Brooklyn Twilight

This is my friend's short story and he wanted to get some reviews for it, enjoy!

'He needed to get cleaned up: he had a date tomorrow.
He was even thinking of proposing'


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2. Page 2

he asked through his laughter and the stall’s proprietor found he could not help but join in the mirth.

   “A look in your eyes, my friend,” he said, smiling.

   “Well in that case, what would you recommend? Choosing flowers has never been my forte. I’ll leave it in your hands.”

   “Well,” the elderly man said modestly, “I don’t exactly have a degree in botany if you catch my drift, but I’ve been running this stall for a long time now. If I hadn’t picked up on a few points over the years, I doubt I’d be talking to you now.” He made a show of looking the young man over and his examinations only strengthened his previous opinion. “The old classic would suffice, I think: a dozen red roses.”

   The smooth-skinned young man thought about it for a moment before nodding. “Better make it two dozen; I’m going to propose tonight.”

   “Really? Well, congratulations, son! Good for you!” He counted out twenty-four roses before swiftly and expertly binding them into a bouquet, then wrapping the whole thing in a decorated plastic coat. “On the house!” he proclaimed, holding out the flowers. “Call it an engagement present.”

   The young man, still smiling, shook his head. “I can’t let you do that,” he said. “It wouldn’t be fair.”

   The older man flapped a hand. “Oh, pooh! I insist!”

   “At least let me pay half,” he persisted. “Come on, what do you say?”

   The proprietor thought about it briefly before nodding reluctantly. “Oh, very well. That would come to...five dollars.”

   “Five? Okay.” The young man took out his wallet; black leather with initials embossed in gold. R.S.S., it said. He opened it and took out a small handful of bills. “Thank you very much, Mr. ...” He trailed off.

   “Dees,” the old man answered, extending a hand. “John Dees.”

   R.S.S. shook his hand, his grip firm but respectful. “It’s been a pleasure,” he said, taking the bouquet and dropping the money on they faded, lime-green counter. “Goodbye, Mr. Dees. Maybe I’ll see you again one day?”

   John Dees smiled and shrugged, smiling. “Anytime; you know where to find me.”

   R.S.S. turned away, nodding.

   “Good luck with your girl!” Dees called at the man’s retreating back. R.S.S. turned, still walking, and waved.

   Then he was gone into the crowd.

   John Dees looked down at the counter and, after a moment, smiled: the man had left fifteen dollars as payment for a bouquet that had been worth ten and charged at five.

   He found it didn’t surprise him much.

   What a remarkable man, thought Dees, locking the money away in the small strongbox beneath the counter. I hope to see him soon. Maybe meet his fiancée. If only more people were like him...

 

The street was empty.

   The young man, R.S.S., had long since left the main thoroughfare and was now walking purposefully down the vacant street, bouquet in hand. He was flanked on either side by dark houses; only a small number of lights could be seen to shine through the window, and these were few and far between. Some time had passed since the transaction with John Dees and the twilight had deepened considerably. R.S.S. felt good about himself; soon he would be with Cora and they would go out to dinner, with a little surprise thrown in for dessert.

   He smiled and, for the second time that evening, tapped the ring in his pocket.

   He looked behind and saw nothing.

   No-one...

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