The Man at the Flower Shop

Cupid caught the 716 every day across town. And every day it was late. Cupid was never late though, and so day after day, he sat at the bus stop and waited. And while he waited, he would look at the flower shop across the street. A young man worked there. Cupid didn’t know his name; he’d never been in the store, but he watched the man from the bus stop, and so it was day after day, that the man’s story began to reveal itself to the unassuming commuter across the street.

Each day, at fifteen minutes past eight — right when Cupid’s bus was due to arrive, but never did — a young woman walked past the flower shop, on her way to pick up her morning coffee from the cafe next door. The man in the flower shop would pause in whatever task he was doing and watch her. Sometimes he would forget what he was doing, and mix roses with lilies, or knock over the watering can, or overfill the vases until liquid dribbled onto the floor. And each day, his bulldog of a boss would come over to tell him off. And the young woman kept walking.

Cupid felt for the young man. There was once a time when he would have revelled in the chance to remedy such an occurrence, but he had hung up his bow after the mugging incident, and decided not to get involved in people’s affairs again. And so he contented himself with watching.

It was one such day when Cupid sat at the bus stop and watched the young woman walk past the flower shop. The young man looked up from his sweeping as she passed, then tossed aside his broom, plucked a flower from a nearby stand, and hurried out onto the sidewalk. He reached out, about to tap her shoulder, when a broom handle smacked down on his arm. The boss glared at him, held out the broom, and pointed back inside the shop. The young man took the broom, but when he looked up, the woman was gone.

The next day, the young man stationed himself outside, arranging flowers in the stands. The young woman approached, and he singled out a rose. As he turned to face her, an older gentleman with his nose buried in the paper, walked into the young man, knocking him off his feet. Both tumbled to the pavement, and the young woman kept walking.

On the third day, it rained. The young man was waiting, nonetheless, and as the woman hurried past, coat pulled up over her head, he called to her. But she did not hear him over the thunder and the rainfall, and hurried into the safety of the coffee shop next door. The young man dropped his rose onto the pavement, where it was battered by the falling droplets, and eventually carried away and into the gutter.

When the 716 finally trundled to a halt, Cupid boarded it with a heavy heart. He knew he could help the young man who worked at the flower shop, but it would mean picking up his bow once more.

The next day, Cupid did not wait at the bus stop. He stood on the other side of the street, looking over the flowers on display. He saw the young man, arranging peonies, and glancing over his shoulder every few moments. He also saw the young woman, walking down the street towards them. This time, Cupid pulled his bow out from under his coat and notched an arrow to it. He took aim at the young woman, waiting until just the right moment. Loosing his arrow, he struck her in the shoulder. She gave a small start as the arrow hit her, pausing right as the young man turned around, rose in hand.

Her eyes fell on him and she smiled. Cupid smiled too, both glad and just a little surprised that things had gone so smoothly. He still had time to go back across the road to catch his bus. As he stowed his bow back under his coat, Cupid turned to cross the street, where he saw the 716 pulling out from the bus stop and driving away.

Cupid gaped at the back of the bus, which had, for the first time, arrived on schedule. Stomping his foot in anger, Cupid took out his bow once more and fired an arrow randomly.

“Excuse me?” a woman’s voice said.

Cupid turned to see the owner of the flower shop standing in front of him with a bouquet of roses, a smitten look in her eyes, and his arrow poking out of her arm.

“I think I’ve been waiting my whole life for you,” she said with a smile.

Cupid hung his head. “Drat.”


FFM Day 26

Prompt: The inevitable.

 


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