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Prompt #342 - Word List

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Here is my response.  I left out the cell phone because I ended up being inspired to place this little scene in 1995, before cell phones were around for regular folk.  I know that is hard for some of the younger people to fathom.




Harry clutched the bouquet of flowers in his left hand.  It was a simple mix of daisies, white petals with yellow centers, along with Babies Breath and deep green fern fronds.  He tried not to squeeze the stems too hard. 


It had been an unnerving experience to approach the flower cart in the town square.  He had stared at the array of petals, fronds, leaves and green spikes unsure if getting flowers was even the right thing to do.


“Looking for something special?” The woman minding the cart was dressed in layers of silk veils and lace despite the August heat giving her the air of a gypsy.


Startled, Harry stuttered, “Yeah.  I guess.”




Harry thought about it; roses might be appropriate, but maybe they would imply too much.


“No, not roses.”


“Not that serious yet?”


There was no way to for him to keep the red from rising in his cheeks.  He cursed his English heritage that left him with fair skin and a tendency to blush.  His shy personality meant that he was easily embarrassed.  A shake of the head while starring at the ground was all he could manage.


“How about daisies?  They are light and fun without any sense of commitment.”


Harry found it easiest to just nod in agreement.


As he walked up the cracked walkway to the front door he held the letter in his other had.  The sweat from his clinched fist was starting to make the ink run for the directions that he had scribbled on the envelope.


The house was not much to look at, but it was a typical university rental and the residents would be a forever rotating group of students that never stayed more than a few months.


He finally shoved the letter in the back pocket of his jeans as he stood on the porch.  At least there isn’t a couch out front, he thought.  The door rattled in its frame when he knocked on it.  He wiped his free hand on his thigh to dry it, though he expected it would be moist again by the time the door was answered.


The door was soon flung open by a thin whip of a young man.  He was just a little bit shorter than harry, but he was much thinner with hair that was an unreal shade of black.  They were dressed similarly, but Harry thought the jeans and white t-shirt looked much better on the other.


“You must be Harry!”


“You are Neil?”


“In the flesh!”  Neil struck a pose with his hands over his head and hip cocked out to one side.  “Come in.”


Harry stepped across the threshold.  He tried not to look too closely around at the disheveled state of the house.


“Are these for me?”


Startled by the question it took Harry a moment to remember the flowers in his hand.  Unsure of how to do this he held them out to Neil and mumbled, “Yeah.”


The flowers were taken from his hand and Neil examined them closely.  “How sweet.”


Harry shuffled his feet and scratched the back of his head as he tried to check out Neil without looking like he was doing just that.  Neil’s jeans did not leave anything to the imagination.  He felt his own jeans grow a little snugger in the crotch.


“There is no one else here, they all left for the summer, but let’s go up to my room anyway.”


Harry brought his blue eyes back up to meet the pale green of Neil’s eyes.  Without waiting for a response Neil turned and headed for the steep narrow stairs that looked like they were put in as an afterthought.  The incline was such that it put a denim clad ass inches from his face.  To his continued embarrassment he had to reach down to adjust himself and he hoped that it was not going to be too obvious.


“Well this is it.  It’s not much, but it is all mine.”  The room they entered was small with a twin bed that looked as though it had been hastily made and virtually every inch of wall space was covered in posters and pictures of men that looked like they had been cut from various fitness magazines.  A rainbow flag hung in drapes across the ceiling. Harry felt his face get a little warm.


“Just have a seat on the bed.”  Neil dropped the flowers on a cluttered desk.  At least there are not any dirty clothes littering the floor Harry thought.  He watched Neil select a CD from a pile and pop into a little stereo.  Kiss from A Rose came out of the speakers and I noticed the Batman Forever poster on the wall.  He wondered whether he should have gotten roses after all.

Neil sat down next to him with his leg and shoulder pressed against him.


“So…” Harry started to say.


“So, I really liked your ad in the back of the paper.” Neil interrupted him.


“Thanks.  I liked your letter and the picture too, though your hair was blond in that.  Not that I don’t like the black too.”


“Thanks.  That was my graduation photo so it had to be pretty normal.  I’m always changing my hair color.  I really liked your letter and the picture too.  The picture looks just like you.  Hot.”


“Hot?  Really?  Thanks, I think it was a bad picture.  A friend took it when we were camping.  I don’t have many recent pictures. Um, I know we wrote and talked a little on the phone, but I was wondering…”


“I’m not wondering.”  Without warning Neil straddled his lap reached down to grasp the bulge in his jeans.

With just as little warning Harry stood up in a panic sending Neil sprawling to the floor.


“Um, sorry.”  Harry couldn’t even bring himself to help the young man up, but stepped over him and almost tripped down the stairs as he ran for his car.


He could barely see where he was going and he didn’t know how he ended up in the shade of the park by the river.  With his head pressed against the steering wheel he tried to get his breathing to calm and to keep the tears away.


Things did not happen the way he expected or wanted them to.  He tried to examine what he really had been expecting when he placed the men seek men personal in the back of the local entertainment weekly.  It was equal parts horniness and loneliness he knew if he was being honest with himself, but he didn’t want it to just be about the horniness.  Neil’s action made him wonder if it could be about anything except the physical. 


He lifted his head and stared out at the river and how the bright afternoon light played across the water interspersed with the shadow of the overhanging trees.  Neil seemed so different in the letter and on the phone. 


If he was being honest he had to admit his body wanted what Neil was aggressively offering, but he was afraid that it would be obvious he was a virgin, while it just as apparent that Neil was not, even though he was a few years younger than Harry’s own twenty-four.


Maybe, he thought, I should remain a virgin forever and become a priest.  If only he was Catholic.


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