“we open at sunset.”
The sun lowers its head in the darkening sky.
A young man pedals his bicycle.
He parks beneath the striped awning,
rushing to his wilting plants.
He brings them into the store.
I cross the street and peek into the window.
The man tends to the leaves with a mister.
He arranges them on a table beneath the window.
The plants straighten their stems.
Their leaves spread wide to hold each other’s hands.
The man steps back with a grin on his face.
Our eyes meet through the glass.
He holds my gaze before turning away.
He’s seen me.
The handsome man moves closer to the door.
His eyes seek mine.
I hold my breath.
A slow smile crosses his face,
dimpling his cheeks beneath sculpted cheekbones.
He waves for me to enter.
I open the glass door as the bell chimes.
The fragrant scent of flowers rises to my nose.
I stand beside the tall man.
Together, we watch the plants as they stretch their stems
toward the rays streaming through the window.
I whisper, “Why do you wait a whole day to water them?”
He faces me.
“This is the way,” he says.
I scrunch my nose. “What way?”
His dimples reappear.
“The way of the prior owner
who told me to water them at sunset.”
“What would happen if you forgot?” I ask.
He stares through the window.
“These are special plants that must be watered,”
“the same time every day or else they die.”
“Amazing,” I murmur.
The plants glisten in the orange glow
from the sun before it retreats to bed.
The plants drop their hands.
“What happens now?” I ask.
“They go to sleep.”
His dark blue gaze falls on me.
“Would you like to accompany me to dinner this evening?”
My heart pounds.
“Will you tell me about the plants?” I ask.
His dimples deepen.
“Of course. And we can even share our names.”
“That’s right. I don’t know yours.”
“But I know yours, Amy.”
He takes my hand,
placing it in the crook of his arm.
“All will be explained.”