The little bell on the front door signaled a grand entrance. I wondered who it would be this time – was it a man who didn’t take out the trash? Maybe it was someone with an anniversary? Perhaps a temporary staffing company getting flowers for a recent hire. The stories were usually all the same.
I stopped the arrangement of roses I was working on for delivery and wiped my hands on the purple towel that was tossed on my work station. I straightened my hair and walked to the front of the store.
It was a tall, older man. He was dressed in a charcoal gray business suit with a light gray striped tie. His hair was salt and pepper gray, and even his eyes were gray. He smiled when he saw me.
“How can I help you,” I said.
He smiled at me. I wondered what he did for a living. Maybe a banker. Maybe a CEO. “I need some flowers,” he said.
“Of course you do,” I responded. “What is the occasion?”
“Well, my wife is coming home. She has been spending her summer with her mother. I am just so happy to have her back; I want to have flowers for her when she gets home.”
“Goodness, all summer?” I said. “I hope her mother isn’t ill.”
“No, not at all. It is just an arrangement we have had. I don’t prefer it, but it keeps peace in the household.”
“I see,” I said, thinking that was very odd. “What kind of flowers are you looking for?”
“Well, her favorites are daffodils.” The man said. "Those are what made her fall in love with me."
I laughed, “sorry, but they aren’t in season in September. Do you have any other choices?”
“Do you have pomegranates?” he said.
I shook my head. “I’m afraid I don’t do fruit arrangements. I would like to help you, but you’ll have to give me some other options.”
He started to look a little uncomfortable shifting his weight awkwardly. “No, no. I certainly understand. Well, can you just do something colorful?” he said. Looking at his all gray exterior I could imagine that his wife could use a little color in her life.”
“I can do that. How big do you want it?”
“As big as you can make it,” he replied. “Money is no option.” Yep, he must be a CEO, or a president for something important.
I stepped behind the counter. I pointed to the carousel of cards and handed him a pen. “Go ahead and write your card out and I’ll get started. How soon does she get home?”
He furrowed his brow as he took the pen from my hand. He looked at the calendar. “She gets home on September 21st,” he said.
“Okay, that gives me a few days. Do you want to pick it up that morning?”
“Yes, please,” he said and then set about writing the card. When he was done, he slipped it into the tiny envelope and handed it to me.
“All right,” I said and smiled. “I’ll have it ready for you on September 21st. Oh, look…that is the Autumn Equinox.”
“Fall is my favorite time of year,” he said. He shook my hand; his skin was cold to the touch.
The bell rang on the door as he walked out. I looked at the little envelop on the counter. The flap wasn’t sealed and I couldn’t resist. I pulled the card from the paper. He had chosen a simple card with daffodils on it. I smiled, because his wife would at least get them on her card.
It has been a long summer and I missed you very much. I am glad to have you home.
“Really,” I thought to my self. I slid the card back into the envelope. “No…it couldn’t be.”