Pink & Purple

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write a story where flowers play a central role.... view prompt

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Romance People of Color Happy

"Please, Mr. Jasper."


"Oh you hopeless case, get over here young man."


I grinned sheepishly as Mr. Jasper hobbled over, hands reaching up and untying my sad attempt at a tie. I hoped he didn't notice me wiping my sweaty palms against my slacks, hoping my casual wear would pair well with Paulina's like I promised; white shoes with a white tie, a pearl earring snuggled in my left ear. Of course I like surprises. I definitely do. That's what I told her, with a somehow convincing smile as her squeals matched her grin.


I don't like surprises.


"Why did I tell her I like surprises?" I groaned, rubbing my eyebrows with a pathetic sigh. "I know, I'm being irrational, but surprises were always a cause of anxiety for me... I don't want a repeat of my seventh birthday, hurling because I thought my family threw a surprise party..."


Mr. Jasper's expression hardly changed. "Your anxiety is all in your head, relax."


Ugh, boomers. "Mr. Jasper if I throw up on her I will never forgive myself."


Mr. Jasper looked up from his hands, allowing a smile. "Ted. You reeled in a woman as splendid as Paulina. I'm sure a year together has created an understanding of one another on a mutual level, one where she will know not to throw you a surprise party."


I nodded along, laughing awkwardly as Mr. Jasper patted my cheek and pointed at his hall mirror. I took a look at myself, eyebrows shooting up at the sight.


"A bowtie?"


"A tie is not for a simple night out on the town, young man -such a stuck-up move, even you should know better." Mr. Jasper chuckled at my eyes rolling, checking his watch. "Four twenty five, Paulina will come in a few minutes."


"Mr. Jasper we both know Paulina is always early," I drawled, chuckling along with him as we remembered. "Are you thinking of the sushi incident?"


"I was thinking of your first date, actually." Mr. Jasper hobbled over to his armchair, sighing as he settled his old bones into the cushions.


I nodded, heart fluttering at the memory. "I never thanked you, you know."


"For the cherry blossoms?"


"And violets. I wanted to give roses, and you pointed out my mistake as graciously as a seventy year old could've."


"Young man watch your mouth, I am still in my sixties!" Mr. Jasper sniffed dramatically, flicking his nose up in his usual grumpy stature. "I have a few months of youth left, you know."


"Yeah, yeah," I muttered, rolling my eyes just as the doorbell rang. Mr. Jasper looked over, eyebrow flicking up; I took a deep breath, looking back for a sense of security. What I got was a salute with a jerk of a nod. The old man's smile was comforting, and I shook myself off as I gave a salute back and grabbing the single flower delicately laid across the kitchen counter. Two kikyou stems.


Another deep breath, two strides forward, and I opened the door to a ray of sunshine nearly blinding me.


Paulina was the surprise. Well, her outfit, but if my girl had one superpower, merging herself with her creations would be it. Her outfits were her most prized talents; she loves coordinating our clothing, coming up with cute colour combinations and styles I wouldn't have dared stepped into if she hadn't pouted so perfectly. Today was no exception; Paulina paired my white bowtie and pale pink vest to her white blouse and gently patterned suit pants, her cane matching her earrings in a pastel pink. If I hadn't mentally prepared, I would've fell to my knees and prayed, thanking my ancestors for showing me true beauty in the form of an angel's human form on my neighbors doorstep.


"Teddy?"


I simply smiled, speaking through my emotions lumping in my throat. "Hi, Paulina my dear."


"Is everything okay?" Paulina reached forward, smiling in relief as soon as our fingers interlocked. I wished to never see it fade, so I took a deep breath and gently placed the soft purple blossoms in her hand instead of my palm, watching her eyes light up in excitement as she breathed in the scent with a curious glance around.


"How interesting... what is this?"


"Kikyou's. I hope I'm not pronouncing it wrong. Also known as a balloon flower, though that's the English term for..." Paulina's wide eyes trailed up at me, and for a moment I wondered if not repeating the same violets and cherry blossom branch from our first date was a bad idea. "You're not allergic or anything, right?"


"Do you know what these represent?"


Wow, I sure hope I did my research right; I stepped forward, gently closing the door behind me as I took Paulina's other hand, taking a deep breath. "Yes, I do. I chose them for their symbolization of honesty that I will always put forward, obedience to your little habits and our rules like no takeout on Fridays..."


"Oh stop, you're embarrassing me!" Paulina laughed, ducking to look away as I chuckled, smiling at her blush.


"However I chose this flower because in Japan, they represent unchanging, endless love." I took a deep breath, heart fluttering. "Paulina, this past year has been... crazy, I know. But truly, I believe we connect in a sense I have yet to maturely comprehend. I never thought I could love the way I do this early in life, and yet here I stand with my knees shaking all because you allow me to hold your hand."


Paulina kept her eyes trailed on her flower, expressions hidden; now she glanced up, eyes brimming with unspoken emotions in the form of tears and a lip quiver that nearly made me apologize. Who was I to bestow any emotions unto her that led to red eyes, an aching heart?


"I love you, Teddy."


Okay, my turn to cry as my angel leaned in, wrapping her arms around me. "I love you, Paulina."










I never wanted this moment to end. Watching her eyes shine alongside the stars, her hair blowing freely in the warm breeze that made her whine for summer to come quicker. I could only agree. I agreed every time she said anything, her opinions flowing smoothly with mine, no matter if we were always on the same page; somehow, we were always in the same textbook. Paulina asked for a bite of my ice cream sandwich, to which I agreed, only to snort as she missed with her mouth completely and ended up covering her nose with sticky ice cream. Paulina gave a fake wail as I attempted to wipe the ice cream off, pouting and digging through her purse to find her tissues...


You seem to get a sniffle when winter comes around, so I started carrying them on me.


Look, you deserve a treat after working out four times a week; eat that ice cream sandwich before I do already!


I love you, Teddy.


"Teddy?"


I blinked out of my daze, looking down as Paulina watched me, that shy smile peeking through. I couldn't help but admire her eyes, those amber flecks in dark brown irises gazing in my direction. I always forgot that those gorgeous eyes struggled to piece together the sunset, Paulina's flower shop, her cat and her boyfriend. Every time I remember, I always confirm with myself that her failing vision never got into Paulina's way to love life with a loud laugh and that blush on her cheeks whenever happiness gave them kisses. I shared my happiness with her, and to my absolute relief she had opened her heart to me today.


"I love you dear," I murmured, taking her hand with a light squeeze. Paulina smiled, bringing my hand up to kiss the back.


"I love you too, my darling."


An angel surrounding by shimmering lights of a sunset held two delicate flowers symbolizing our unity; as they kissed my cheek, I swore I had been blessed.

March 27, 2021 03:27

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