I step outside singing a Bossa Nova tune made famous by Getz and Gilberto back in the 60s. The sun and the song invite me to walk down the street, not just in an ordinary way, but with a swagger in my step. I approach the corner and prepare to cross the street when a car rounds it and he appears.
It’s my establishment man in the backseat of the car holding a dozen yellow roses. His smile disarms me, making me step back up onto the curb. He leans forward, instructing his driver to stop, then he gets out. It’s been some time since I saw him. 10 years has brushed a little gray onto his temples, but he wears it well.
He pushes the flowers toward me and says, “Happy Birthday.”
I smile, but hesitate a beat, looking into his eyes. I wonder what accepting the flowers would mean to him, and to me, when I notice something missing from one of his clutched fingers.
“I said to the shop girl, I know someone that would love these.” He puts the flowers in my arms. I embrace them.
“Stay right here, I’ll be right back.” I run/skip towards my apartment, stopping midway, I pivot and blow him a kiss. “Stop watching me, you’re making me blush.”
He smiles and playfully places his hands over his face, peeking through his fingers. “I plan to never stop looking at you now.”
I run back to him, and tackle/hug him in such a way that he is forced to lean against an iron fence. We giggle and kiss.
“What are you saying little flowers? Oh, you’re thirsty?” He takes one of the roses, and places it in my wild Teddy Bear, curly hair. “Hurry now, take the others up and put them in a vase. I want to show you off today.”
The chauffeur is playing the radio and the song in my head comes across the airwaves. I sway my hips as I back away, fluttering the skirt of my A-line dress. I’m dangerously pretty like Dorothy Dandridge in a scene from a 50s film. In fact, I think of her just before looking back and winking at my guy. He places one hand over his heart, and the other on his forehead, as though I’ve just knocked him out.
Copyright © 2011 Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter
Music suggestion: The Girl From Ipanema, as sung by Lou Rawls
Movie suggestion: Carmen Jones