It had been one week and 3 days since Stephanie drove away from Savannah and away from Brian. She would finally see him on Saturday. Only 4 more days, she thought to herself. They had talked every day, sometimes twice a day on the phone. Their calls were getting hotter and hotter. It seemed that even one hundred fifty miles couldn’t keep their physical connection at bay. They had also had an emotional connection. When Stephanie returned home and picked up her mail, she had one letter from the central office of the school system she worked for. They were informing her that because of budget cuts, her contract for the next school year would not be renewed. They would pay her through July but after that she was without a job. When she told Brian about it, she couldn’t help but sob over the phone. He said all the right things and even made her laugh. That’s when she knew she loved him. Stephanie had strong feelings for him in Savannah but she pushed them aside, thinking that it was impossible to love someone after one or two days and nights together. It was when she got back home that she realized she did love him. Stephanie decided not to say anything to Brian because she suspected that he was careful with how far he took relationships. She was making plans for the two of them and getting the final items from the grocery store for meals they would eat. Walking up and down the aisles, Stephanie realized that she was in love with a man she barely knew. Stephanie had no idea what he liked to eat other than the breakfast foods he ate at the B&B and Shrimp and Grits that they ate together. So in her buggy were the makings for French toast, grits, sausage, eggs, and shrimp. Then she decided to pick up some potatoes, steaks, chicken, and assorted veggies from the produce section. What man didn’t like meat and potatoes, right? Stephanie loved cooking but it was hard to cook a meal for just one person. She often cooked simple meals that didn’t end up with lots of food left over. The single servings of frozen veggies and stir fry were a perfect portion. She was looking forward to cooking a good meal for Brian. When she arrived home, there was a long narrow box on her front steps. She unlocked her door and put the bags she was carrying inside. Bending down to pick up the box, she was surprised at how light it was. Walking into her kitchen, Stephanie placed it on the table and went back to get her remaining bags from her car. After placing all of the refrigerated items away, she made her way to the mysterious box. Inside, wrapped in pink tissue paper were a dozen long stem red roses accented with baby’s breath. She was stunned! Stephanie took out the card that was lying to the side of the roses. I miss you and can’t wait till I see you again on Saturday. We will be making up for 2 weeks of lost sex. Keep your head up and you will find another job teaching. You are beautiful, smart, and talented. See you soon! Brian Stephanie pressed the card to her chest and picked up the roses. She smelled their sweet scent and turned to find a vase. She was filled with anticipation and couldn’t wait for Brian to come to Columbia. Getting a vase from the top shelf, she filled it with water and added the roses. Carefully, she placed the vase of fragrant flowers in the center of her table. Knowing that Brian was working until 10 o’clock, she decided to put away the remaining groceries and call him later that evening.
Brian knew his shift was ending soon and wondered for the hundredth time if Stephanie got her flowers. He was hoping that they would lift her spirits until he arrived on Saturday. She was so upset about losing her job and he hated like hell that he couldn’t be there to physically comfort her. He took out his phone as soon as he was leaving the station and