Thursday, February 27, 2014
Carl Pittman walked amongst the bathing glow of purple twilight. His gaze strayed skyward as the blinking stars began to canvas the darkening sky. It was a mild, mellow evening. Not a chill in the air.
Carl couldn’t contain his happiness this evening. His grin spread far and wide, the corners of his mouth caressing the dimples on his cheeks. And everyone that crossed paths with him that evening knew one thing to be true: Carl Pittman was in love.
It was written all over his sappy grin and puppy dog eyes. The word might as well have been branded across his forehead. Love.
Carl Pittman was in love with the prettiest girl in town.
And tonight was the night Carl was going to pop the big question.
Gary Sharpe was just about the lock up for the evening when the bell chimed and in walked a young man with blond hair and deep round dimples. He had the gaze of love and fearless determination in his eyes.
To Gary, there was nothing more beautiful than young love. It reminded him why he became a florist in the first place.
“What can I do for you?” Gary approached the grinning fool known as Carl Pittman.
“I need a bouquet of flowers for my girlfriend, Lynn.”
“What’s she like? Roses usually do the trick.”
“Nah,” Carl shook his head. “Roses are so cliché. I want something that screams romance. Something that will make her heart melt like butter.”
“I think I have just the thing… I just got some blue dahlias in the other day."
“Blue dahlias? I like the sound of those. Give me a dozen. And put it on my charge card."
Carl made two more stops that evening.
One stop to the market to grab a box of chocolate to go with the blue dahlias.
And one quick stop to the hardware store followed.
He used his credit card for both.
Carl didn’t have to buzz Lynn to let him in. He caught the door as one of her neighbors was leaving the building.
Lynn’s apartment was on the fourth floor. Carl nodded to the desk clerk, who looked perplexed as Carl walked to the elevator, flowers and chocolates in hand. Tucked inside his pocket was a small velvet box.
The box held an engagement ring that once belonged to his grandmother. Now the ring would be Lynn’s… if she said yes.
Carl tried using his key in the door, but it didn’t work. Probably because Lynn had the locks changed months ago.
He pounded his fist against the door, shouted her name again and again. His voice rose to a feverous pitch and just as he was about to slam his fist through the door, she opened up.
“Oh God… what are you doing here?”
“What do you mean? Why’d you change the locks?”
“Because of you. Look, come inside because I don’t want my neighbors hearing this again.”
Carl followed her in and she closed the door behind him. He set the flowers and chocolate aside and dropped down to one knee. As he reached into his pocket, her hand grasped his, urging it not to proceed.
“Carl, we went out for a few months. That was it. We broke up and then you started calling me nonstop, harassing me, showing up uninvited. That’s when I changed the locks. You were scaring me. I mean, you were practically stalking me. And now you show up here with flowers and candy, ready to propose.”
“I… I lo-lo-love you, Lynn.”
She withdrew her hand and he tossed the velvet box aside.
“I don’t love you. I’ll never love you. I hate you, Carl. I hate your stupid face. That goofy grin. And I hate those fucking dimples. You’re a freak and you need to get a life before I file a restraining order against you. You got that? Get it through your thick frigging skull.”
Carl reached back into his coat, revealing his last gift for Lynn. A pipe wrench.
With one crushing blow, the side of her head caved. But he didn’t stop there. He bashed her again, and again, swinging relentlessly. Blood splashed and fragments of skull flew with each maddening swing of the wrench.
“I loved you,” he whispered. “Why couldn’t you love me back?”