‘My mum loves tulips.’ Derek said.
‘They’re crocuses.’ Janis said as she slowly walked alongside of her companion.
‘Oh, what the difference?’
‘Tulips are tall and … well they’re just different.’
‘Which do you prefer?’
‘Well … to be perfectly honest Derek, I’ve never given it all that much thought.’
Derek was being the perfect gentleman. So often he had asked Janis Olsen to come for a walk, so often she had refused. Now she had condescended to escort him on this early spring afternoon. As they passed the primary school. the children were singing.
‘We plough the fields and scatter, the good seed on the land …’
‘It will be lent soon.’ Derek said softly.
‘What?’ Janis looked at him, puzzled.
‘Hearing the children sing that hymn reminds us that the Lenten season is almost upon us. What are you giving up?’
‘Giving up, Derek?’ I’m not giving anything up.’
‘Oh … ‘ Janis wasn’t sure if that was disappointment or disapproval.
‘Do you ever think about when you will get married and start a family?’ Derek asked, a dreamy look on his face.
‘Wistful thinking Derek.’ Janis though but she only said. ‘In short, no.’
‘I’m married to the job.’ She said. As if on cue, the afternoon ‘Air’ rolled past. J.C. was in charge and she sounded the horn to draw Janis’s attention. Janis waved and J.C. waved back.
‘Why don’t you give the trains up, Janis.’ Derek sighed. ‘People will think that you’re … one of … them.’ Janis stopped. She turned to face Derek.
‘One of … WHAT, Derek?’
‘A … a … GAY woman.’
‘A Gay woman? What ARE you talking about Derek?’
‘You know, they’re all the same. L-L-LESBIANS!’
‘Better than being a hasbian like some of your friends Derek.’
‘That’s not nice, Janis.’ Derek protested.
‘You know Derek, I could say that I’m enjoying this walk and this little tete’a tete but that would be deceitful … no, it would be downright lies! The truth is Derek, I’d much rather be on that engine with J.C. Evans, not wandering about with you like a fart in a trance. Sorry Derek, I’m not sure what your motivations were in asking me for a walk today. So, I’ll take my leave of you, good day!’
Derek stood and watched the receding figure stride across the machair.
‘Women,’ he sighed. ‘I’ll never understand them!’
Prompts: wistful, deceit, crocus photo
by Jane Jones