The morning of February 14th I drove to work bleary eyed but happy. Ian and I had video chatted long into the night. His looks of longing and whispered I love yous had left my heart full even though the future was still as clear as a foggy morning in the Appalachian foothills, somewhere among the mist I felt hope.
Phones rang, paper scattered, and the general scurry of activity surrounded me. It all seemed a blur. None of it touched me. I was elsewhere, living in the future in my daydream. It was a place where Ian and I would get home from work around the same time. He, an avid cook would be preparing our meal while I tinkered on a rich sounding upright piano nearby. Our eyes would meet and sparkle, because we knew we had beat the fates and made a life together.
“Marian, there’s a delivery for you.”
The receptionist’s voice interrupted my daydream. I looked up and saw her holding a square vase filled with two of the creamiest white roses I had ever seen, stems of fragrant white stock, tall green bells of Ireland, waxy camellia leaves and stems of fresh green boxwood.
“Thank you,” I said, trying to keep my voice nonchalant, “Valentine’s Day can be such a treat.”
“Who are they from?” she asked, nosily waiting for me to open the card.
I had no choice but to open the small white envelope with her peeking over my shoulder. On the card there was simply a hand drawn smiley face. No name. No message.
“Well that’s odd,” she said, looking at me suspiciously.
“I’m sure someone will claim credit before the day’s over.”
And with a turn back to my computer that effectively dismissed my inquisitive co-worker, I was once again left to my own thoughts. Of course I had known immediately whom the flowers were from. He had recreated the garden in which we had met in a bouquet.
Regan’s flowers came an hour later. The spray of unique, colorful blooms were much lovelier than the many red roses that had been sent to ladies throughout the office, and the arrangement was twice the size of the one from Ian. They were beautiful. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the simple green and white blossoms that had so much meaning behind them.
“How did you do it?” I asked Ian later that night while we video chatted.
“I’m exceptional at very few things,” he said with a smile, “but ordering flowers is one of them.”
“Yes, but how,” I insisted, “what did you say to get them to be so perfect?”
“I’m not going to tell you,” Ian said firmly.
“What? You’re serious?”
“I am,” he grinned.