ireland, with a sort of messy, clumsy, beautiful romance about it. Some of the best kind. You put it together so beautifully, thank you for sharing it EC <3 Can't wait to hear a motorcycle next! Two thumbs up and a great big smile for you from this gal! Write on ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HBF: Messy and clumsy is pretty much my/our theme song. I am clumsier, he is messier.

      Delete
  65. Loved the stories....we all have them, for good or bad, or for what they are worth. I admire you for sharing them....I enjoyed reading them!!! They make life worth living!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sienna Smythe: There are some truly amazing pieces of writing aren't there? And some heartwarming stories too. I am so pleased you loved them too.

      Delete
  66. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.G. Keltner: Thank you. So very different from your fun take on this prompt. Which I loved.

      Delete
  67. Heavy applause - for both your writing talent and the man in the blood stained shirt. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan F.: Thank you. If you get the time - go and read some of the other entries. They were amazing, and blew my effort into the shade (though not my blood-stained partner).

      Delete
  68. Bravo! To both your mate, and your ability to make me tear up with the retelling of the tale! The greatest gifts... Also touched that you got up to put on the jug, despite being completely exhausted... No Hallmark cards required...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. daisyfae: Thank you. There needs to be a better word than exhausted. It really doesn't cover the way that glandular fever (or MS) makes a person feel.
      And those roses make my eyes leak too in memory...

      Delete