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The Alpinias

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People say there’s a reason for buying flowers: either they had developed a knack for gardening, or more commonly bought flowers for their beloveds to make them feel loved.
Well, I’ve always sought after making others happy. I feel I do so as my job as a florist. My very own shop is filled with an arrangement of rare and exquisite flowers: Amazon lilies, African tulips, blue alpine daisies, and even musas. As my job progressed I loved meeting and establishing friendly relations with my clients.
Infrequently did a fresh face appear through the door, as my clients were the same customers I’ve had for years. My shop however, was doing very well financially despite the fact I didn’t have many customers and the concept that it was located in a very secluded part of town. Either way, the only thing that drawed close to it would have to be the nearby dead community center and the cemetery across the street.


That’s why it was very unusual when I saw a middle-aged woman knock on my shop’s door. She must be lost,” I quickly thought to myself.
“You don’t happen to have alpinias, do you,” the woman asked. She was peeking through my wooden door squinting around. The woman looked panic-stricken. She was wearing an umber wool coat with around four or five holes in it. Her mocha wisp hair were strung back by her ebony jeweled headband and earrings that were long and dangly: the garish and cheap kind.
“Ah, yes. We do. But I’ll tell you, they’re quite costly. You might as well buy something less exorbitant. Perhaps of bouquet of roses?”
The woman rolled her eyes. “Thank you for your concern,” she said, “ but those are the only ones I want.”
I headed to the backroom to pick up the twelve alpinias. The woman was watching me suspiciously. As I started walking back to the cash register, I could see her black beady eyes stare at me.
“I’m sorry to charge you so much, but it’s just these are tropical flowers. They’re very rare, and it costs a lot for me to even get them here. It isn‘t even very favored in my store, as you‘re the first one who has even inquired about them.”
She rolled her eyes, yet again.
“It’s not of a problem. These are my daughter’s favorite.”
I glanced at her yet again. She was rummaging through her bright magenta purse and handed me her plastic credit card. As I swiped it, I soon realized my machine wouldn’t accept it.
“Are you sure there’s something in here? It’s coming up as denied,” I asked.
She continued searching through her bag and handed me a fifty-dollar bill. Her cheeks turned a shade of bright red and I could surely tell she was very mortified.
Trying to change the subject I tried to think of something I could possibly say, “ “Well, your daughter is very fortunate that her mother would splurge on something like this for her. What did she do? Win a contest? Come first in a sports meet? Kids, I tell ya. They’re perfectionists nowadays.”
She grinned at me. “My daughter does it all.”
She took the bouquet and started to head towards the door.
I thought I’d never see her again, but yet, the very next day, she showed up.
“Have any alpinias,?” she asked. I giggled and let her come in.
“So what did your daughter do this time?” I asked her.
“Oh, everything. Alpinias were always her favorite flower. I reminisce a time three weeks ago at her dance recital, I appeared with a bouquet of daisies, and let me tell you, she was not happy. She asked me if I could buy her alpinias next time. And when I told her I couldn’t afford them, I had never seen a more glum face.”
“Oh dear,” I said. “You can render them now?”
“Well, you were the first store that I could find that sold them. They‘re very back-breaking to find. And I finally have understood her worth, after all she’s done for me. She’s going to be so happy when she sees these again.”
I simpered at the woman as she grabbed a hold of the bouquet, thanked me and strolled away yet again.
The strange part was every single day for the next month had I heard my doors ring as I saw her come into my store. I remember always telling her how lucky she was, as her daughter must be such an overachiever. She looked up and smiled at me each time.
Later, on one drizzly Wednesday, I started to close up my store. It was a half-past-nine as my store closes at ten. I didn’t anticipate that anyone would be coming soon, so I decided it was time for me to walk home before it really started to rain. I looked up at the sky and around me. It was empty and filled with dull shades of gray. Nothing stood out to me. I was a bit apprehensive and these were one of these days I wished I had owned a car. I started to pick up my pace and walk a little faster. I could feel the wind pushing against me but I tried my hardest to walk against it. It was deadly silent. I crossed the street and started passing through the cemetery. It was a bit scary passing through but had no choice but to keep going. Then at the corner of my eye I saw a shade of scarlet-red. I turned and stared face to face with a gravestone. A bouquet of alpinias were sitting on top of it.



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