Day 9 and we're bang on time for a little mature love. Notwithstanding threatening to knock someone out, Blessing, Vita's mum, is a woman who needs back up. With flowers and a decent cup of tea...
Blessing in Plain Sight © Billy London
Blessing left her grandson’s birthday party disappointed and sad. While she was grateful Tao had invited her, she couldn’t help her upset with Vita for not showing up, and proving that squawking woman wrong. Vita had always been slightly unbalanced, but her love for her child couldn’t be doubted. If only Tao’s mother understood – and stopped trying to force Catherine on Vita’s son. He didn’t need another mother. With a sigh, she made her way inside her home.
“Blessing!” Someone called from behind her. She turned to see her fellow church goer, Preston standing by her gate, a huge bunch of flowers trembling in his hand.
“What are you doing here?” She asked, delighted laughter lilting her voice. A man she considered a dear friend and her closest connection to God. If she ever needed prayers of good wishes, they would absolutely come from him.
He glanced between Blessing and the flowers. “I just wanted to give you this. I don’t know if it’ll make any difference...”
“Come in,” she insisted. “Let’s get off the street.” She ushered him inside and closed the door away from prying eyes. Although it was Valentine’s Day, her neighbours would want to know why she had a strange man outside her home. She’d been single for so long, it’d be a shock to them.
Preston sat awkwardly on her sofa, the flowers perched on his knees.
“Shall I take those for you? Keep them in some water before you go?”
He frowned at her. “Blessing, there’re for you!”
She blinked. “Oh! Oh, well thank you.”
He thrust them into her arms and remained seated. Blessing took them to the kitchen and filled a vase with lukewarm water. How strange. “Preston do you want a...”
She made to go back to the living room and found him on his feet in the corridor. “I couldn’t hear you. That used to annoy my late wife. I’d never get up to see what she wanted.” He pointed to the hearing aid in his left ear. “Better now.”
“Would you like a cup of tea?” She asked, not terribly interested in his late wife. As much as she doubted he was interested in her late husband.
“Tea would be lovely,” he said a nervous smile crossing his face. Nice to know he had some physical defects; he was a handsome man. Boiling the water, she was surprised to see Preston take the tin of sugar and place a tea spoonful inside the vase.
“Makes the flowers last.”
“No it’s something the florist told me. Makes a world of difference.”
“Oh I see,” she murmured, collecting two mugs. “Thank you for the flowers. What made you get them?”
She glanced over her shoulder to see Preston tucking his hands into his pockets and rocking back on his heels. Repeating her question, he jumped slightly.
“Because… You’ve been going through a lot. And I wanted you to know that you’re not alone and you’re cared about.”
Blessing’s mouth lifted in an ironic smile. “You’ve been going over Daisy’s sermons with her?”
Preston shook his head. “Just paying attention to them. It’s hard enough to take lessons from your children, let alone when they take religious orders.”
She handed him a mug. “She’s a very good vicar. You should be proud of her.”
“I am. And she says all the time how lucky she is to have your support.”
For Blessing, finally having a woman leading a congregation in prayer, in confirmation, in communion, was nothing short of miraculous. Supporting Daisy was as easy as anything. Her father however… Different kettle of fish. “That’s sweet of her to say. I wish my own daughter would take my advice.”
“Daisy can take your advice because you’re not her mum.” Preston explained, amusement in his tone. “She’s probably just about as stubborn as your Vita. From what you’ve said. Oh, now look,” he put his mug down and caught both of her hands. “You can’t do everything for your kids. Yes, life’d be easier. I wish Daisy’s brother would pull his finger out, but I can’t pick him up and put him in the right direction, like I did when he was three. You have to let her make her own mistakes.”
Blessing could only nod, and tucked herself against Preston for a hug. Nothing solved the world like a cup of tea and a hug. He smells nice, she thought. Of lemon and musk. There was strength in his arms, in the breadth of his chest and the near thunderous beat of his heart in her ear. Taking a deep breath, she made to release him, but his arms simply tightened.
“Just stay a bit.”
“Your phone’s ringing.” She looked up at him and nodded towards the insistent buzzing from his jacket pocket. Standing so close to him, she noticed the kohl-like darkness of his lash line. He was still a very good looking man. Who was still holding her. Rather tightly.
“It’s just Daisy,” he said, rolling his eyes. “She worries too much.”
“She loves you.”
He lifted a shoulder. “I’ve loved you for years. She can wait a damn minute.”
“What just happened?” Blessing asked, blinking in shock. What did he just say?
“I might have jumped the gun a little bit.” He looked like a little boy who’d been caught out. “I’ve told myself to be patient, wait until an appropriate time when you’re not struggling. But there’s never a right time. I want to be here for you. Not when it’s nice and convenient. But when times are tough.”
Blessing smiled, so moved by his words. “This is about as nice and convenient as it’s going to be.”
“I’m ready,” he said softly. “If you’ll have me.”
Blessing tilted her head to kiss him. “Hmm. I think I will have you.” It’d been a while since she’d enjoyed the embrace of a man. Despite nearly knocking out his hearing aid and sending his mug of tea flying onto the lino, it was the happiest and most desirable Blessing had ever felt.