Author's Note:Written for husbandshutup on tumblr. Was supposed to be a drabble...I got a bit carried away.
And if the French title is grammatically incorrect, I'm sorry:(
He's coming home from work, (unsuccessfully) dodging oncoming pedestrians along the busy London street, when he spots her in the corner of his eye. All curls and smiles and yowzah. His heart beats double time, and he almost forgets how to breathe, so transfixed on the woman at the flower stand.
Her green eyes sparkle, and she gathers the flowers into bundles, placing them into fresh water. He can't help but notice the way she sweeps back a loose curl while performing the task, those small, yet steady hands handling the plants with such care, as if she were born for this.
Before he knows it, he's right in front of her, near enough to appreciate the delicate shape of her face, her strong nose, her full lips, and gosh, that hair; it's even better up close; of course, it is.
His mind whirs, and he glances down at a bouquet of Irises, trying to clear his head.
"Yes, they are. Irises are my favorite." The low, warm voice startles him out of his fantasy, and his head jolts up, alert.
Hang on did he just—
"Yeah." He mumbles, sheepish.
"What can I get for you today, Sweetie?" the woman smiles brightly at him.
Her endearment catches him off guard again, and he blushes, scratching the back of his neck.
"Um…I'll…take…a bouquet of Irises." it comes out as a jumbled mess, but she understands, nodding.
"And who these are for?"
"Girlfriend?" she asks quickly, and he feels the blush creeping further into his cheeks.
"Yeah. Something like that."
"Should have known. The cute ones are always taken." There's a bit of longing in her voice, and it takes him a moment to—
"And you are?"
"J—John, John Smith." He's surprised he even remembers his own name. "And you?"
"Melody Williams." She nods, grinning.
"Lovely name." The words roll off his tongue without a second thought, and he doesn't realize he's spoken aloud until he sees her flushed cheeks.
"Thank you." Their eyes meet for a moment, but she looks away, suddenly serious. "Now, that'll be 6 quid, dear."
His hands rummage through the pockets of his tweed jacket until he finds the money in his wallet, and hands it to her.
Melody gives him the bouquet of Irises, hand brushing his.
"I bet she'll love them."
"I bet she will."
It isn't till he finally gets home that he realizes he has no idea what to do with these flowers.
So he puts them on his lonely kitchen table and thinks of her.
John Smith can't get enough of Melody Williams, with her bright smile and impossible hair.
Of course he returns to the flower stand the next day, and the day after, and the day after that, and so on, until it becomes part of his daily routine, a ritual.
And with each day, he manages to find an excuse to talk to her, to get them conversing a little longer. She laughs and grins at his antics, amused and endeared.
At first, she's surprised to see him back so soon, and she tells him so.
"Must be a very special girl, you have, John Smith." Her cheeks tip into a grin, and he just smiles back, straightening his bowtie with a flourish, eyes fixed on Melody's beautiful, unassuming face.
"Quite right, Melody Williams."
The days bleed into weeks into months and Melody Williams and John Smith become friends.
He still visits her stand after work, his heart growing fonder every time he sees her.
John always picks the Irises because he knows she likes them the best, but Melody never catches on, babbling on about that "special girl" he must have.
After a while, his flat fills up with vases and vases of flowers, some fresh, some slighted wilted, some a mixture of both, and he earns some very perplexed looks when his sister Clara comes to visit.
He tells her he's developed a love for flowers,
(but really he's developed a love for her).
When he sees the flier for the London flower show, he makes sure to ask her about it.
"Melody, I—I saw something about that flower show, are you going?" it's a casual question, but her face falls a bit, and she looks down.
"I wish. They've got my favorite flower- Lapageria rosea, the Chilean Bellflower."
"Then why don't you go?" he asks, concerned.
"I don't have the money, unfortunately. But that's okay. It's not really a big deal." her shoulders slump slightly, but she manages a forced smile.
And John Smith decides that he's going to get her tickets to that convention if kills him.
He stockpiles the extra money he has (if he hasn't already spent it on flowers), and within a few weeks, squanders enough for two tickets. One for Melody, one for him; (hopefully, if it all goes to plan).
After all this time, John hasn't mustered the courage to ask her out, and he thinks this is the perfect opportunity. Even if she rejects him, it's a win-win situation for her; she'll still get to go the show she's always dreamed about, and he'll be happy for her sake.
Clasping the tickets in his hand, he walks with a purpose, giddy and terrified, his palms sweating.
