Why open at sunset?
Why wait until your flowers are dried out
from being in the sun all day?
Is the store an after work hobby?
In my mind’s eye, I can see the owner.
The sun is low in the deepening blue sky.
The young man pedals quickly on his bicycle
and parks below the red and white striped awning.
The dark-haired man rushes to his plants
who lie before him wilting.
He grabs them and brings them inside.
I cross the street and peek into the window.
The man tends to the leaves with a fine mister,
then soaks their dirt with a yellow watering can.
He lines them up on the table beneath the window,
rearranging them by size from smallest to tallest.
Before my shocked eyes, the plants stand straighter.
The leaves spread out to hold each other’s hands.
The man steps back with a happy expression on his face.
Our eyes meet through the glass.
He holds my gaze before turning away.
He’s seen me.
His eyes seek mine.
I hold my breath.
A slow smile wings across his face,
dimpling his plump cheeks.
His hand waves for me to enter.
I pull open the glass door as the bell chimes.
The fragrant scent of flowers wafts to my nose
from the shelves of plants around the small room.
I stand beside the tall and handsome man.
Together we watch the plants as they stretch their stems
to the sun streaming through the window.
I whisper, “Why did you wait a whole day to water them?”
He faces me. “That is the way.”
I scrunch my nose as I glance up. “What way?”
He smiles, and his dimples reappear. “The way of the prior owner who told
me to water them only at sunset, and that I should never forget.”
I shrugged. “What would happen if you forgot?”
His stare takes on a faraway look. “These are special plants that must be
watered the same time every day or else they will die.”
“Amazing,” I murmur.
The setting sun lights the plants with an orange glow.
The sun retreats to its bed for the night.
The plants follow suit and drop hands, their leaves standing up straight.
“What happens now?” I ask.
He smiles. “They go to sleep.”
His dark blue gaze falls on me. “Would you like to accompany me
to dinner this evening?”
My head pops up. “Will you explain more about the plants?”
His dimples deepen. “Of course. And we can share our names.”
I giggled. “That’s right. I don’t know yours.”
“But I know yours, Amy.”
He takes my arm and places it in the crook of his. “All will be explained.”
To be continued