Today’s Story a Day prompt was:
Retell a story you’ve told before, in a new way
This exercise opens up opportunities in future, when you have a piece that isn’t quite working. You can cast your mind back to today and remember that yeah, there’s more one way to tell this story, too.
I decided to take my Day 4 story, Flower Shop, and tell it from Maeve’s POV this time.
Maeve slammed out of the house. When the door opened behind her, she said, “I don’t care about any of your excuses, Anthony. I was gone for three days. You couldn’t respect me for that long.”
“It’s not a big deal, Mae. I’ll pay you back for the damages. I didn’t think anything would actually happen.”
“You had a party in my house, and you didn’t think anything would be damaged? It’s wrecked now.”
“I said I’d pay for the damages. Come back here and let’s talk about this, Mae.”
She spun around at that. “I’ve told you I hate that nickname. Please stop using it. And we have nothing to discuss. Get out of my house. And make sure she’s out, too.”
Maeve turned and strode away, off the porch and to the sidewalk. Anthony tried calling after her again, but she didn’t even acknowledge it this time. She needed to walk off some of this pissed offness.
And she’d been in such a good mood on the way home from the conference. She thought she could hate Anthony for that alone. But, no, he’d had to pile all the rest of it on, too.
She turned the corner and headed toward Main street. But, her steps slowed as she saw the lights turning on in the flower shop. It had been opened for a little more than a year now, but she’d never stopped in. She knew the basic roses and daisies and daffodils. But, she didn’t get much fancier than that.
She kept finding reasons to talk herself out of stepping inside whenever she passed it. She’d seen the owner through the front door and had wanted to talk to her. She’d been behind Maeve in school, but she’d still recognized her.
Now, she didn’t hesitate but walked right to the door and yanked it open. Her head jerked up when she head a bright, “Good morning. Welcome to Bloomtastic. What can I do for you today?”
Maeve walked right to the counter, leaning against it. Her breathing felt hard, like she’d been running. But, she hadn’t done that in years. She had some ideas, but doubted the other woman would have anything to do with that. Instead, she asked, “How do I passive-aggressively say fuck you in flower?”
The woman—Carolyne, Maeve suddenly remembered— stared at her then a grin stretched over her face. “Are you serious?”
“Completely,” she said with a nod. “I just got back from a business trip to find out my credit card, that I left at home, was maxed out.” And wasn’t that a fun call to deal with when she’d gotten off the plane. “Then, I get to my house and find it wrecked by my oh so thoughtful boyfriend…sorry, ex-boyfriend now. And he’d in bed with my ex-best friend, that one happened years ago, but it still hurt.” She knew she was rambling, but at one time she’d thought Stacie could have been more than a friend. That betrayal might be the worst one of all.
Carolyn winced. Then she reached for something under the counter. Maeve heard something open, a cooler door probably, then she was pulling out some red flowers. Not roses, though, Maeve could tell that much. “You want geraniums. That’ll make the base of your bouquet. That’s for his stupidity, which seems to be the base of his flaws as well. Then, we’ll add in foxglove, for his insincerity in his affections.” Maeve felt her lips twitch at that. “Next some meadowsweet since he’s obviously useless.”
Carolyne watched her for a moment, and Maeve thought she saw recognition in her eyes. That couldn’t be, though. Still, she felt more of her anger drain away as Carolyne reached for more flowers.
She added some yellow flowers to the bouquet, maybe carnations. “Since he’s a disappointment to you and probably the rest of society. And finally orange lilies, to show your absolute hatred for such a pathetic man.”
Maeve let out a little laugh as Carolyne pushed the bouquet over to her. “That’s almost too pretty to send to him.” She kept smiling at it then finally glanced up at Carolyne, only to see the woman staring back at her. Was that desire in her eyes?
No. Couldn’t be. “How much do I owe you for this?” she asked, reaching for her wallet.
Carolyne shook her head. “Putting up with a man like that, and one who treated you poorly, is payment enough.”
Maeve still took a card out of her wallet, one with all her contact information she gave to potential clients, and handed it over. “Call me sometime, then, and I’ll buy you dinner. You can tell me more about the meanings of flowers.”
She pressed the card into Carolyne’s hand and felt something surge through her at the touch. It nearly took her breath as much as her earlier anger had. She forced herself to take the bouquet and leave the store, not letting herself look back. She didn’t want to know if Carolyne just ripped up the card. Not that she’d probably call anyway.
Maeve smiled down at the bouquet. Maybe she’d just keep this for herself. A reminder there were a lot better people out there than Anthony. Even if she never got to have dinner with Carolyne.