Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, December 15, 2022

WEP: When you say yes . . .

Here's a short and very true story, just 629 words, inspired by this month's Write...Edit...Publish challenge

Tagline: Saying yes to a simple request can change your life.

"Can I Ask A Favor?"

   By late Thursday afternoon, four new reports ready for final review had already piled up in my inbox. I couldn’t decide whether to go home to my studio apartment in the Marina and flop or join the team for a quick drink after work. I eased my new high heels off to get comfortable, hoping no one would notice.
   Cap, one of the younger guys from operations, strolled over to my desk. He had a funny, lopsided grin. “Can I ask a favor?”
   “I need a ride to the airport. I’m flying out to Cincinnati to see my parents.”
   “Sure, Cap. I can take you.”
   He looked at me apologetically. “It’s Friday night.”
   “It’s all right. No problem.” Actually, I had nothing on my personal schedule for the foreseeable future.
   “There’s one more thing.”
   I arched my eyebrows at him. “Yes?”
   “My plane leaves at midnight.”
    I groaned. “Okay, but don’t say anything else.”
    Cap laughed. “Thanks. My roommate said if anyone was really going to drive me to the airport when I could have just taken the bus, we could go out to dinner at a French restaurant. Can you stop by the apartment after work and pick us up?”
   “All right. That’s tomorrow, your place, about 6?”
   He nodded. I shooed him away and picked up the first report. Friday or no Friday, work had to be done. By the end of the next day, I was more than ready for a break, almost looking forward to a nice meal at a restaurant. After all, there weren’t any fast-food French places, were there? Not in San Francisco. I took the bus home, drove my trusty VW over to Cap’s apartment on Nob Hill, almost found a parking place nearby, and walked up the three flights of stairs to knock at his door.
   A young man with brilliant blue eyes opened the door.
   “I’m here to . . . “ I started to say when he closed the door in my face.
   “I’m sorry,” I said to the wooden door. “Do I have the wrong apartment?”
   The door opened slowly, and he stared at me.
   “Sorry,” I said. “I’m here to pick up Cap and his roommate. I can come back later if I’m too early.”
   “No, no. Come right in.” His smile stretched so wide I could nearly see all his teeth. “Cap’s not home yet, but he should be any minute. I’m Allen, his roommate. We’re going out to my favorite French restaurant tonight, and you must be the person giving him a ride, yes?”
   Cap did come home in a few minutes, and we drove down the hill to the Marina District to find a small restaurant tucked in one of the side streets. After a truly memorable and leisurely meal, punctuated by stories of world travels and various adventures, I drove Cap and Allen out to the airport. We walked through the terminal, said goodbye to Cap, and on the way back to the city, a silence fell. We both started talking at the same time.
   “You go first,” said Allen.
   “No, you,” I replied, for I was embarrassed. When I asked if he wanted to stop for a drink, even though it was quite late, he started laughing. “That’s what I was going to say!”
   So, we had hot buttered rum at the Ben Johnson’s. After the bar closed, we talked and talked as we wandered around Ghirardelli Square, mesmerized by the city lights and the moon reflected in the bay. There, Allen kissed me gently. When Cap came home, we were a couple. Allen told me that the first time he saw me, he knew his life would change irrevocably. Now, nearly fifty years later, I can’t imagine life without him.

How did this 629-word story get started? December's Write...Edit...Publish's Challenge was to write a story inspired by Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." What can I say? This story of how I met my husband immediately came to mind.

I hope you enjoyed reading my short story (any feedback is welcome), and that you will explore other such tales on WEP's website!

Thank YOU for visiting. Have an amazing holiday and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

To visit other WEP Writers, here are your links:


  1. Love, love, love!! What a wonderful tale - and the fact that's it's true - even better. thanks so much for sharing!

    1. And thank you for stopping by and enjoying this sweet memory!

  2. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Ditto, Jemi! A lovely, love story. All the better because it real!

    Happy Holidays, and a beautiful New Year.

    1. Thank you, Anonymous, for your good wishes and for reading my story. Have a very good end of year and new year to come!

  3. I had read a much shorter version of your story some time ago. I love this! What a wonderful way to meet and fall in love! I bet you chided him about closing the door in your face. How could he ever close the door on a smile such as yours?!

    1. Dear Sandy, Thank you! Well, I have never chided him for closing the door. I was taken aback and confused. In reality, his family has a history of second sight. He really did know his life was changing -- and he had just planned a hike of the Pacific Crest Trail! So, both our lives truly changed.

  4. It's amazing how small decisions in life can lead to such wonderful results! Thank you for sharing your story. My story of meeting my husband is similar in some ways. A mutual friend was giving him a ride and decided to swing by my house to see me. The funny part is that my husband didn't want to stop by some random person's house, but he didn't have much of a choice. It's crazy how things work out sometimes.

    1. Exactly! Your 'meet' story made me smile. Of course, he didn't want to stop . . . but . . . as they say, the rest is history. Thank you for sharing your story -- and wonderful results!

  5. Wow, beautiful! Thank you for sharing this moving love story at WEP. Great use of the prompt. It's amazing how random yet wonderful life can be, isn't it?
    Season's greetings to you.

    1. Thank you, Nila, for visiting and reminding me to be thankful for all those "random" gifts. Happy New Year's to you as well. Looking forward to the next WEP and seeing more of your writing.

  6. Hi Beth - thanks for posting ... I've put your comment up and my reply - and I appreciate you reaching out and making that effort on my behalf.

    Here - your story is delightful ... now I'll be thinking about late night rides out to the airport with love everlasting thereon. Lucky lady ... and interesting that two of your commenters had similar experiences - life certainly has its surprises. Wonderful ... cheers Hilary

    1. Thank you, Hilary, and for all that extra work behind the scenes. Ah, technology! Even today, snow outside and a low of 18F, I'm grateful and hoping the next 'surprise' is a good one. Happy new year!

  7. What a delightful 'meet' story. Being true is a bonus. Love me a 'happy ever after' story. Thank you for writing for WEP. Glad the prompt played right into your hands this time. Hope to see you in 2023. Have some exciting prompts happening.
    Season's greetings.

  8. Anonymous6:17 AM

    I saw this morning that I had missed a story. I enjoyed reading this. It is a love story and I love the spin you took on it. Great job. Shalom aleichem

  9. Love all the love that comes through here. Very enjoyable.
    Seasons greetings.