((I came up with this idea while reading Random Acts. Also, for those of you whom are wondering why this is posted twice, I must tell you that WordPress was being a jerk. EDIT: And, I wanted to polish this quickly.))
I handed another rose to a passerby as I stood on the sidewalk between a coffee shop and a boutique. It had been a fairly slow day for flower-giving, considering that many people refused or gave me strange looks. Shrugging it off was easy. After all, why would they take a flower from someone they had never met?
I was on my second-to-last rose, the sun fading slowly, when he walked up to me. The man had curly black hair, brown eyes, and towered over me as though I was just an ant and he was a giraffe. He would have been horribly frightening if it wasn’t for the curious expression plastered on his face.
“Can I help you?” I asked politely, holding out a white rose.
He either didn’t notice, or he didn’t care, but he simply replied, “Why do you hand out flowers with thorns on them?
The question took me by surprise. In all my years of simply handing out flowers, no one seemed to have thought to ask that, or even acknowledge me past a ‘thanks’ every now and then.
“I cut the thorns off.”
“Yes, but why? Shouldn’t things be left as they are, pure and natural?” The man’s chocolate-colored eyes darkened at this, as though the topic was emotionally painful. Part of me wondered why, and the other part, the unkind part of me, didn’t care. Well, I thought. He shouldn’t have brought it up if he didn’t like to think about it.
I smiled despite what was going on inside my head. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”
His reaction was what had made all of those years completely worth it. This man, a complete stranger, gave me the warmest hug right then and there.
“Thank you,” he whispered. The man broke the hug off and began to walk down the street once more.
“Wait!” I called after him. It had been unintentional, even instinctive. He stopped and turned around, eyebrow raised. I jogged up to him. Slowly, I held out the white rose that I had offered him before he had asked me about the thorns. He stretched out his hand, palm open, and I placed the rose there.
“You forgot this.”