Beth Ann Wenger | fiction | Secret Admirer

Secret Admirer

I’m taking a little break from an all-consuming analysis project, and I spot what has to be my knight: a man in a brown puffer jacket and jeans, carrying a bunch of long-stemmed roses. He’s next to the bushes across the street from my office window staring in my direction. This is romance as I always imagined it to be, except he seems so fixed in place I fear he might be frozen – or worse, a figment of my imagination. 

The outside thermostat reads 23 degrees, and he’s just standing there, waiting to turn to ice. 

If this is fate stepping in – and Lord knows, I need fate – one of us must make a move. And do it before my boss is in my ear: We’re not paying you to stand there and daydream. Does it have to be me? I could meet him halfway, but he should step first.

I don’t know him or I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen him before. Or he’s one of those people you pass every day and never see, even though they see you. I squint hard, searching for important details, recognition. No ring on his finger, always a good place to start. He seems tall from where I stand, and lean, clean-shaven. Thick black curls poke out from around a yellow knit hat with a P. Clearly a Pirates fan, possibly a Pennsylvanian or was one at one point. They’re good people, most of them. So that look really suits him. His stance is open, vulnerable, inviting. And his eyes dark, a bit piercing – or I’d like them to be. It’s really hard to tell from here. 

Is he looking at me like I’m looking at him? Can he even see me standing here, my coffee cup pressed against my lips, its warmth washing through me? I think he can with not too much effort. See my tilted head, hair falling over my shoulder. Is he trying at all? I don’t know. He’s just standing there in the cold. He could cross the street, come say hello. I have a vase in the cabinet, perfect for those red beauties, and it’s warm in here. We could chat, keep it low key, short, light, fun.  

He's smiling now. I’m smiling, too. He must have caught my vibe. I should wave. Nothing big, just a little Miss America type thing. An I’m interested, come over, type thing. I put down my coffee cup and turn back to the window to find a midtown bus blocking the view. I shift my feet, a little annoyed. I swoosh my hand, as if I could get things moving, and just like that the bus pulls away and the man is gone, leaving me to my work, without a single rose.

Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram

Beth Ann Wenger (she/her) is a writer in the Washington, DC, area. Her first creative publication appears in a recent issue of BOMBFIRE.