Sunday, February 7, 2010

So, I gave a guy a rose!

This is part 4 of our Valentine Day Series.  If you have not read the previous posts, click here for an index and read the other 3 first.

The incessant hospital noise never stops.

The accusing eyes seem to look my way.

It's my first date with Rachael and instead of enjoying our somewhat stilted conversation, all I hear are the overhead speakers paging various doctors to assorted areas of the hospital.

When I picked up Rachael, I was sure she'd be home safely by midnight.

Unfortunately, it was midnight, and she was still several hours away from her home.  And her mom and brother and I were all together in the hospital with her.  Kind of a 'let's all take a family trip to the hospital for Travis and Rachael's first date' kind of thing.

As the night wore on, it did not look like Rachael was going to be released anytime soon.  Not that it appeared anything was really wrong, it's just that if you've ever been in an emergency room on a Friday night, you know you tend to sit around waiting a lot unless you are actually bleeding all over the floor.  In which case they'll try to get you in before the sun rises.

Rachael's mom wanted to stay and take Rachael home when she was released.  I agreed to take Rachael's younger brother Matt home so he could get some rest and then Linda would bring Rachael home when all was well.

When Rachael and I were dating, she lived in the outskirts of Sacramento in a place called Elverta.  Not far from her home was a nice park called Gibson Ranch.  Prior to picking Rachael up for our first date, I had taken a short walk in Gibson Ranch and left a surprise for later.

I figured that on a first date, almost everyone brings a rose to give the girl at her door when they arrive.  I wanted to be different.  Memorable.  Dare I say, even romantic?  So I hid the rose in a place that would be easily accessible on a short walk after a fantastic first date.  I had it all planned out in my head.

'We have some time.  Why don't we take a short walk, get some fresh air, enjoy the moonlight?' 

I don't actually even remember if there was moonlight that night, or if the air was fresh, but it sounds good, so that's kind of how I remember planning it. 

'I've really enjoyed our time tonight.' 

Slowly steering the walk in the direction of the rose.

'Hey, what's that up there?  Wow!  Look at that!  There's a rose!  I wonder who left it?  Oh my goodness!  It has your name on it!'

At this point, I'd hand the rose to Rachael who would just now have realized that I had actually planted the rose and that it had been intended for her all along.  And she'd feel so special.  And she'd think this was the most romantic thing a guy had ever done for her.  And she'd like me.

That's really what I was hoping for.  I may have tried a little too hard, I don't know.  But, whatever.  It seemed to work.

Oh, wait. 

Never mind.

I got so carried away thinking about how it was supposed to go, that I forgot about what actually happened.  It didn't really work that way at all.

In reality, I was now driving back from the hospital, trying to think of something to say to Matt, who was 14 at the time, and probably had at least a few questions about what had happened to his older sister, who was still waiting to be released.

And I wasn't really in too much of a hurry to tell him.  I mean, should I tell him what happened?  That I kissed his sister?  That I was able to catch her when she passed out because I had my hands on her hips?  I wasn't sure how any of this would sound, and I didn't want it to sound worse than it actually was. 

I wasn't really sure what to talk about, but one thing I knew.  I knew I had to get the rose.  I mean, it couldn't just be left to rot out in the field, a symbolic picture of unrequited love.  No, it still had a mission.  A purpose.  A role left to play.

Besides, now it could serve a dual purpose and double as a romantic gesture and get well soon token all in a small little fragrant package.

'Umm, Matt, I need to stop at Gibson Ranch for just a minute.'

I don't actually remember the exact words, but I'm sure this is at least close.  At this point, poor Matt must be wondering about me.  'Ok, Travis has always seemed like an OK guy, but my sister's in the hospital, and now he wants to stop at Gibson Ranch in the middle of the night?  What is it with this guy?'

'This will just take a minute.  But I need to pick up a rose.'

'Umm, Travis, I don't know about you, but I don't see any rose stores open here in Gibson Ranch.'

'See, I had wanted to give Rachael a rose on our way back to your house, but now I'm going to have to give it to you.'

'Gee, thanks.  Just what I always wanted.  A rose from my sister's date.'

'It'll just be a minute.  It's not too far away.'

'What the heck?  Why is the rose way over there?  What's up with this?'

'Ok, there you go.  Do you mind making sure Rachael gets it?'

'Sure buddy, whatever you say.  Just take me home and let me out of your car.  I can guarantee this will probably be the first and LAST date you ever have with my sister.'

So, I'm making up what Matt was thinking, but in my mind I was sure it was something close to this.  I took Matt the rest of the way home, gave him the rose and made sure he got safely into the house.

The first and only time I've ever given a guy a rose.

But it really was a nice rose.  I was just hoping that it made it's way to Rachael and not down the closest garbage disposal.

Driving home, I was wondering if I'd ever have a chance for a second date.  And, if so, could we possibly keep away from fainting, family bonding in the emergency room, and giving various relatives flowers.

If you've not yet read Rachael's posts about our quest for true love, be sure to check out her posts. 

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