THE SWITCH

romance, flash fiction, the switchBefore further conversation, I grabbed my brown suitcase, the one Derek was still holding in his hand. “I think I’ll make the switch before we forget,” I said with a wry laugh.

Ignoring me, he tapped his finger on his forehead. “I knew I recognized you. Bob. Bob’s girlfriend.”

“Ex- girlfriend,” I interrupted quickly. (Story begins with The Wrong One and then Summertime Baggage.)

Derek continued, “At my parent’s Christmas party in Brookline. Bob and I were…”

“Harvard college roommates,” I interjected, again. “Yes, I know. Two degrees of separation. Your parents are great friends with mine – I guess they met up at some cruise in ….”

“Bermuda! Right, it’s all coming back to me. You’re Molly!”Tumi, suitcase, switched luggage

I examined the luggage tag on my suitcase, “Well, look at that,” I said breezily.

But then Derek began to blush a light rose that deepened into scarlet. “You didn’t open my suitcase, did you?”

I pointed to the one I’d just removed from my bedroom. “You mean that one?” I walked over and examined it. “Look at that. Same make as mine. Maybe even same year.”

Derek chuckled nervously.

“Let’s see. I bought my Tumi two years ago. Here in Boston. And you?”

“I can’t say,” Derek replied. “It’s not actually my suitcase.” He shot me a strange look.

I feared a lie might be unfolding. What a disappointment. When I met Derek at that Christmas party, I liked him immediately. He seemed to be everything Bob was not: secure, unpretentious, funny, and dare I say, interested in me. We had both locked eyes over our champagne with a quick shock of mutual attraction.

But Derek’s parents were my parents’ new besties. A coupling between Derek and me would send them into swoons of delight. Dismayed by the idea, I had turned my back on the spark.

I now noticed that Derek sat on my couch with arms folded, slumped in defeat. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for whatever girl-mess he’d gotten himself into.

I sat next to him and gave him the benefit of my doubt. “If it’s not your suitcase, Derek, whose is it?”

He stunned me by stating, “It belongs to my boss.”blue nightgown, boyfriend, flash fiction

WHAT? I stood up, peeved and perplexed. “Your boss wears a see-through negligee and eats See’s Candy?”

Derek’s red face blanched white. “That’s what’s in there?”

“Of course that’s what’s in there. Don’t act so innocent. I thought it was my suitcase, opened it up and had the shock of my life.”

Derek’s chest began to shake. His eyes lit up like a firecracker, and in seconds, he roared like a happy lion. “She told me…” he began before laughter took over again. “I thought ….” He bent over to catch his breath.

sunrise, romantic sunrise“She who? Told you what?” I should have been enormously annoyed at this point, but watching Derek laugh was like seeing the sun rise over the ocean. Everything became brighter. Rosier. Happier.

After three deep breaths, Derek stood up and placed his big hands – like lion’s paws – on top of my shoulders while staring straight into my eyes. A jolt hit us both so hard we jumped back. But then he stood his ground and calmly explained. “My boss is Grace Jenkins. Our plane landed 20 minutes late, as you know. Grace was overdue to meet up with her husband – an anniversary surprise she’d planned for the evening. So she grabbed a taxi and asked me to pick up her brown Tumi and deliver it to the Liberty Hotel on my drive home.”

My mouth opened and closed. Shut up, I told myself.

“Grace begged me to not open the suitcase under any circumstances. ‘State secrets,’ she said to me.” Derek released a loud guffaw.

I marched over to the secret suitcase and unzipped the top.

“What are you doing?” Derek asked, his hilarity squashed.

I opened the box of candy, disregarding the rest of the “anniversary” contents.

“After all this, I think we deserve something sweet,” I declared.

chocolate, See's Candy“I think I’ve already found my treat,” he murmured.

And the switch was complete.

 

So many great guesses in last week’s post (Summertime Baggage). The winner is joyroses 13. She will receive a copy of my romantic suspense – The Right Wrong Man. If it wasn’t so warm here in the East Coast, I’d include a box of chocolates, too. 🙂

74 thoughts on “THE SWITCH

    • This is why I’m a ‘pantster,’ Norah. (I write by the ‘seat of my pants’ – no plotting involved). I had no idea why or how the switch occurred – I let the characters tell me. As Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” Wise man. ❤

    • How I love surprises. The characters wrote this story for me, Merril. Robert Frost explained it once: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” xo

    • Awww, thanks Joanne. When I began this story, I had NO IDEA what the heck was going on. So much fun to just write it and let Molly and Derek tell their story. I’m gonna miss them. ❤

  1. Great ending!! A nice twist as to who Derek turned out to be! I think both parents will be thrilled.
    LOL at his boss and the “top secret!” She is probably anxiously awaiting her suitcase, but I have a feeling it may be delayed 🙂

  2. Awesome turn of events. It’s great when the Universe conspires to place us in the right place at the right time with the right person . . . with Chocolate!

    • I will gladly admit that happy endings are on my top list of what I want in the stories I read and write. So glad you were surprised with this one. Love your comment – thank you!

    • You guessed it sooooo well, Debby. So I would like to ‘gift’ you an Kindle edition of THE RIGHT WRONG MAN. I just have to figure out how to do that – can you give me some instructions? You’re probably good at some of this techno stuff. Congratulations!!! ❤

      • Wow, thanks Pam! So exciting! Well, Hugh Roberts and I have posted about Amazon’s shady certificate procedure and learned the work around after so many of us would receive Amazon gift cards for Amazon.com and couldn’t access them. So you know, if you’re ever contemplating sending a gift voucher from Amazon, make sure you know what country that person is from (me Canada) and purchase the certificate from THEIR Amazon site so it is usable in their currency. Alternatively, you can send a PDF file directly to someone’s email, or a file in any form for that matter. ❤

        • What I thought I’d do is ‘gift’ you the e-book of The Right Wrong Man via the Kindle. Do you read on a Kindle, Debby? If so, if I can have your e-mail address, this should work…hopefully. :-0 But I’m reading what you and Hugh say, and I would be sure to do it from the Amazon Canada store. xo

    • I’m so glad you were intrigued and enjoyed the happy ending. I’m a believer in happy endings. I think I’ll ‘talk’ about that some more next Friday. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. ;-0

  3. I want to see this “movie,” (cheese and all; I’m reading these in reverse order). 🙂

    You do have a way of creating unique settings and characters we care about, all within very few words, Pam.

Love to hear your comments.

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