The Meaning Of Flowers

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You’ve heard about it from other people but didn’t think you’d see it yourself. Every day for a week leading up to the actual day, some delivery guy waltzes into your office space with yet another bouquet (or four) of flowers for the same woman. Her face lights up, she squeals, the other women within a 5km radius surround her with congratulations and glowing praise. Then the excitement dies down and you’re left wondering what just happened.

And then the day comes and goes. The chocolates, the cards, the gifts. The flowers. The blushes, the crowds, the hushed whispers, the shrill cries of astonishment. 24 hours of rowdiness then a predictable lull. Everyone’s had their excitement, some have had heartbreak, some have exuded auras of sheer terror but the event has passed. However, the phenomena hasn’t. Someone is still getting the weekly flower delivery at work. And it puzzles you.

Then you remember something your old man told you a long time ago. He pulled you aside during a commercial in the middle of a boring sports match and said, “Son, don’t ask why I’m telling you this now. Just listen. I know you. You’ll want to take an office job at the local newspaper because that’s what you like to do. So you’ll see this. Don’t argue, just listen. If you see someone getting flowers at best flower shops and you don’t know why, this is the reason.”

An odd thing to be told at fourteen years of age but you did file it away. And you’re glad you did because the contrast between the first time and this most recent time are stark. They’re alarming. There’s no excitement. There’s no joy. There’s just this awkwardsilence among the entire office floor. The flowers delivery melbourne CBD has repeated itself to the point where everyone knows what’s going on and it’s not good.

But no one says anything. You certainly don’t say anything. And yet everyone’s thinking it. It’s like there are invisible thought bubbles akin to a comic book above everyone’s heads. And the font is saying the exact same thing for every one of them: ‘Someone messed up.’ 

An accidental cough echoes through the office and heads turn. A shake of the head. Heads turn away. Suddenly the tension chills to the point that you start to subconsciously shiver. You haven’t even done anything and you feel like the focus is on you. Butthe woman is only paying attention to the desk with the flowers and the card. Well, maybe she is, you can’t tell. 

Then she pushes the bouquet to one side and her fingers become a blur on her keyboard. The card is unopened, unscrutinised, the flowers neglected. The office slowly builds up the noise to its previous respectable levels. The danger’s seemingly passed.

But in the back of your mind you hope it doesn’t happen to you. Because you’ll know what those flowers mean. And you’ll know you’ll never see that person again.