Don’s Story

I’m a normal sort of a chap – can’t say romance is my scene.  I’m more of a practical turn of mind.  You know, a new set of saucepans for Christmas and a cook book for her birthday.

         But that doesn’t mean I don’t love her.  I love her to bits.  So it gave me a jolt to realise that it would soon be our ruby wedding.  What to do, that’s the question.  Bella’s not the type to hanker for jewellery, even if I could have afforded rubies.

         It was while I was showering after a workout at the gym that the idea came to me.  Instead of going to the gym, if I were to…. Yes.  That’s it.  I’d met this music teacher in the Lion the other week – a good bloke; nothing namby pamby about him.

         So, decision taken.  My plan was to serenade Bella under a balcony, somewhere romantic.  It took a bit of organising – for a start, I couldn’t sing for toffee.  In fact I’ve a voice like an angry frog.  And I’d never learned to read music.  I wouldn’t be able to practise at home, and where could I keep an instrument?

         But the plan started to come to fruition.  I’d miss my gym sessions.  I knew that the pounds would pile on, but it couldn’t be helped.  The lessons were an eye-opener.  I hadn’t concentrated so hard since I learned to drive thirty years ago.  But I found an unsuspected musical talent lurking somewhere under my normal pragmatism. Slowly the serenade piece was learned, polished and perfected.

         Then it all went pear-shaped.  Home-time, sports bag ostentatiously dumped in the hall.  ‘I’m back, dear,’ stating the obvious being another of my failings.  Bella emerged from the kitchen, drying her hands on a tea-towel.  Something in her look told me I was out of favour.

         ‘Don, where have you been?’

         ‘To the gym, of course, where d’you think, it’s Friday.’  I was not lying – I always slipped in for a quick shower on my way home, so that my towel would be wet.

         ‘Don’t lie to me.  I met Joan, and Brian had told her he hadn’t seen you for weeks.  She wondered if you were OK.’

         I groaned inside.  What could I do?  Panic.  I’d have to come clean.

         ‘Erm.  Bella, my love, I’ve got something to tell you…’

         At this point Bella burst out crying.  ‘I knew it,’ she spluttered.  ‘How could you?  Who is she?’

         My heart lurched.  Now what could I say?  ‘It’s a bloke called George Howell.  He’s a music teacher.’

         Bella wailed and the sobs intensified.  I rushed to explain.

         ‘No, love, it’s not what you think.  I was hoping to surprise you on our anniversary.  Now it’s all gone wrong.  I knew I should have stuck to something safe and normal for a present.’

         ‘What … what do you mean?’  The sobs had slowed to a hiccup.

         ‘I’ve been learning to play the violin so that I could serenade you on our anniversary.  We’re going to Salzburg for a week – I’ve booked us into that chalet hotel – you know – where we had our honeymoon.’

         ‘Don’t tell me another thing.  I don’t want to know.’  The tears started afresh but at least Bella flung her arms round my neck and … well, you don’t want to know the rest. You do? Oh well, we went to Salzburg and while Bella was getting ready for our anniversary dinner, I stood outside, under our first floor balcony, and played Parlez-moi d’Amour. Before I’d played the first few bars, waiters and diners were cheering me on and Bella was crying again.  Pity about the surprise, though.

Posted for Trifecta 333-3333 word challenge, any theme

25 Responses to Don’s Story

  1. Bodhirose says:

    Oh this is great, Viv. Quite a nice masculine voice…and a sweetheart of a husband in spite of his best laid plans going topsy turvy!

    Like

  2. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Such a romantic you are 😀
    Loved it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kanzensakura says:

    What a great guy! You really did do this well. I enjoyed it thoroughly and like Bjorn was reminded of Shall We Dance? Nice piece of work here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glenn Buttkus says:

    A fine surprise & bit of a departure for you. As others have noted, You nailed poor Don’s POV, & included some of the off-center emotionalism we males have to contend with from the ladies; an entertaining & touching tale. It could be tightened some, sprinkled with haiku, & become a haibun for a later dVerse prompt–OLN or Haibun Monday (10/07).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lenny says:

    I love this story! 🙂

    Especially these:
    “I couldn’t sing for toffee”
    “Then it all went pear-shaped.”

    This is definitely my favorite gender-bender contribution. Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh this one is great.. This one reminds me of a film I saw once with Richard Gere: Shall we dance.. there it was dancing and not the violin.. I love the voice, there are those guys speaking exactly like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary says:

    You sure write a good scene, Viv! As Kelly said, you do a male voice very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kelly says:

    Aw, a sweet story that left me smiling. And it was a pity about the surprise. 🙂 I think you wrote the male voice quite well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really enjoyed the conversational tone of the narrator. This has a lovely flow and a wonderful sentiment to it. I am, like the others who commented before me, I sucker for love.
    Thanks for stepping up to this special challenge. We look forward to seeing you back for our weekly challenges.

    Like

  10. Jester Queen says:

    That’s just wonderful! All the sneaking around was on her behalf. I was so worried she wouldn’t believe him or that, having been caught, he wouldn’t do it!

    Like

  11. brenda w says:

    This is great, Viv. I’m a sap for romance, and must admit that a few tears welled up in these eyes. LOL Thanks for the story. I love it.

    Like

  12. Cameron says:

    Aw. What a sweetie. It unfolds a bit like part of an ensemble film, all washed in gold light and some fantastic village.

    Like

  13. jannatwrites says:

    It is a pity the surprise was ruined. But he hadn’t come clean, he might not have made it to the anniversary!

    Like

  14. Annabelle says:

    Poor guy — his one attempt at romance goes so wrong!

    Like

  15. lumdog says:

    It’s great that Don says, “…can’t say that romance is my scene.” and then he goes on this arduous effort to learn the violin to serenade his wife, in Salzburg, no less! I’m no slouch, but this guy will make us all look bad! Terrific story.

    Like

  16. Lovely – I love this MC’s voice. A beautiful piece to start the morning.

    Like

  17. Viv, this is touching. Have you ever heard Barbra Streisand sing “Parlez Moi”? It’s in English and in French, and I’ve loved the song ever since I first heard it. This gave me a little shiver and brought a tear to my eye. Lovely for Trifecta! Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/07/13/housewife-envy-trifecta-sun-whirl/

    Like

  18. Beautifully written

    Like

  19. Paula J says:

    Oh, I do like this.

    Like

  20. Misky says:

    I do love this one. It made my eyes sting on the brink of tears. I’m such a romantic sop.

    Like

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