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Just A Bundle Of Roses

Just A Bundle Of Roses


Mario V. Farina

Copyright 2017 Mario V. Farina

Shakespir Edition

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Mario V. Farina

Email: [email protected]

Danny Leason was smiling broadly when he arrived for work. I had been at my desk for, at least an hour. It was my practice to come to work early while his was to arrive at the last minute. I had no qualms about this. He and I sat at nearby desks and, during breaks, would converse about a lot of things. We both worked as junior accountants at Broadley, Benson, and Baker. We were about the same age, recent college graduates, and “unattached.”

“Hi Danny,” I said. “What do you find so amusing this early in the morning?”

“Hello Tom,” he responded. “I just spoke to Marylou Williams as I walked in the door. She was waiting for me! I enjoyed chatting with her.”

I knew who Marylou was. She was a beginning clerk in the Service Department, a recent high school graduate. She three years younger than me. I liked her a lot. Well, even more than a lot, but Danny had expressed an interest in her, and I didn’t want to tread on his territory.

“That was nice, Danny,” I said. “She’s a very attractive girl. Are there wedding plans in your future?”

“Oh, sure!” he said, “But, not right away! I’m not ready for that yet.”

“Marylou was waiting for you?” I asked.

“Yeah, we had a date last night. I sent her some roses.”

“Wow,” I said jocularly. “Sounds serious to me! Roses! Is that why she was waiting? Did she propose?”

“No, it hadn’t meant anything. She was just thanking me.”

“That was nice of her,” I commented. Inwardly, I was deflated as a burst balloon lying on the pavement. All my hopes about her had been dashed. It was final, I thought. He had won her.

“She thought it had meant something,” I said.

“Naw, it was just a joke!” he said smiling all over his face. “Bernie had dared me to buy her flowers and I did. I told her that!”

“You told her that?” I blurted, disbelieving. “You didn’t!”

“Oh, I did it in a nice way. I told her I thought it would be a nice thing to do, but she shouldn’t think too much of it. It had all been a joke. That’s all that it was!”

“You probably hurt her a lot,” I said. “Sending roses to a girl often says a great deal!”

“Well, not this time. We went to the movies, then for a bite to eat. We were nice to each other. But that’s where it ended. Sending flowers was just a lark! I thought she would laugh.”

“But she was waiting for you,” I said. “She thought enough of what you had done that she wanted to thank you. I think sending flowers as a joke, the way you, so delicately put it, was mean!”

“Let’s talk about something else,” he suggested.

“Just one more thing,” I ventured, “what was her reaction when you told her that it had been a joke?”

“She didn’t say nothing. She just turned around and walked out the door to the parking lot.”

“Why, do you suppose?”

“I dunno. Maybe she forgot something.”

“I think you hurt her bad, and she needed a little private time to cry.”

“Well, I thought it was funny! If she misunderstood what the roses meant, that’s was her problem, not mine.”

I didn’t say much to Danny during our break time at ten that morning. I was still upset over the way he had treated Marylou. In a way, it was a relief that he was not interested in her romantically, but I felt sorry for her, thinking that she might have been the butt of a cruel joke. It came to me that perhaps I should express to Danny how I felt about what he had done. I wasn’t good with personal censure; that I knew, but I might try saying something in rhyme. During the lunchtime, Danny and I usually went to the cafeteria together; however, today, I told him there was something I needed to do during that hour.

After he had left, I began writing on the back of an old lunch bag these words:

Just a Bundle of Roses

Just a bundle of roses he sent on a dare,

that was all he had meant it to be,

but she thought that a secret was lingering there,

and that soon his true love she would be.

But ‘twas only a joke, it was only a joke,

this he laughingly bandied around.

It had been a joke, but her poor heart was broke,

when his true aim she finally found.

A heart that was broken was buried with her,

and two roses were placed on her grave.

It had been a joke, but her poor heart was broke

by those innocent roses he gave.

It had gone smoothly. The poem had almost written itself. As I wrote the words, I realized that I was creating lyrics that might be fit a country song. Quietly, so I wouldn’t be heard, I sang the words I had written to myself, creating the tune as I went along.

