A phone was ringing from far away. A shrill persistent cry. Why wasn’t anyone answering? People were trying to sleep here.
Annie rolled over, surfacing out of the depths of sleep. And then she realized the ringing wasn’t as far away as she’d thought as her cell phone vibrated off the nightstand.
“Ugh,” eyes only halfway open, she leaned over the bed and felt around on the floor until she found the now silent phone. “Three missed calls,” she shielded her eyes against the light as the phone began to ring again. “Mmm…hello?”
“You’re still asleep?” Trey, Annie’s boyfriend, said.
“It’s almost one o’clock!”
Trey laughed, “Well get up sleepy head. I’m off work early and on my way back. Let’s get lunch.”
“Oh fine. You’d better have a cup of coffee in your hand when you walk in that door.”
“Already got that covered. See you soon babe.”
Annie dragged herself out of bed and down the hall to the bathroom. She reminded herself that she did actually like her boyfriend as she splashed cold water on her face. Especially since he’d been so willing to let her stay with him after her house had been destroyed in the tornado. But it was hell on her sleeping schedule.
Annie worked at a bar and didn’t get home til 4am most nights. Trey woke up at five thirty to go to work and his alarm always jolted her out of her deep sleep and it took another hour to get back into it. But she liked him, so she dealt with it.
A key turned in the lock and the apartment door swung open. “Honey, I’m home!” Trey called out. Annie met him halfway down the hall and he presented her with a steaming cup of coffee. “Your elixir of life, m’dear.”
Annie inhaled the aroma and then took a gulp. “Mmm, thank you.” Oh yes, she liked him.
“Sure, I’m off tonight.” She started back towards the bedroom to get dressed. She felt lucky she’d already brought some of her things over before the storm. She hadn’t been able to salvage much from the wreckage.
As they drove into town, Annie stared at the fields of bluebonnets on the side of the highway. There were so many people out there today.
“Let’s take pictures,” Annie interrupted whatever work story Trey had been in the middle of.
“With the flowers,” Annie said. “I’ve never actually done it. Let’s take pictures.”
Trey laughed. “Sure babe. We’ll be extra Texan today.” He pulled the car off the road and parked behind a line of other people that had had the same impulse. “Sure is crowded. I didn’t know it was this popular.”
“I dunno, maybe they just look extra pretty today and everyone knew it.”
They walked hand in hand at a casual pace through the flowers. Children were running and laughing all around them while parents tried their best to get them to sit still for a picture. A few people were gathering up some of the flowers in baskets. They seemed to have overly serious expressions on their face. Annie watched them out of curiosity.
“Sit right here,” Trey motioned to a spot out of the way of most of the others. “Don’t want too many randoms in your background.”
“I want a picture of us together, though,” Annie said, “Ask one of them to take it.”
“Hey man,” Trey said to the nearest guy gathering flowers. “Could I bother you to take our picture?”
Drew looked around, startled. “Oh, sure.”
Trey and Annie posed, Drew took the picture and handed back the phone.
“You should take some with you. The flowers,” Drew said, picking up his basket. “For protection.” He walked away before the couple could question him.
“Protection from what?” Trey asked Annie. “Do you know what that was about?”
“No clue,” Annie bent down to pluck up a flower. “Better safe than sorry though. Now let’s get lunch.”