Written for OLWG# 215
Joy stopped what she was doing and cocked her head to listen. There it was again, a light tapping; apparently, someone was at the door.
“Good afternoon, Ms Carmichael.” Julius Niedermeister, a colourful, local character, was standing on her stoop. He had his long hair brushed and pulled back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. His jeans and fancy western shirt were clean and pressed. His felt hat was clutched in his right hand, held across his chest, the crown pretty well crushed in his fist. He gripped, with his left hand, a brown paper bag. In the crook of his elbow rested a bouquet. There was a collection of red and pink roses that looked exactly like those grown at the courthouse. To complement the roses, he had added a few stems of bright yellow, star-shaped ragworts.
“Good afternoon to you, Mr Niedermeister.” Joy replied. “What can I do for you today?” She smiled.
“Uhm,” he fumbled with his belongings till he dropped his hat on the porch. He left it there and used his now empty hand to free the flowers. He held them out as an offering. “I was hoping that you were home, Ms Carmichael. I brought you these.”
Joy started a grimace but managed to turn it quickly into a smile. As she reached for the flowers, she managed to squeak out a reply, “Why thank you, thank you very much.”
He continued, “I’d also like to ask you, well, if it would be all right with you … I mean if you wouldn’t mind … I’d like to call on you from time to time.” He paused, and she just stood in the doorway smiling. Finally, he cleared his throat and held out the paper bag, “This is a bottle of red that I picked up at Harry and Mickey’s Mobil Station on my way over. They had it in the refrigerator section so, it’s already chilled if you’d like to have some. If it’s too early for you, you, well, you could pop it in the fridge and have it later. I mean, that’s OK with me.” He smiled and stared at her. He waited.
“I believe it is a bit early for me to be having wine. I have coffee on though, would you like to join me for a coffee on the porch?”
Niedermeister handed over the bottle and smiled, “Yes, ma’am. I would like that very much. Can I help you fetch it?”
“I wouldn’t hear of it, sir,” Joy said. She pointed at a pair of old rockers that straddled a low table near the end of the veranda, “Have a seat. I’ll get the coffee.”
He nodded and turned as she had indicated.
She left the door ajar and went back into the house, heading for the kitchen, where she found the remnants of a pound cake, also from Harry and Mickey’s. Quickly, she smeared some butter on it and threw it into the toaster. There was warm coffee left in the pot so, she split it up equally into two cups and put them into the microwave for thirty seconds. “What the fuck?” she thought to herself as she sat the hot mugs on a metal Coca Cola tray. A minute or so longer, and she pulled the pound cake from the toaster oven and spooned some jam on a saucer. With everything on the tray, she took a deep breath and pushed through the screen door, back to the porch.
Neidermeister jumped up and went to take the tray, which he sat on the low table.
Julius, he had insisted she call him Julius, needed no prodding to go after they finished their coffee and cakes. He was quite the gentleman and thanked her before taking his leave. At the pavement, he paused and turned back to her, “May I call on you again, Joy? May I call you Joy? Do you like art? Paintings?”
“You may call me Joy yes, I do like art, and I would welcome the opportunity to sit on the porch and visit with you again, Julius.” She shook her head and watched him two-step down the street until he turned the corner, and she lost sight of him.
To be continued
This week’s prompts were:
- roses and weeds
- Orleans inspiration
- red from the petrol station