Romance Fiction posted May 20, 2017 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 11... 

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A chapter in the book Love Parts3

Life Goes On

by Barb Hensongispsaca

Unexpected Romance Contest Winner 

Have I got a story to tell you. Do you believe in love at first sight? Not too many people do. I was never a believer until ... Oh, dear, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you about Rose.

Rose was my neighbor in the apartment building where I lived. Well, she was not exactly my neighbor, she lived a few doors down from me. Everyday, she would go for a walk in the park. On her return, she would ride the elevator to our floor, walk to her apartment, and not come out till the next day to take her walk.

I was walking past my door one day, when I heard a noise. Looking through the peep hole, I saw Rose walking toward her door. She looked so sad as she passed by my view. I realized I had never seen her smile. She would look at the ground as she passed me. I always smiled and greeted her, but she never acknowledged me.

I watched as she gathered her coat tighter across her chest with one hand and held her scarf together with the other. Her walk was slow, labored, and her head was down. I could actually feel her sadness. Loneliness seemed to radiate from her very being.

One day as I was carrying out my trash, I felt someone tap me on my shoulder. I turned around to see my neighbor standing at her open door.

"Could you help me for just a minute if it would not be too much trouble?" she asked me in a reserved, quiet voice.

"I would be glad to," I told her, happy that I could finally get to meet her.

"By the way, I'm Nancy," I said, hoping that would open the door to more conversation.

She did not respond, but instead turned around and walked back into the room. She motioned toward the curtain, and I realized she wanted me to help her hang the heavy drape that waited to join the others in the already dark gloom of her apartment.

As I quickly glanced around, I realized she was once a beautiful looking woman, because of the pictures I saw on her shelf. There were photos of her with some children, and a couple with a very handsome gentleman. I assumed he was her husband. I wanted to ask, but she was not one who liked to talk.

Now, I have to tell you that I don't listen to a lot of gossip, but, I heard people talking in the elevator about her losing her family in a house fire. It was many years before, but she had not moved on. It was none of my business, mind you, and I don't practice getting involved in other people's lives, but, in this case, I felt I had to do something.

Then an idea so outlandish - so outrageous - came to me. Oh, if I was able to pull this off, I'd be ready to open my own dating service. But I'm getting ahead of my story. Now, where was I? Oh, yes...

The next day, when she arrived home from her daily walk, she found a box at her door. I could see her out of the corner of my peep hole. She looked up and down the corridor and back at the box. She looked for a card; but, of course, I knew there was none because the box was from me. I watched as she took it inside.

The next day, she came home to find a large flat box at her door. She looked around again and hurriedly took it inside. The next day was a square box. I watched her hurry to her door. The following day another, and another, and another. Each day she seemed to walk faster, lighter, more confident ... happier. I saw her smile. My plan was working. Now, I had to fine tune the piece de resistance.

The final day of my plan, she came home to ... nothing. She looked all around, but there was no box - no present. She seemed a little disappointed. Twenty minutes later, I heard "him" coming down the corridor. I hoped my plan would work; but, it depended on what she had decided to do in those twenty minutes.

I heard the knock on her door, and I opened mine a little to watch. She stood in her doorway wearing the dress, with matching hat and slippers, that I bought for her. Those were the first of the boxes that she received. Her hair was tied up with her new clips adorning it. Last of all was her shawl, necklace and make up. I was hoping she would not be able to resist putting everything on when she realized there were no more presents. She looked beautiful even with the rough years behind her.

"You look very lovely," said the man at the door.

I could see her blush as he handed her the box he was carrying.

"Is there a card with it?" she asked hopefully.

"I am sorry, there was no card given to me," he told her.

She fumbled with the box as she tried to open it.

"Please, let me help you," he said as he held the box for her to open the top.

Her face broke out into a huge smile as she lifted out a dozen long stemmed red roses. She held them up to her nose like a giddy school girl receiving flowers for the prom. Without thinking, she gave him a hug.

I opened the door quickly and said, "Dad, I'm so glad to see you. Let me introduce you to my neighbor, Rose. Rose, this is my Dad; he is the local florist."

They were just starting to talk when I closed my door. It had been ten years since Mom died; maybe Dad could start to live, too.

I looked back, and he was smiling at Rose; and, even better...she was smiling back.

Unexpected Romance
Contest Winner


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