The Plans Of Man

I wrote this 2 years ago for Valentine's Day and have been scared to publish it. I thought I'd put it out there for free and see if anyone likes my writing style and the story it tells. Let me know what you think.

The Plans Of Man

A man plans the perfect Valentine's Date for his wife of many years but everything goes awry.

"Hello? Hi I'd like to know how much you charge for a dozen roses? Oh! Well how much for three? Ok I'll take that. Charles Motalo. Alright see you soon."

"Ahh ordering flowers for the little lady I see,” says a familiar voice.
Charles turns towards his door and there stands his co-worker and friend, Jonathan.
"Hey Jonathan, yea I have to get roses for my love."
"Oooo. What do you all have planned?"
"I'm taking her out on the town tonight. I'm going to get off early so I can get a chauffeured limo. Pick up the roses. Take her to see her favorite actress in a new play that's come to town. Then go to this five star restaurant that Bonnie has been wanting to try."
"You can't do that man then my wife is going to hear about it and want me to do the same,” says Jonathan laughing. "I got to get back to work. Have fun man!"

Charles' intercom sounds. He pressed the correct button and hears the voice of his boss, Chris. "I need to leave. We have an emergency meeting at the main division and since we're the only two that can sign off on anything really important I need you to wait for the delivery." This threw a wrench in his plans of leaving early but the wait shouldn't be that long. "Alright Chris, will do."

So Charles waited. For two hours he waited. He saw Jonathan leave his office to go home for the day. Jonathan backtracked to confirm that Charles was still in his office.

"I thought you were going to leave early."
"Yea, that was the plan but I have to stay and sign for a package."
"Oh. Do you want me to sign it?" Jonathan asked.
Charles resisted this tempting offer replying casually, "I wish but besides Chris, I'm the only one who can sign it."
"No one will know it's not you that signed it."

Again Charles contemplated this simple solution but became conscience stricken at the thought and answered, "No, it's alright. Get home safely."

Jonathan nodded and headed out for the night. As the office closed he realized that he was the only one besides the janitor still there. About six o'clock the carrier showed with the package which Charles promptly signed, put on Chris' desk and raced to the car. His first stop was the dealership to get his limo.

Charles pulled into the dealership sharply, parking and practically sprinted into the building. To the woman behind the counter he must've appeared like a crazy person for she brought out her boss without even addressing Charles.

"May I help you, sir?" says the owner, a young man that looked no older than 27.
"Yes, I reserved a limousine here a couple of weeks ago." The owner gave him a worried look.
"Your name?"
"Charles Motalo."
The man fluttered at the keys of the computer before him.
"I'm sorry sir, your limo pick up time was two hours ago. If it's not picked up on time we are able to give it to another customer. Which happened some time ago... we also have no more drivers for the night."

His heart dropped. All this planning, weeks ahead of time and he doesn't even have a car. The owner broke his thoughts, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience sir. To compensate you we have a new line of cars that just came in today that we can give you in exchange for the week."
Charles answered despondently, "Fine." He signed the appropriate papers and the owner left.

Charles looked toward the open windows and saw his reflection. He DID look like a crazy man. His hair was disheveled, his tie was barely holding together and his clothing was spotted with sweat patches. He smoothed his hair and fixed his tie but there was not much he could do about the spotting. For ten minutes he stood there until the owner came in through the front door with a pair of keys and handed one of them to Charles. "Here is your key. Would you follow me please?" Charles followed the shrewd young man as he led them outside. The man stepped to the side, revealing this black, sleek, classic car that mesmerized Charles for what seemed like an hour. "It's a beauty isn't it?" Charles jerked back to reality and looked at the smiling owner who opened the door to the driver's seat. He got inside. This car was a dream. There was no way he could've originally afforded this but here he was in a classic on the way to the florist to pick up the roses he ordered for his wife. This shouldn't take long.

