"They still had the roots," I said. "With dirt clumps dangling."
"In case you wanted to replant them," he said. "Cut flowers die. You say that depresses you."
"And candy depresses me because it stays with me forever," I said, looking down at my thighs.
"That's why I think I've found the perfect gift," Geoff said. "It's from the Bronx Zoo."
"What? Are they having an overstock sale?"
"Naming rights to a roach," he said. "Heard about it on NPR. For just 10 bucks, you get to name one of their Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Throw in $15 more and you get a chocolate roach and a certificate that says a roach has been named after you."
"Now that's romantic," I said. "What says 'forever' better than a cockroach?"
"Glad you feel that way," he said. "And you're still, like, all about homemade gifts, too, aren't you?"
The wry smile and faraway look in his eye made me nervous. As did the small, scritching sound of tiny legs against cardboard coming from the backseat.
I tried to get a straight answer out of him, but the low mumbling had begun anew.
"And here comes Fuller up on the right. He's getting ready to make his move. A man with a plan. Gonna show his love bug a love bug. Maybe get a little insect-ual."
"Maybe check into a roach motel," I said.
And my Valentine smiled.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@gmail.com.