Smiling softly, Jenn leaned back against the cinderblock building in the shadow of the eaves and watched the brightening townspeople swarm the flower sale. She had a hell of a green thumb- growing up on a farm in Montana was good for that and caring for animals, if nothing else- and it had seemed for a while like everyone she met needed a little something to brighten their life up for a bit. Although absent-minded Scarlett in her neon sports bra was certainly quite bright, this morning, she mused wryly.
But flowers always made people smile, and they were good things to share, to connect people, so Jenn had spent every extra minute she had and a couple she didn’t these past few weeks up in the greenhouses on top of The Victorian, coaxing multitudes of flowers to shake out their plumage and take flight. It was nice to make a little extra money, sure, but mostly she wanted to watch the smears of color like wayward paintbrushes weave and bob down the streets, purple and orange in one direction and redyellowblue in another, as the weary people who carried them sparkled their way home for once instead of dragging.
Something out of place in the corner of Jenn’s eye tugged at her attention. It was a man with a familiar face, dressed to impress in a pinstripe jewel green suit with a maroon pocket square. But it wasn’t his outfit that caught Jenn’s attention: somehow he pulled it off, and quite frankly, the colors were rather at home within the riotous whirlwind of flowers. It was his face, instead. He was frowning, sort of, looking chagrined, indecisive, and rather constipated as he perused the flat of flowers in front of him. What was his name? North? East? Sal, I think I remember Sal… I mean, he lives in my building, at least, I know that!
Stepping forward from her place tucked away in the shade, Jenn embarked on her rescue mission.
“Hi, Mr….” He startled when she addressed him, as if unused to attention from strangers, then recovered.
“South, Hal South.” Oops.
“Mr. South.” A friendly grin. “Are you looking for something in particular? Need any help?” His eyes darted over to a young woman idly tripping her way through the display, and Jenn winced imperceptibly as the figure narrowly missed knocking an entire shelf over.
“Well, I just met Olive Rodriguez, and-” here he blushed faintly. “I thought it might be nice to buy her some flowers.” Inwardly, Jenn snorted. What is with me and these love stories in this town? First Harvey, now Hal, good God I’m like Cupid or something. Outwardly, she was all cheerful help. Here goes nothing.
“Oh yeah? Did you have something in mind? A color, perhaps? You seem like you would be good with color.” Hal shrugged helplessly.
“I’m good with color, I’m just not good with- with girls.” Jenn cast a critical eye over Olive. A little sleep wrinkled, maybe, but otherwise decently attired. Pretty. Nice enough from what she knew of her. Seemed like she’d lose her head if it wasn’t attached to her shoulders, though.
Turning nimbly, Jenn plucked a fiery sunflower, a lemonade snapdragon, and dusky-red sea lavender out of the silver buckets they were in and presented them to Hal with a flourish.
“She seems like a warm colors kind of girl. Bet you she’ll love those.” As a faint, “Have you seen my contact? I lost my contact!” floated from Olive’s direction, Jenn couldn’t resist. “And the sea lavender means remembrance, too.”
Jenn didn’t stick around to see the hand-off. But for the first time in a while, she whistled as she walked towards her night shift at the vet’s.