Story #07 for Story A Day Challenge May 2016
Run for the Roses
Laura adjusted her ear buds and set her mini player to ‘shuffle.’ It was Friday and she was so tired from the work week, she couldn’t make any more decisions, not even which songs to play.
She had worked late – again – and the joggers on the trail were starting to thin out by the time she arrived. “Still time for a 3-mile loop before sundown,” she decided. She put herself on autopilot: stretching just a little, walking some to warm up, then breaking into a slow jog. It was hot and humid, but the shadows provided a little bit of comfort as she passed under the tall, older trees.
Somewhere around the half-way mark, Laura stopped, walking over to the water fountain. After taking a drink, she turned towards the lake and saw the rose blooms hanging from the pergola.
“So pretty,” she thought, “I bet it looks gorgeous from on the water. Anyone in a canoe will get a great view.”
Someone came up beside her. Jerry, a guy she knew from the trail. Every once in a while they finished running at the same time and chatted a few minutes before getting in their cars to leave.
“Hey,” Jerry said, removing his ear buds.
Laura took hers out, too. “Hey. Aren’t you here a little late?”
“Yeah, well, sometimes that can’t be helped. Even if I have to cut my run short, I still feel better for making the effort.”
“I know what you mean.” Laura nodded her head. She reached to turn down her music. She’d had the volume up to help block out the office issues that plagued her.
“Is that Run for the Roses I hear?”
“Oh, um, yes,” Laura blushed at getting caught listening to an oldie. “It’s a song my parents played quite a lot.”
“Must have been the thing back then. My mother loved that song. I think she was not-so-secretly in love with Dan Fogelberg. ‘Course, we lived in Kentucky and it got played over and over at Derby time. She never got tired of it.”
“Did you dance with her?”
“You better believe it.” Jerry laughed. “No southern gentleman raised in her house was going to get out the door without learning how to waltz.”
Smiling, Laura said, “Well, we have roses and the whole pergola to ourselves. Would you care to dance?”
A second of silence, then two.
Reaching out his hand, Jerry said, “It would be my pleasure.”
A cool breeze drifted in from the lake, swirling the rose fragrance around the couple as they waltzed under the blooms, music softly escaping from Laura’s ear buds they held in their joined hands.