Since my wedding, I've dreaded my days off work. I've never been a fan of the "stay at home housewife" image, and I'm terrified of slipping into that without realizing it now that Hec and I have tied the knot. Now that Luce has started invading my mind, the time off work is even more agonizing. Trying to fill my head with anything other than Luce is almost impossible.

Mindlessly watching movies has become my favorite time-waster. I'm safe in my own home, away from her, even though I sometimes put Luce and myself in the leading roles, watching us get our happy ending without even realizing I've done so.

I'm still blankly staring at the screen, watching the characters move around when one of them catches my eye. The girl in the movie has grabbed a flower and started plucking the petals off, playing the "loves me, loves me not" game.

Naturally, the flower reminds me of Luce, but I suddenly have the most pressing urge to follow the character's lead and get a flower of my own to play the game with.

A glance around the flat reveals no flower, and living where we do, there's no chance of finding one in a nearby garden.

Without really focusing on what I'm doing, I turn off the movie, get my shoes and jacket, and head out of the flat. My feet lead me to my destination very quickly, and soon I've pushed open the door to Luce's store.

Luce is standing at the center in the back of the room, organizing a bouquet when the door jingles. Her head snaps up and she breaks into a beautiful smile when she sees me. "Well hello, Rachel. What can I do for you?" she asks as she dusts her hands off on her jeans.

"Hi." I'm a little breathless, and I'm not sure if it's from the walk or just being around her. A smile stretches across my face to match hers, and I'm momentarily too caught up in her to remember why I came. "I need a flower."

It's a silly request, seeing as we're surrounded by hundreds of kinds of flowers, but Luce just nods. "All right, what kind?"

It occurs to me that I'm very out of my element; I have no idea what kind I want. "Um... something with... petals?"

Luce chuckles, eyeing me before surveying her shop. She goes over and touches a few different flowers, finally settling on a beautiful purple rose. She gets it, trims off part of the long stem, and hands it over to me.

"There you go," she says with another knee-weakening grin. "One rose. With lots of petals."

I fumble in my pocket for my wallet. "How much?"

"On the house," she replies instantly, smiling a little wider when I start to blush.

I thank her and leave, knowing that if I stay much longer, I won't be able to think straight. The irony of that thought isn't lost on me as I make my way to the park and find a bench to sit on.

I stare down at the flower in my hands, feeling very silly. I push that out of my mind and pluck the first petal. She loves me...

For the next few minutes, all I can focus on is my careful petal plucking. If I wasn't so fixated on the outcome, I would almost be bored.

Finally, I'm down to the last petal. It takes a minute to sink it. "She loves me," I breathe, a silly, giddy grin appearing on my face. I feel my cheeks heat up, ducking my head a little so people walking past can't see.

I gently pluck the last petal, tucking it into my pocket and getting to my feet as I let the stem drop to the ground. The entire idea was silly, I know, but the idea that Luce could love me back is justification enough.

I head back to the flat, back to the reality of being married to Hec, but I take the long way, putting as much time between the end of my fantasy and the return to reality as possible. Maybe someday, my brain whispers, the fantasy can be the reality. I can only dream that that will be the case as I let myself back into my flat, trying to force Luce out of my mind once again. When I reach into my pocket and feel the petal that supposedly told me Luce loved me, a traitorous smile appears on my face.

"She loves me," I whisper again, my chest clenching happily. It takes me a moment, but then I realize I'm still thinking about Luce and groan.

I can't wait to return to work; I need a distraction.


If you want to make this ten times cuter, look up the flower's meaning. It's worth it, trust me.