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The daisies were wilting.
I stared at the bundle.
I guess I should put them in water, but that means I will see them again. And think about it.
On the other hand, what did the daisies do? Is it fair to them? I mean they died for this bouquet.
But they had died before he bought them. It’s not like he grew them in his own garden for me and cut them just to bring them here. They had to be store bought.
I felt sorry for the daisies. Roses I would have trashed in an instant. I don’t know why there is a difference but there is.
I really can’t stand looking at them any longer.
I grab the handful and stalk out my door. Maybe if I drop them in Mrs. Lin’s composting pile I won’t feel guilty. I pick up the little compost bucket I keep outside my door, just to make the trip look more legitimate, and start walking down the street.
Passing the bus stop, I see Jeremy. He is huddled under all-weather shade our neighborhood association erected for riders. I expect someone will be calling the police soon to run him off again. He liked hanging around here because our neighborhood backed up against a small woods overrun with blueberry bushes and raspberry thorns; the location gave him a safe place to sleep as well as food part of the year since only the truly determined made their way through those brambles.
Plus me and Mrs. Lin, being single, often had extra food about to go bad we would toss his way when we could. It kept him alive, if not healthy.
He looked up from where he was wilting as badly as the daisies because of the late afternoon heat. “Chris, how is it going?”
“Weirdly.” I nodded. “Yep, weird. Hey, would you like some daisies to sell?” I offer him the bundle. When Mrs. Lin trimmed her forest, she always gave him some to make a couple bucks so no one would think it strange for him to have flowers out of the blue in time for the evening rush.
“They’re nice, don’t cha want to keep them?” he asked, taking them.
“They are part of the weirdness. But you sell them good. Daisies are happy things.” I turn away to continue to Mrs. Lin’s place.
(words 397 - first published 7/24/2016)