Rainy Day Flowers
There once was a flower shop on 6th avenue, in New York City. In white lettering, its awning read Rainy Day Flowers. The owner was a stout old man named Seamus. He worked alone at the small shop and lived upstairs, calling a beautiful row of orchids his family.
One day the store had a visitor. It was pouring amidst April showers, still chilly from a long winter. The visitor, a young girl, looked all over the flowers in front of the store, just below the shop's green awning. Bright reds and purple plants all slick wet with rain water. The girl ran her fingers over each.
"Come in, you'll be soaking wet," said Seamus from the doorway.
The girl looked up, and took off her coat's hood. For a moment her red-brown hair blew long in the wind, shimmering with the rain. She stepped in under the awning.
"Come in, come in."
The girl walked in through the open door. The shop was musty with damp plants everywhere. It felt like a rainforest.
"What can I find for you?"
The girl looked at Seamus with bright eyes. She looked back up at the plants.
"Something small, something I can travel with."
Seamus peered at the girl over his glasses. He took her to the back of the shop, where small succulents in tiny pots lived on shelves.
The girl looked at the row of pots and plants. She chose one that was the tiniest. A green speck, nearly, with a flourish of deep purple. The rain picked up outside the shop.
"Why so small, might I ask?"
The girl looked up, her eyes even wider.
"I'm on the road. I... I've nowhere to stay, at the moment."
Seamus blinked. The girl was dripping wet still, water falling from her coat. "Do you need a room? There's a spare in the back of the shop." Seamus gestured past the tiny succulents.
The girl blushed. "No, no, I'll try to find somewhere, thank you."
Seamus, the old gent, wouldn't take no for an answer. "It's pouring, where would you stay? Please."
"No really it's no trouble, I couldn't afford a room right now and--"
Seamus waved his hand. "It's no trouble, really, come set your things." Seamus began leading the girl to an old wooden door between some ferns. "It's a spare room from the former shop owner, and only my sister stays here once a year. The bed should still be made from her last stay." The door opened to a tiny bedroom with a dresser, a lamp, and a cozy bed with crisp sheets.
The girl stood in the doorway, holding the tiny succulent with two hands.
"You could earn your keep. For instance, this succulent needs some water." Seamus grabbed a small tin watering can from atop the dresser. He poured a few drops on the succulent in the girl's two hands.
The girl remained quiet for a moment. Then she gasped and reached to hug Seamus, bracingly. Seamus held out the watering can in one hand, then patted the girl with the other. The girl cried into Seamus' shoulder.
"Thank you, thank you."
Seamus exhaled. "That's okay dear." The embrace lessened, the girl stepped back and wiped her eyes.
Seamus set the watering can back on the dresser.
"What's your name, dear?"
The girl wiped her eyes some more then looked up.
Seamus smiled. A ring from the doorbell echoed from the front of the shop.
"Make yourself at home Blossom."
The rain patter on the storefront awning let up to a whisper, and Seamus closed up the shop soon after.
Many years later, a painter steps down from his ladder on 6th avenue on a sunny. Rainy Day Flowers now reads Rainy Day Flowers and Hotel. A toddler bounces his soccer ball past the painter and into the shop.
"Come here dear, careful while the man is working."
Blossom stands behind the shop's desk, spraying down some small orchids by her side. Her son runs to hug her thigh.
The painter steps in to the shop. The doorbell chimes as he opens it.
"Long, long time since I've been here. Seamus would have loved the hotel here."
Blossom looks up.
"I painted the original awning. I was Seamus' neighbor and good friend for twenty years."
Blossom smiles warmly. She takes out a ticket from a drawer and marks it with a pen.
"Here's a night's stay on us. On Seamus. I'm sure he would've loved to have you.