"What are you singing?" Maryanne asked.
"It's my newest version of the ice cream song for when he plays "The Entertainer"." Lisa answered.
"Tell me the words."
"Not yet. Still working on them."
"You are strange, girlfriend," her roommate commented, walking through their front door.
Lisa went back to singing while tending her flowers. The day was warm and she was ready for a break when the familiar music box style sound played in the distance. She listened trying out her new words as the truck slowly moved closer. Delighted children flocked to the side of the truck and Anthony handed them their treats.
Pulling over in front of her condo, he waved and smiled. "Hi Lisa!"
She returned his smile and waited as another group of children squealed happily with their sweets.
"What will you have today?" Anthony asked, already holding the strawberry fruit bar behind his back.
"The usual would be great." She smiled, reaching in her pocket for the money.
"It's on the house!" He grinned widely presenting her with the bar as if it were a bouquet of roses.
"Thank you, Anthony!"
"Do you have any lyrics today?"
"I've been trying out a new set, but they just aren't working."
"Let me hear them," Anthony began, but then another group of enthusiastic children swarmed the truck. He laughed and waved as Lisa went to her front stoop and sat down eating her fruit bar, mulling over the words to her song.
The music rolled again as Anthony pulled away.
Going inside, Lisa took out paper and pen and began scribbling down her ideas. The song was taking on a life of its own. She scratched the words on the tablet and left it on the table.
Monday morning after Lisa went to work, Maryanne noticed the notes. She tried them out to the familiar tune and made a few adjustments. She found herself humming the tune throughout the day and putting Lisa's words to it. Suddenly she realized the man in the song was none other than Anthony.
"Oh my gosh!" Maryanne grinned. "She's got a crush on the ice cream man. How cute is that?"
That afternoon, Maryanne heard the song as the ice cream truck rolled slowly down their street. Children swarmed to it as usual. When Anthony saw Maryanne he waved and smiled. "Hi! What can I get for you today young lady?"
She laughed and said, "Ask not what you can give me, but what I can give you."
"Pardon me?" he asked, puzzled.
She handed him an envelope. "They're Lisa's new lyrics. You'll understand when you read them, but wait 'til later when you're done working."
At the end of his shift, he hung up his white apron. He remembered the envelope and pulled it out of his pocket. Opening it, he began humming the tune while reading the words. "It all fits very nicely," he thought. "She's so beautiful and talented. Wonder who the lucky guy is?" Folding the paper, he tossed it on the table.
"Hi Daddy," his daughter Julie said as she hugged him. "How are you today?"
"I'm good, Sweetie, and you?" he replied pouring them some iced tea. Every day at this time Julie dropped in after work before heading home. He enjoyed their little chats.
"What's this?" she asked as she read the note. "Who's giving you love letters?"
"That's not a love letter."
"It is too Dad. Look. This is all about you."
"What?" he took the song and read it again, singing it softly.
"Hey, that is about you! Who wrote it?" Julie asked as she listened to him.
"Lisa? The Lisa?" she gasped teasing. "The one and only Lisa? Your Strawberry Dream Queen? I thought you said you were just friends, Daddy."
"I thought we were," he commented, smiling.
"Well, it seems she thinks otherwise." Julie said, sipping her tea. "What are you going to do now?"
"I have an idea, and you are going to help me." They put their heads together and began writing. By the time Julie left, their plans were complete.
Saturday, he drove up at the usual time and Lisa was waiting. He waited all week for this moment. The children ran to the truck. Maryanne stepped out her front door. Lisa waved and smiled at Anthony as she wiped her hands on her shorts.
Suddenly the music stopped playing. Julie emerged from the back of the truck and tapped on the side with a small baton. "Everyone ready?"
The children all turned and faced Lisa, boys on one side, girls on the other. "The Entertainer" music began to roll again and the all girls sang:
"There's a man that I do adore,
and I wonder if he adores me.
Every day strawberries I see,
hand picked with care and given to me.
I think the Strawberry King he be,
if his castle's a car,
pick me up, we'll go far,
but I wonder does he adore me?"
Then the boys sang their reply written by Anthony.
"She's my little Strawberry Queen,
to whom I give my best strawberries.
I adore her, that's plain to see,
and now I know that she also adores me.
The sweet little Strawberry Queen,
my tribute I have paid,
and I just want to say,
will you pretty please go out with me?"
When they finished singing, Anthony stepped out of the truck with a strawberry fruit bar and knelt in front of Lisa. "Will you go out with me?" he asked as he presented her with the delight.
Blushing, Lisa accepted the ice cream and the date.