ONE VALENTINES DAY

by elfin


Maddy killed the car engine, unclipping her seatbelt.  “Listen, thanks for the card this morning,” she smiled at him, a little self-consciously.  “It was beautiful.”
He smiled innocently.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Maddy slapped him playfully on the arm.  “Of course not, just as you didn’t know who yours was from this morning.”
Jonathan raised his eyebrows.  Even with the single question mark as the only signature, he’d known it was from her.  Adam obviously wasn’t the romantic type, despite what he claimed sometimes.  Either that, or he didn’t believe in Valentines Day.  Whichever, Jonathan was glad Maddy had given him a lift home.  “Coffee?”
“Thought you’d never ask.”

Turning the key in the lock, Jonathan pushed open the front door of the windmill and stopped dead.  The scent alone was enough to overwhelm him, but the sight of his kitchen with every inch of available space taken up by vases of red and cream roses was something he knew he would never forget.
Maddy wandered up behind him, walking into him.  “What’s up…?”  She peered in.  “Oh my God.”

Jonathan stepped inside, shaking his head slowly.  “Was this you?”
Maddy followed him in.  “I wish I could say it was, but I think…”
“Adam.”
She nodded, a sinking feeling reaching the pit of her stomach.  “Adam.”
Looking around, Jonathan’s eyes fell on the narrow wooden stairs leading up from the kitchen.  On each step there had been placed a glass vase containing a single yellow rose.  Slowly, Jonathan climbed the stairs into the bedroom.  A single, perfect red flower lay across the pillows, an envelope visible underneath.  Jonathan picked up both and carried on up to the living room.  In here the roses were orange and white, just as stunning, perhaps more so because of the unusual bright colour.  He crossed the room and opened the balcony door, gazing out around the surrounding countryside.  For some reason, he felt like crying a little.

Standing looking out over the fields, he opened the envelope and pulled out a card.  The front was entirely white, with the shape of an uneven love-heart embossed into the centre.  Inside, the only inscription was in Adam’s hand,

‘of everything in my life, you’re what I couldn’t ever live without.  I love you.  A.’
 

Jonathan glanced up when Maddy came to lean on the railings next to him.  “He’s good, I’ll give him that.”
Jonathan laughed.  “An expert.”  They looked at one another, her ironic smile meeting his incredibly happy expression.  “So, what the hell do I do with a thousand roses?”

*

The large package had been left on the hall table for Adam when he got in that evening.  There was a card on the top, which he plucked off before tearing open the wrapping on his gift.  He stared for a moment at the writing on the outside of the box, before he burst out laughing in delight.  One thing he’d always wanted was an actual, proper magician’s wand.  And at the base of the lid, Jonathan had scribbled,

‘Don’t do anything with it that I wouldn’t do’
 

Grinning like a kid at Christmas, Adam opened the envelope and took out the card – black, with only the imprint of a small red rose on the front.  Inside, in silver ink, had been written simply,

‘love you, J.’