I bought the flowers before I got on the train.
It was a bit of a gamble because flowers can get pretty beat up if you aren’t careful.
When I was a little kid, my mum gave me a flower to take to school to give to my teacher. I used to walk to school and fool around with the other kids and by the time I got there the flower didn’t have any petals left on it.
I was real embarrassed.
That was a long time ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday, so you can see how worried I was about Velma’s flowers.
I worried about it a lot.
If I waited till I got to Leviathan there might not be anywhere still open to buy flowers, so I took a chance.
As it turned out, she didn’t even notice the flowers. She just ran up and jumped on me.
She don’t hardly weigh much so I didn’t mind.
She planted one right on me and wouldn’t let go. I was finding it hard to breathe but Velma didn’t seem to care.
To be honest, I didn’t care either.
That’s the way a girl should meet her fella when he’s been away a long time.
She was wearing a red dress. She knows I think she looks great in red.
I feel bad for saying it but I was thinking about how great it was going to be to peel that red dress off her.
I had a present for her and I didn’t want to leave it in my suitcase. This old coat of mine has big pockets and it’s nestled in there, all cosy like. I’ll give it to her when we get back to our place, but I won’t tell her where it came from.
She’d only get mad.
Coming home to a welcome like this almost makes it worth going away.
I say almost but really, I’m more than happy to just stay here with Velma and watch her walk around in that red dress.
Illustration; a poster from an original painting by Jack Vettriano