The show is tomorrow, and he knows it's really late notice, but he hopes Melody will forgive him for his nervousness.
What he doesn't expect is the empty stand, devoid of his smiling Melody for the first time in months. His heart clenches in his chest, all the nervous excitement replaced by fear.
Where is she? She's always here!
Maybe she's just busy, running an errand, he muses, waiting around for Melody, but to no avail.
He picks up the little business card she'd given him ages ago, and dials her number faster than he can blink.
An eternity passes, and he almost gives up, when suddenly he hears an unfamiliar Scottish voice at the end of the line.
"Hello?" the woman sounds drained, tired, and she is definitely not Melody Williams.
"Hello? Um…I thought this was Melody Williams' phone?"
"Yeah, it—it is. Sorry, who is this?"
"John. John Smith."
"Oh, thank God. John. You're her friend, right? I'm Amelia, Melody's mum."
"Where is she?"
"She's at hospital."
Amelia tells him he can come the next day, so he does, but not without a very special bouquet in hand.
His hands tremble at the sight of Melody Williams in that white hospital bed, and he feels stupid, insubstantial. Why hadn't he known?
"Is—is she—going to be all right?" the high-pitched squeak coming from his throat is barely audible, but Amelia and her husband Rory nod.
"Yeah. She'll be out soon, we think. She's been sick like this her whole life. On and off. But lately she was doing so much better. For the past few months. But this morning—I don't know. I'm sure she'll be happy to see you, John. You're the only real friend she has."
You're the only real friend she has.
Why didn't she tell me? He thinks, but keeps to himself, eyes shimmering at the thought, as he slowly opens the door to her room.
Melody stirs at last, her head spinning as she regains consciousness. In seconds, she understands where she is—back in the cold, white walls of hospital.
A pang of loneliness sets in, and it takes her a moment to notice the vase of flowers beside her bed.
And more importantly, the man in front of them.
Her shaky hands grasp the vase, and she holds her breath, silently registering the light-pink Chilean Bellflowers.
Melody's mouth opens, but nothing comes out.
And then she sees it, hidden in the pink petals, a tiny note that makes her heart stop.
'For my Very Special Girl
Her finger strokes the words as her mind grasps their reality, and she chokes back a sob, teary eyes locking onto the quiet man at her bedside.
"Hey." John's fringe flops in his face as he leans over, cradling Melody's hand in his.
"How?" her shimmering eyes search his for an answer, and he only grins.
"Well, I—I saved up some money and bought two tickets for the show. I was—I was going to ask you yesterday—if you—wanted to go with me, but well, you know, this happened, and I—I wanted to do something to cheer you up. I still had the tickets so—"
The tears trickle down her cheeks and her bottom lip trembles as she whispers,
"You're very welcome, Melody." His voice is soft, soothing, like a lullaby.
She watches her friend intently, soaking him in properly for the first time. Oh, she's always seen him, but she's tried not to, fighting against the urge for so long. Now, her heart melts at the way his eyes sparkle with concern, with love.
And it all clicks.
"Must be a very special girl, you have, John Smith."
Melody remembers her own naivety, John's blushing, his daily visits, their chats, and she laughs despite herself.
John, bless him, looks adorably confused, brows furrowed and eyes wide.
"What?" he yelps as she squeezes his hand. "Melody?"
"I can't believe you." Shaking her head, Melody chuckles, terribly amused.
"What? What do you mean?"
"You bought flowers from my stand every day just to see me?"
"Well… yes." He mumbles, flushing.
"You ridiculous man." Melody's smile could fill up the whole room, John thinks. "Sweetie, you know, there's such a thing as asking a girl out."
"I…I was getting around to it!" His hands fly into the air, and he splutters, blushing. "And anyway…I just…I thought you…probably wouldn't be interested."
"Every day. For five months. Who does that?"
"All you ever had to do was ask."
Silence falls between them, and slowly, John places her hands around the vase once more, pressing the note against her palm.
"Well." He clears his throat, speaking barely above a whisper. "This is me, asking."
His eyes squeeze shut, his heart beating loudly, thump-thump thump-thump, the stillness unsettling, agonizing.
And then he hears her, faintly, breathing against his ear.
Before he can respond, her lips are on his, soft, sweet, lush, like everything he's imagined and more; she deepens the kiss, hand cupping his cheeks, and he kisses her back, slowly, longingly, passionately, the way he's wanted to ever since he spotted her in that flower stand all those months ago.
Note: Hope you enjoyed it:)