Flip Flop Florence

Flip Flop Florence

Florence from Tavistock had never married, she was a pure maiden.
Now in her late forties, she had resigned herself to be lonely in her future life. She spent her days just walking around the old Devon town, sometimes heading onto the nearby moor where she could be often seen standing on the top of a rocky outcrop, known as Pew Tor.

Florence was easy to spot as she was tall and very thin with her long auburn hair tied back in a ponytail. She wore round rimmed glasses, a plain brown top and a long skirt that reached down just below her knee. She was always with a backpack but her famous feature was her Pink flip flops which she wore all year round, whatever the weather.

She walked all day every day passing away the time, never speaking and always without a smile.

“Here her comes” Arthur glanced towards his friend George. The two men were sitting outside the town’s old Guildhall, in the centre of town. “Aye” replied George, “Her never looks too ‘appy does her”.

Florence strode towards them and passed by without a glance. “Funny Maid that one” said Arthur “Her always looks like her is going to break out in tears, such a sad face”.

Florence, now head bowed headed off towards the Old Market and Bedford Hotel. Arthur continued “I don’t think her has been outside the area, not even to Plymouth, her is a very funny Maid”. George agreed, “Aye, but can’t change her can you?”

It had been a good summer, plenty of sunshine which had made people happy; except Florence of course. She still continued her daily ritual complete with the saddest face one could ever see. It was quite noticeable, especially in the mornings where the temperature was getting lower in preparation for the coming winter.

As always, George and Arthur made their way to the town square at the normal time before going into the Bedford Hotel, to enjoy a lunchtime pint. Like most days, they stayed in the square to await the arrival of Florence.

To their amazement she did not show. “Wonder what’s ‘appened to her?” questioned Arthur,
“You can set your watch by her, hope her is OK?” George replied, “Maybe her is unwell or something, one never knows, for her lives on her own I think”.
The two friends waited a few minutes, but still no Florence. With the onset of a few drops of rain, they headed into the hotel bar.
“Morning John”, Arthur greeted the barman. “Just been awaiting the arrival of Florence, but no sign of her today”.
John smiled, “I hear she has gone away on holiday”.
“What!” exclaimed George, “Her has never gone anywhere. Where has she gone?”
“To Jamaica I think”.
“Crumbs, that is a turn up for the books, pour me a beer quick, I need one”.
John duly obliged, followed by a second, and placed them on the bar.

Florence arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica. As she walked towards the airport terminal to immigration, she glanced down at her passport photo and noticed how sad she looked. But then, that was Florence.
She passed through immigration and headed towards the courtesy bus, which would take her to the beautiful Resort in Negril where her beautiful Pink flip flops would fit right in.
“Afternoon Mellady”, the bus driver greeted her with a big welcoming smile. “Hope you enjoy your stay”.
“I hope so too” muttered Florence, without changing her expression, and proceeded to take her seat, resting her backpack beside her.
The trip was a great adventure for Florence, and it had cost her quite a bit of her savings from working at the Post Office.

Negril had caught her attention as she sat in the dentist’s waiting room, reading a magazine on travel. The picture of the resort took her breath away and for that reason, she just had to go there and see it. It really looked like paradise.

As the bus came to a stop outside the Resort, Florence got off and headed towards the reception desk. After booking in, she made her way to her room. Opening the door, she was well pleased on what she saw, a beautiful view over a golden sandy beach and palm trees that dipped their branches into a vibrant crystal blue sea. This she thought to herself is indeed paradise. She settled in and unpacked her backpack. She pulled out a white baseball cap especially purchased for her holiday and placed it on her head and headed to the beach.

Florence spent every day walking up and down the 7 mile beach admiring the view, stopping only from time to time to dust off her Pink flip flops. Other guests noticed her walking here and walking there with such a sad look on her face, even though she was enjoying herself.

The week passed by quickly and when the last evening arrived, Florence decided to take her last late day walk along the beach. It was beautiful, the sun slowly setting in the sky out to sea, the colours of the palms and tropical flowers melting together to create a restful scene. Taking in the view and not looking quite where she was going, Florence’s left Pink flip flop caught on a stone and she fell to the ground with a bump.

“Are you alright M’Lady?” a tall charming good looking Jamaican asked as he came to her aid.
“I think so”, she said, looking up into his face and feeling totally mesmerized.
“Here, hold my arm; I will help you get back to your resort”. Florence reached out and grabbed his arm. “Thank you, I do not know you name”.
“My name is Devon M’Lady; let me walk with you awhile to make sure you are alright.

Devon was so good looking and had a smile that was as wide as the ocean; and he was called “Devon” – what a coincidence. Happily the pair walked back down the beach for hours. Devon’s sense of humour captivated Florence. It was so romantic walking along a golden sandy beach at dusk with the stars beginning to shine and the moon reflecting upon the sea, indeed just paradise.

Florence did not return to her room that night. The next morning she was seen taking a dip in the sea with Devon. She was smiling like she had never done before.
As the day became late, she said goodbye to Devon before returning to her room to collect her things for the flight home.

Arthur and George made their way to the square as usual, prior to calling in for their lunch time pint. “Here her comes, her’s back”.

Both men looked to see Florence striding towards them. Nothing had changed, her auburn hair tied back in a ponytail, her round glasses, brown top and skirt that reached down just below her knee, the rucksack and her Pink flips flops.

There was one difference however; she had the biggest smile you could ever see on her face.

“Her holiday must have done her good” said George.

By Ray Steed
Edited by Sandi Mcconnell “Canada”