He pulled up to his local grocery store, quickly paid for his flowers and left. Only one hour until the show's start. During his ride he started to smell something awful. He thought the scent was his own perspiration but in the race to get home to his wife he couldn't figure out if that was true. In his driveway he started sniffing around to locate the source of that terrible scent. Although it was true that he needed a shower the putrid smell was not coming from him. He looked to the newly bought flowers and took a whiff. And there it was. He started having a coughing fit immediately after. There was no time to get any more flowers and he wasn't about to give his wife these so he regrettably tossed them.

Upon entering his house he reluctantly announced, "I'm home Bonnie!" A true beauty came down the hall. She was wearing a lovely one shoulder, teal dress, her curls framed her face but her smile was the showstopper. 25 years of marriage and he still hadn't tired of the gorgeous smile. She deserved flowers everyday.

 She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a kiss.
 "Your clothes are laying on the bed. Go get changed. I'll be ready in 5 minutes."

True to her word she was ready and waiting for him patiently. He took her arm and led her to the new car in their driveway. "Wow! Charles! This is- WOW! Charles this car is incredible!" He smiled and opened her door. She got in and he closed the door for her.

With thirty minutes until the performance's start Charles rounded every corner with precision and speed hoping to get a good parking spot.

"Slow down honey we'll get there", says Bonnie.

He does and it's a good thing too. Just as soon as he came to the street of the venue there was a traffic jam of cars trying to get a spot close to the theater where the play was going to be held. He sat in that traffic for ten minutes creeping along the road. The main lot had closed because it was full and nearby lots were just as packed. He drove in and out of lots looking for a spot and finally ended up a street away from the theater and had to walk a significant length there. The cold weather wasn't making anything better.

"Isn't this nice, Charles?" Bonnie asked as she held onto his arm.

He looked at her like she had lost it. Before he could rebut with a sarcastic answer she continued, "It's so romantic walking with you to a play and listening to the jazz."

He was so upset about the long walk in the cold that he hadn't heard the jazz. He could hear it now. A man played a saxophone in front of a nearby hotel filling the street with amazing sounds.

"It is nice, Bonnie." he finally replied.

They enjoyed their stroll to the theater. At the ticket window he turned in the tickets he bought earlier and was escorted inside. They approached the front and saw the perfect seats. Finally something was right. Then the usher veered to the right leading them to the side of the stage. He was confused but followed the usher and his wife to low corner seats near the edge of the stage. They were so close to the side of the stage they were almost backstage with the cast.

"Excuse me, are you sure these are our seats?"
"Yes sir, but let me double check. Could I see your ticket once more?"

Charles hands her the tickets, the woman reads it and shows him that the A41 and A42 on their tickets are the same figures on their chairs.

"Thank you", says Charles as he takes the tickets and sits down with an audible sign.

Bonnie held his hand and smiled excitedly at her frustrated husband. Seeing her happy brought some relief to his heart. The lights dimmed and the production started.

An hour and forty-five minutes later the cast lined on the stage for a final bow and the lights came on. Everyone milled for the door congesting the doorway so instead of getting in that mess Bonnie suggested, "Why don't we sit here comfortably until the crowd dies down."
"That's a good idea", Charles agreed.

As they sat there waiting their usher came up to them and asked, "Would you like to meet the cast?" "Sure!" Bonnie just about shouted.

Again Charles found himself following the usher and his wife and this time to a place that most definitely had not been apart of the plan but it was very nice nonetheless.

The usher started to speak, "Many times when people don't like their seats they take it out on the ushers but I appreciate you not getting upset with me, so I hope you enjoy this private one-on-one meeting with the cast."

She opened the cast only door, gave them back stage passes and introduced the director to them. Charles enjoyed the experience but Bonnie was having the time of her life as she met the actors especially her favorite actress Katy Ware. She gave Bonnie a signed photo of her, took a picture with her and just talked with her for a good fifteen minutes.

"It was nice meeting you Bonnie", said Katy.
"It was nice to finally meet you too Katy", Bonnie replied joyfully.

