A Valentine’s Day Romance

Arnold, whose mind was not gripped by the everyday, lost as it was in fractured dreams, would rather be anywhere but where he was: locked in a stale relationship and funded by a job he found less rewarding than eating dust sandwiches, but then there was always a soothing drink and the looks, his “other woman, his future wife he hoped,” Sandra, gave him when he went into her shop: those looks which were becoming ever more personal he thought, intimate perhaps?

Sandra, was a busy girl, “On the up” as she used to say, whose most urgent energies where taken up with holiday brochures and ministering to the needs of her boyfriend Richard, who owned a restaurant up the road and surprisingly drove a Bentley. His parents had been wealthy, and so was he, but he could not sit idly by all day looking at inherited paintings, whatever their value, so had started a small business to pass the time which then turned out to be seriously successful, quite possibly because he did not need it to be so, who’s to say?

Richard had his insecurities, as did she, and only the mad do not perhaps, but somehow in that well-furnished wilderness he called a life she supplied a warmth which otherwise had not touched him. His father’s favourite sayings “Life is not personal” and, “If you have a problem, no one is interested!” might hold truths but offered little comfort to a small boy trying to discover his worth.

He was a mere twenty-five years older than she was and full those obscure insecurities we hid behind bravado, an urbane manner and, in Richard’s case, the ability to buy you an expensive meal but with her he was more real: “More ‘real’ than he had ever been.” He told her.

All that is by the by, and was unknown to Arnold as he walked back home full of daydreams about another life where he and Sandra might speak openly, admit their love and plan to furnish a home of their own: that he was married himself was a detail unconsidered because life was wearying enough without tarnishing your dream with facts.

At last, on Valentine’s Day, full of a love made larger by a drink or three, he walked into her shop armed with flowers and told her that he would love her always and they could both step away from their hampered lives and build a home together.

As he walked into her shop she had some trouble remembering who he was, though she knew he was a regular customer who sometimes made her laugh but she was less than pleased with this announcement and asked him to leave her shop forthwith, never to return.

At a loss, and confused by the outcome, he walked back home and lay the flowers on the table thinking at least his wife would be pleased to get them: she always liked a bit of romance!


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in Affair, character, creative writing, Fiction, Peter Wells, Romance, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to A Valentine’s Day Romance

  1. Hehe. You could say he enjoyed optimism in the face of facts 🙂 xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gotham girl says:

    Like so many others, you always make me smile or laugh out loud! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbra Streisand’s Second Hand Rose comes to mind here. Poor Arnold. Sometimes our minds go off on a tangent and we see things that aren’t there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mikesteeden says:

    The tale of the reluctant…perhaps ‘reticent’ a better word?…cad. As ever, another gem, Peter

    Liked by 1 person

  5. twofatnerds says:

    This is both funny and timely. I’ve been thinking about trying to write something related to the different ways that people see the same situation, and the resulting confusion of miscommunication. It’s a shame Arnold couldn’t appreciate what he has though. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. blaqaffairs says:

    A man can dream. But he was really, really off this time. Nice piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. blaqaffairs says:

    Yeah, that would have sucked big time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Al says:

    “Life is weary enough without tarnishing your dreams with facts.” Classic, Peter, absolutely classic!

    This story reminds me of the adage, “Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and be proved one.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ksbeth says:

    and a quick shift to ‘plan b’ on so many levels.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lifeinkarolingston says:

    At least his wife got some flowers at the end haha 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pragmatic to the end, I suppose. I think, in some ways, we all try to create (and then even believe in) an alternative life – problem is when we try to drag them into the light!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Surprising & Heartbreaking. WOW. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. caminodetim says:

    Sort of reminds me on a trip to Bath as a foodie deciding to treat my spouse to an expensive restaurant about which I had heard rave reviews. “Oh nice, for our anniversary……” Ah yes, of course, dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. araneus1 says:

    “because life was wearying enough without tarnishing your dream with facts.” loved that line and a heap of others! I’m dizzy from that journey — my compliments. Terry


  15. If you can’t be with the one you love…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Aman Thakur says:


    Liked by 1 person

  17. ASH says:

    I envy your skill in conjuring people
    They are all personal and engaging
    You don’t need plot contraptions


  18. nelle says:

    Wow! I cannot even begin to imagine what would result if some fortuitous revelation uncovered the truth. Good story!


  19. Sometimes dreams are better kept where they are birthed.


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