That’s a beautiful rose.”
Sara, the cashier who was likely built along with the building that housed the pharmacy, nodded appreciatively as she handed back his change. “I bet you are going to make someone very happy,” she cooed as she gave him the flower. He knew she meant it. She had never, in the five years he had gotten to know her, been anything but kind. Even on those days where he saw the air of frustration crossing her face, she always smiled when she saw him step up to the counter. She was going to make someone in the senior community she had just moved into no doubt very happy.
He walked outside, the wind blowing steady but unseasonably warmer then it should have been in February, let alone on Valentine’s Day. It was only a little after five but it might as well have been midnight with how dark it was. Surprisingly, there were only a few cars in the parking lot. Most everyone else must have taken the hint that procrastinating on a day like this was a quick way towards sleeping on a couch. He was pretty sure that he would be in the clear though, as he got into the car and turned the key. Placing the rose wrapped in a plastic bag on the passenger seat, he pushed the lunch bag back to free up room. He turned the cd player on, blasting the same music that had been his mainstay entertainment for the last month. One of these days I’ll get around to changing it, he thought as he backed the car up and slowly drove out of the parking lot. That long drive towards home needed something to pass the time.
By the time he got back, the clouds had broken enough so that he could see what looked like two stars pierce the sky. Getting out of the car with the rose, he took out his phone and snapped a few pictures, reminding himself to post them later online. Certainly a few of his 300 social media friends might enjoy it. He put the phone back into his pocket and grabbed the lunch bag, juggling that and the flower as he walked towards the front door of his home.
It took a few seconds in the darkness of the front door to spot his house key among the myriad of other keys he had seemingly picked up along the years. He closed the door behind him as he flipped on the light, blinded momentarily by the intensity of the LED’s before it faded. Walking into the kitchen, he grabbed the empty vase he had placed there that morning and filled it with water up about halfway. Unwrapping the rose, he threw the plastic that had been entwined around it into the garbage. He set the vase down in the center of the dining table and stood back, admiring.
It was a beautiful rose, she was right about that. In the ten years he had been following this tradition, he couldn’t recall another that was a more brilliant red then the one before him. One of these days maybe there will be someone to give it too, he thought to himself. Maybe someday.
Happy Valentine’s Day to those out there who have found love, and to those who might yet still.