I woke up at just after five in the morning. Showered, put on some makeup, threw on some clothes that were mostly clean, and grabbed a couple slices of whole-grain bread as I rushed out the door, certain to be late. Again. I ate the bread as I unlocked my bike, using the familiar juggle - key in hand, bread in hand, lock in hand, bread in mouth, key in mouth, lock on bike, key in pocket.
Traffic was light, but that was normal at this time of day. I was just glad there were no surprises like non-signaled turns or pinball-flipper doors. Much to my delight, I was exactly on time to work. I wouldn't have to deal with any yelling until tomorrow, when I was certain to be late - I have never been on time twice in a row.
I unlocked the shop, put on some coffee, and got to work watering, trimming, unpacking, arranging. The work was easy enough, but the mindlessness of it got my imagination started. Today, like most days, my imagination got me to hope, which would invariably turned to misery, which meant a night of red wine and sorrow, which meant I'll be late to work. But one is never miserable while one is hoping, which is why I did it. And it never added up to misery in my mind - I just wanted him to show up today.
It'd been a couple of months since he last came in to the shop, his blue eyes looking over the cards to find something appropriate for this occasion. He was buying some white lilies (his mother's favorite) for his parent's anniversary (how thoughtful!). I could picture his bashful smile as he checked out - just a little grin as he admitted to being a bit of a mother's boy. His image, his meticulously unkempt hair framing his rosy-cheeked face, fit the request perfectly. It was an image that came easily to me today.
I hadn't seen him since then - not even on the streets - but I kept up hope. I thought maybe next time I could do more than ring him up - maybe I could suggest a card? an arrangement? some daffodils 'on the house' (and see if he gets the hint)? I just wanted to be a part of his life more than just 'that girl at the flower shop who can never seem to speak'.
Despite it all, I knew he probably wouldn't come in today. But there was always tomorrow. There is always tomorrow. Maybe I'll even be on time.