Flower Drama

Old Woman Sky Diving

The bell over the front door constantly dinging in the background, I led the new recruit towards the front of my flower shop.

Fields of red sunflowers and striped roses covered the walls. We passed by white lilies, blue hydrangeas, and metallic orchids sprouting from the floor. The tiny flower shop was crammed with as many flowers as we could fit.

“Sorry about this,” I remarked as we squeezed by a customer licking some striped roses, “this is something you’ll get used to.” Jane, with eager eyes nodded her head, “a lot of customers get confused by what is edible.”

When we pushed our way to the front of the store a naked man was flipping us off out front. Holding our attention, though, was a bright orange crunchy flower prominently displayed in the glass window.

“This is truthfully the only edible flower we sell. Even though a lot of teenagers will come in here asking to buy drugs, we don’t sell them any.”

Jane took the flower in her hand, “this is soo beautiful. I really admire your flower shop’s creative genius. I never thought of merging a cooked genome and a raw one.”

“Thanks, it’s really because of Beverly though.” I looked over at the checkout counter where all three of my employees were working overtime to keep the business afloat. My two nephews were busy packing, scanning, packing, and scanning. They had gotten quick recently.

Alongside them my longest employee was trying her best. Beverly was cursing under her breathe as she shoved a customer’s plant into their bag. “Hope you kill it,” she said as the customer turned around to leave. For a second Beverly took a fan next to her, put it in front of her face, and took a deep breath of the wind. Then she set it down and took care of the next customer.

Beverly looked up to glare at us both. I immediately turned to Jane, “so yeah that little gene splice is actually something that Beverly invented.”

I winked at Beverly and she returned a death glare. “Maybe she needs some coffee,” Jane suggested.

I looked at Jane absently as I pondered the last few years. It wasn’t always like this. I thought to myself. Beverly used to be so much fun. The truth is whenever we got together; we had such a blast. We actually used to be great friends, and for both of us botany was our passion. Especially her, she had a really crazy way of looking at the world and she was able to accomplish things in the field of botany that I couldn’t have imagined. Even something as impossible sounding as splicing a cheetoh and a rose. Of course, Beverly did always love pushing herself. One time she even—

“Um, excuse me?” Jane waved her hand in front of my face.

“Sorry, I just got distracted for a moment. Okay let’s get you started by learning the checkout counter.” We stepped around a group of people leaving who were pushing against another group of people entering.

“Hey guys, this is Jane. Please do your best to make her feel welcome and get her up to speed on our operations here.”

Beverly stared at us both with unblinking hatred in her eyes.

“Okay Beverly can we talk for a second?”

Beverly followed me into the back while my nephews showed Jane how to operate the point-of-sale system.

“What’s going on?”

Beverly pushed me away and replied, “nothing.”

“You just seem upset lately; did I say something?”

“NOOOO, not everything is about you Katherine.”

I was hurt. “You know, I just want to help you Bev.”

“The only thing you want is to keep your business afloat.”

“Of course, I want to keep the business afloat. We are doing better than we have ever done before and it’s all because of you. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

“Fine, just let me be cranky today, and I’ll be better tomorrow.”

“Okay you promise?” I asked.

“Deal,” she agreed.

I stood there and watched as she returned to the counter, squeezing in behind my nephews and taking a customer’s plant in her hand. If Beverly were to leave it could easily spell out ruin for my little shop, so whatever the problem was I needed to fix it. But before that there were books to balance and checks to write.

Without a second thought I turned around and hiked straight to the back of the store. There wasn’t much of an office inside of our storage room, but we made do. So, I sat crisscross applesauce and opened my QuickBooks browser.

I got caught up in the numbers when my two nephews stormed into the room crying out “Help!”

Instinctively I ran towards the front of the store pushing past them. Beverly’s voice shrieking “gorilla girl,” was the first thing I heard. Everyone in the store was standing still and watching.

Then Jane’s rebuttal seemed like a slap in the face, “at least I’m not a Prehistoric Feminist Nazi!”

“What is going on?” I yelled stepping between them.

Beverly hurled her accusation against me. “You need to send this new girl home so she can shave; she is making the customers uncomfortable.”

“EVERYONE GROWS HAIR!” Jane screamed back at her.

“I’m smooth as Baby’s Baptism Okay! I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“This is really not funny. Beverly come with me.”

I led her into the back and asked, “why have you been acting like this?”

“She is disgusting,”

“She is wearing a sweater.”

“Yeah, but when she rolls the sleeves up. Her hair is just wafting in the wind.”

“Beverly,” I exclaimed, “what is this really about?”

Beverly’s lips curled in as she stood their pouting.

“Is this about you needing Wednesday and Thursday off?”

“No,” she replied. “I don’t need those days off. I swore that I would never need them off again.”

It was obvious that Beverly wasn’t going to tell me what I needed to know. So, I decided on one last ditch effort.

Reaching my hands around her I began to cry. “Just tell me what is going on.”

Beverly’s emotions began to bubble up before she started crying as well, “I’m addicted to sky-diving.”


“It started a few months ago, you know I’ve always been someone who likes to push the boundaries. But after I discovered the cheetoh hybrid flower I was lost. Even though we were having the most success ever; I wanted to cry so much. Then I discovered sky-diving.”

“How often do you skydive?”

“I’m so ashamed.”

“No,” I soothed her, “you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

“I want to talk about it,” she screamed at me. “Everyday, I skydive every single day.”

“Okay, well what can I do to help?”

Her reply was ice, “I need to quit.”

“You,” I started before losing my words and shaking my head, “you can just take as much time off as you need.”

Her response was firm, “I’m moving to another city in the middle of nowhere. I can’t be near any planes.”

“Okay,” I began to cry with her as we embraced. Then It was time.

Beverly looked at me with the kindest eyes. “I love you Katherine. Please keep in touch.”  In the next moment, she was gone, and I couldn’t follow her because a surge of new customers had walked in the door.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *