Yesterday afternoon, a knock on the door and Olivia answers. It's just some computer part or gadget Alex ordered, I thought and I heard Olivia go upstairs to see Alex. I went off to make dinner.
Some thirty minutes later, there she is, pulling up a stool at the counter. "What do people do with flowers?" she asks. I pause putting the cinnamon into the spice cake batter. "What do you mean? Context please," I say. "I mean, if someone has flowers, what do they do with them?" I put down the cinnamon. "Okay, I'm still not sure what you want to know, honey. Do you mean in the garden? Did someone get flowers?" I remember the door and it dawns on me. "Did you get flowers?" A shrug of the shoulders, a look down, a hidden smile. "Yeah. Yes," she says.
The door had been answered by a girl who then ran upstairs with her bundle of roses sent with love from Texas. I imagine her sitting there, feeling both the thrill and pleasure at having received such a thing from such a boy, and then wondering what to do with them and having to share her secret with someone else, the someone being me. "What does someone do with flowers?" she asks. Someone should put them in water, arranging the stems just so, and take the bouquet to her room. The girl did just that, beaming and curling inward as only a girl of thirteen can do.