Last week I attended the Merida Writers’ Group that meets each Thursday at the Merida English Library. Everyone had something to read, and today I started a story that I’ll add to from time to time.
A Red Rose in her Hair
Monica pulled aside the curtains to breathe in the aroma of the early dawn. Outside, the light was still muted but the glow in the east promised a sunny day. Although she’d have enjoyed a few more minutes of musing, the Melita’s spluttering and hissing called her back to the kitchen counter. I should get a quieter machine, she thought, but it does make good coffee, so what’s a bit of extra noise? Ten minutes later, she sipped her first cup of cafe con leche; and while her laptop booted-up, she wondered what miracles this day would hold.
Leaning back in her pink padded chair, she looked up at the orchids and ferns hanging in her studio window – her mini jungle thrived in this space – and so did she. A quick glance at the still-in-progress watercolour perched on her easel, confirmed that yesterday’s changes had improved the piece. I’ll keep working on this one, she decided.
The lap top pinged, alerting her to unread messages, but she ignored the queue in favor of Craig’s List. She got a kick out of reading about Houses to Rent or Buy, Employment Opportunities, and Used Furniture – not that she needed a single thing – but on occasion she found a treasure. Sadly, today didn’t look like a day of discovery – until she noticed the small post in the Travel section. She read it three times. A hot-cold tingle ran down her back; excitement flushed her face and her heart pumped like a runner’s.
– If you are a Canadian named Monica Turner, I have an offer for you. Please email me at: email@example.com –
“That’s me,” Monica said out loud. Her curiosity intensified until it felt like a hot flash. Should she ask her daughter whether or not she should contact “jilted 2018”? Or maybe one of the women in her book club or knitting circle? She weighed the pros and cons of sharing this startling news, and realized she did not need anyone’s input because she had already made up her mind. She would find out what this was all about; she didn’t need anyone seeding fear and negative worries into her soul. Clicking on the hotmail website, she opened a new account: firstname.lastname@example.org and sent off her message right away:
– I have the name you’re looking for. I am Canadian. Do I know you –
Within the hour, he wrote back:
– I am Peter McLeod, and I was engaged to a woman who shares your name and nationality. Hopefully that is all you share, because if you are anything like her – in looks or personality – I will revoke my offer. That said, you must be wondering what this is all about. So, here’s the deal – I bought a dream honeymoon package for Monica and me – it is non-refundable and can only be used by a woman with my ex’s moniker. I assure you, I don’t expect “anything”; I just hate to see money go to waste. If you join me, you’ll receive a free first class ticket, and your own wing in the villa that I rented for a month in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. If we mutually decide to spend some of our time together; that’s fine. If not, we’ll meet-up again at the Merida airport for our return flight to Vancouver.
Monica couldn’t wait to discuss this highly unusual proposal with Peter. He suggested they meet at noon in a popular restaurant at the Lonsdale Key. “I’ll wear a red rose in my hair,” she said. “That way you’ll recognise me.”
She was right; walking into the crowded eatery he had no trouble picking her out – not only did she have a rose in her hair – she looked to be about 80 years old.