February 29th, 2016

A Moment of Surprise

By: Jennifer Kent

I think I have run through the scene I made at the restaurant, on my date with Landon, about a million times in the past week.  I feel like I should be completely mortified but I’m just not.  Landon is by far the sweetest guy I have ever dated.  It’s so weird to say the word “date” again.  After what I endured while being with James I never imagined I’d open myself up again but Landon keeps surprising me in so many ways.  From the very first day we met at our coffee shop he has made me feel safe in a way I never thought I would again.

I haven’t seen him since that ill fated date last Saturday but we have been texting and talking on the phone throughout the week.  He has texted me “good morning” everyday.  Well, except yesterday.  I set my alarm clock a little earlier than usual so I could be the first one to say good morning.  He was pretending to be upset that I ruined his record but said “game on” so now apparently we are having a competition to see who can text first every morning.  He won this morning.  In at least one text everyday he calls me sweetheart, which he had started doing right after I had my panic attack.  Every time he uses the endearment the butterflies flutter a little bit in my stomach.

This morning, as soon as he text me, I got ready and headed for the coffee shop.  I have some homework to get done and I want to get it out of the way before my date with Landon later.  I am so curious what his surprise is but I refrained from asking him all week.  The light in his eyes when he told me he wanted to show me something convinced me to let him truly be able to surprise me.  Checking my watch one more time I notice it is just about the time that Landon comes in to grab a coffee after his run so, I just ordered his usual.  If my timing is right he should be here any second.  Just as Katie, my favorite waitress, brings his coffee to my table he steps into the doorway.  Immediately looking my way he smiles and turns in my direction.

“Fancy seeing you here.” He says as he leans over and kisses my cheek.

“Well this is my favorite coffee shop.”

Sitting down he says, “What a coincidence, mine too.” Looking at the extra coffee cup on the table he asks, “Are you waiting for someone?”

Shrugging nonchalantly, “Just this guy who I see here on Saturdays.”

“Oh yeah. I bet he’s pretty handsome.”

“He is. He has an amazing smile and really kind eyes. Too bad it doesn’t seem like he’s coming today.” I say with a sad smile.

Laughing he asks, “Why do you have to ruin it?”

Pushing his coffee towards him I say, “Because you make it so easy.” with a wink.

“You’re funny.” After taking a sip of his coffee he says, “Perfect. Just the way I like it. Have you been stalking me or something?”

“Stalking you to see how you take your coffee?” I ask feigning affront. “No. I just asked Katie.”

“Ah. Sneaky.”

“I can be.” I say with a smile. “I cannot wait to see where we are going later.”

“I have to say I’m really impressed you haven’t even asked for any hints.”

“It just seemed to me that you really wanted this to be a surprise so I didn’t want to ruin it.” After taking a sip of my tea I add, “Plus I love surprises.”

“Good to know.” He says with a wink.

Laughing I start to gather my things and say, “But since you just mentioned hints I should probably leave.”

“You made it all week and now the pressure is getting to you?” He asks with a smirk

“That and I promised Gram I would take her shopping this morning.” I think since I told Landon and Gram my story last week Gram feels better spending time with me. Almost like she’s trying to make up or not being there for me through my ordeal.  Which is completely not necessary.  But, whatever makes her feel better.

Standing with me he takes my bag from me to carry it out to my car.  Once I put my stuff in the front seat I turn back to him.  “Do you want a ride home?” I ask

“No, that’s okay. After my coffee is my warm down.” He says as he brushes a strand of hair behind my ear. “I was thinking of coming to pick you up around 4 if that works.”

‘That’s perfect.”

Right on the dot at 4 o’clock he climbs the steps to the porch where I am sitting with Gram. “Nice to see you again, Gram.”

Laughing, because I think she loves the fact Landon just called her Gram, Gram says, “You too, Landon. Where are you two kids off to today?”

“Landon won’t tell me.”

“Well I could tell you Gram.” He answers sending a sly smile her way.

Getting up abruptly I take his arm and say, “No way. If I can’t know, she can’t know.” Gram and Landon are both laughing at me and I realize they are just teasing me.

Steering me towards the stairs he calls over his shoulder to Gram, “Next time I’ll tell you well beforehand.”

As we walk down the walkway to his car I stop and gesture to my capris, t-shirt and sensible flats and ask him, “Is my outfit okay for what we’re doing?”

“It’s perfect. By the way, you look very pretty.”

I blush at how easily he gives a compliment because James never once complimented me.  Not wanting the thought of him to ruin our day I muster a smile and say a shy,  “Thank you.”

When we get in the car he says, “I hope you’ll like this surprise.”

If you'd like to learn more about Jennifer, please email her at 
jennifer.kent93@yahoo.com, or you can email me (Tony@tonywassom.com) and I'll pass the message on to her.



Watch Your Step

By: Tony Wassom

I can still remember Christmas morning, 1977. I had so many toys around the tree; my uncle and aunt really came through.

Toys of the 70’s were classics even when they were new. This toy, though, had been around for a while; I was merely unwrapping the most recent version.

I remember my aunt grinning as she said, “there are 623 Legos in that box…you’d better count them, every night.” That box was the house for my favorite toy.

Mom remarried, the 70’s became the 80’s, and the presents changed. I remember the Battlestar Galactica figures and Coleco football game. Both were favorites, when I got them; however, Legos were present until I left for college.

Do you know the best part of a favorite toy? Playing with it, again, with your son. Legos popped up, now and again, and I would build more intricate and permanent models. It wasn’t until my boy was old enough to play with the small parts, though, they became a regular part of my life, again.

Yeah, toys came and went, and some inspired more laughter and excitement than others. I maintain, though, the long-lasting joy found in Legos is what made them—makes them—my favorite childhood toy.

Another Prompt story from my archives, this one certainly qualifies as Flash Fiction. 
The prompt was: "Write about your favorite childhood toy."