It was nine o'clock when they finally left. They thanked the usher for such a nice treat and exited. Their smiles soon faded as they realized that it was raining.

"Really?" Charles complained. "Our car is all the way down the street."

Bonnie knew what he was thinking so she ran out into the rain getting her dress and hair wet. "Now you can't leave me here to go get the car. I'm coming with you!"

Charles just shook his head at his wife and took off his jacket, put it over their heads and walked to the car. Bonnie burst into a fit of giggles at the whole situation.

"You know what I've wanted to do for a while Charles?"
"I want to get kissed in the rain." He started laughing too.
"Charles, I'm serious."

He stopped laughing pulled off the jacket, pulled her to himself and kissed her. They smiled as they separated as if they were teens again. Halfway there, they raced to the car hand in hand.

In the car he promptly turned on the heater and headed for the restaurant she had wanted to try. Pulling up he noticed that no one was there. The place had closed for the night. He just sat there looking. Could nothing go right this evening?

"Honey, not everything goes according to our plans but everything goes according to God's plan." His knowing wife interrupted his negative thoughts.
"You're right. I just had so much planned. I guess that's the problem. I had plans and didn't pray about any of them."

Right there Charles prayed for forgiveness. "Heavenly Father, please forgive me for thinking that my plans were greater than yours and that I don't need to consult you. In your heavenly name I pray. Amen."
"There must be a reason why it's closed. Let's just go home and enjoy the evening together in front of the fireplace." Bonnie suggested.
"Let's do that,” agreed Charles.

While putting on his seat belt Charles noticed a man approaching the car. He watched the man until he approached Charles' window. He cautiously rolled down the window and looked at the man.

"Yes?” Charles inquired.
"What would you like for dinner?" the stranger asked.

Bonnie and Charles just stared at this strange fellow.

The man proceeded to introduce himself, "I'm Eli, the chef and owner here." He pulled out his name-tag to show them. "Our power went out earlier so our food is going to go bad if it's not eaten and I hate to waste the food when my grill still works. Many people saw our light out and thought we weren't open so I sent most of my workers home since we weren't getting any business. If you would like to come in and eat I'll fix you anything on our menu."
"Really?" questioned Charles.
"Sure." Eli said happily.
"Thank you we'll be in shortly."
Bonnie looked at Charles held his hand and prayed, "Thank you God!"

Inside candles were lit on a single table in the center of the restaurant. Eli greeted them and told Charles that he could have as many roses as he wanted from the spare tables. Charles took Bonnie to her seat and went about the room collecting two-dozen roses plus one. When he came back to her he got down on his knee and said, "Twenty-five years ago you made me the happiest man in he world when you accepted my marriage proposal and years later you've continued to make the me the happiest man everyday in your presence. I thank God for you. Everything I tried to do today was in service to make you as happy as you have made me these past twenty-five years. Although most of my plans did not work out you made sure I felt no stress from you. Still on the day I'm trying to make you happy you're doing everything in your power to make me happy as well. You truly are more precious than rubies and I thank God that He allowed me to find you."

By this time Bonnie was in tears. She kissed and hugged her husband whispering "I love you" repeatedly. They had the best meal directly from a five star chef. Their night was a completely unplanned success.

That Monday Jonathan stopped by Charles' office and asked, "So how was your date?" So many amazing things happened but he chose not to brag. “I’m not going to make the same mistake twice”, he thought. Charles smiled and answered. "It was really nice." "Cool" Jonathan replied and he went on his way.

Not five minutes later, did Charles' intercom sounds. He answered, "Hello?"
"Hey Charles, it's Chris. I noticed that you signed for the package at six, an hour after closing time. Thanks for staying late. Expect a bonus in your next check."
 That caught Charles off guard but he managed to say, "Wow, thanks Chris!"
 "No problem", answered his boss and the call ended.

Charles just sat there thanking God for his many blessings.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

L.K. published April 11th, 2017


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