I couldn’t wait for Danny to come back from lunch. I wanted to sing my song to him for the first time during the three o’clock break. I eagerly told him I had written a song during lunchtime and wanted to sing to him.

“You didn’t have lunch?” he asked, puzzled.

“No,” I replied. “I wrote the song especially for you, and felt it was so important I do so, that I should skip lunch today.”

“I’m flattered!” said. “Can’t wait to hear it!”

I picked up the lunch bag, cleared my throat, and sang the song with the best country twang I could muster. He listened with growing astonishment.

When I finish the song, I waited for some sort of approval, which, alas, did not come.

“Take that thing away from me, he angrily stated. I never want to hear it again!”

“I realized later that what I had done, had been nasty.” Our relationship, Danny’s and mine was cool for a few days, but after a while, it reverted to the pleasant one it had always been.

That day, near four o’clock, Mr. Henderson, our supervisor came to where Danny and I were sitting and spoke to us. “I wasn’t told until now,” he said, “but I thought you’d like to know, Marylou was found in her car early this morning in a coma. She was taken to Mercy Hospital, but I haven’t received word about what the problem was or how she’s doing. I’ve heard she’s conscious, but that’s all I know. I’ll try to find out more for you later.” He left.

Danny was stunned. There was no immediate reaction from him. I was greatly alarmed. After a moment of hesitation, I ran out of the building to my car, and began a ten-minute dash to Mercy Hospital. I had not thought to tell Mr. Henderson I was leaving. I could have been fired for that. All that was important to me was to get to the hospital to see how she was. The last few words of my song came back to me:

A heart that was broken was buried with her,

and two roses were placed on her grave.

It had been a joke, but her poor heart was broke

by those innocent roses he gave.

Arriving at the hospital, I drove to the door, exited from the car and raced into the building. I was risking a ticket for illegal parking, but this was of no concern to me at that time. Speeding to the receptionist’s desk, I shouted, “Marylou Williams, what room?”

“One-thirty,” she responded. “She’s . . .”

Not waiting for the rest of the sentence, I ran down the nearest hall without regard to whether it was the right one or not. I was lucky. In less than ten seconds I had arrived at Room 130. The door was closed, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I gave three furious knocks at the door, then opened it and burst in.

Mary Lou was sitting in bed with a tray with food in front of her. She gasped in mid-bite as I approached.

“Tom,” she exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

“I was afraid you were dead,” I cried out.

“No, I’m very much alive,” she said laughing. “I just had a little appendicitis attack! It’s been taken care of. I’m OK now. Tell Mr. Henderson I’ll be away from work for a few weeks.”

“That date with Danny last night, I thought . . .” I stammered.

“Yes,” she said. “And do you know what he did? He sent me a bunch of roses. He had been dared to do it and he did it! We both laughed. That’s when I began feeling pain and hurried to the car. I was planning on driving to the hospital, but I guess it turned out my trip was to be by ambulance!”

She and I continue to talk. I told her how worried I had been.

After she had gotten out of the hospital and returned to work, we began dating and were married a few months later. This all happened fifty years ago. I had kept that lunch bag in my files during all of that time. Tonight, at our anniversary party, I told my friends and family who were present, that I wanted to make a presentation. Danny was present, with his wife. I pulled out a bedraggled lunch bag from the inside pocket of my jacket, and sang a song I had entitled, Just a Bundle of Roses in my best country twang. I looked at Danny and he was laughing.

Just A Bundle Of Roses

Danny Leason had been dared to send a bundle of roses to Marylou as a joke. He had done this without regard of what she would think when she learned why he had done it. Tom Engles was appalled with this brazen act of effrontery and wrote a country song criticizing his act. He sang it to Danny without a favorable outcome. It was learned that the girl had been found in a coma in her car. This changed everything.

  • ISBN: 9781370225644
  • Author: Mario V. Farina
  • Published: 2017-05-08 06:50:08
  • Words: 1708
Just A Bundle Of Roses Just A Bundle Of Roses