The pink and white flowers reminded him of her: fragile, beautiful, and slightly weathered by the storm that their families ushered near the shore where they stood, feet in the sand, the bottoms of their pants rolled up past their ankles.
Little did Shakespeare know that he kinda-sorta wrote the prequel to their love story. Welcome to the modern day Romeo and Juliet. Thankfully, nobody's dead yet.
Sam and Taylor are gentle people. Artsy people. Funny people. Good-hearted people. These are attributes you must remember they retain, for they seem easily forgotten by the people who mean the most to them because the people who mean the most to them don't approve of them feeling the way they do.
Taylor shopped for groceries while Sam took a bike ride through the city. He wanted to get out of the apartment and pick her flowers--fresh, just-plucked-from-the-dirt flowers that you couldn't buy in that grocery store. He imagined putting one of those flowers in Taylor's hair and then dancing with her on the street while passersby watched and wondered what made them happy enough to dance.
Happiness doesn't come as easily when everyone is waiting on the sidelines for a love that feels so right to go terribly wrong. Sam's family didn't like Taylor and Taylor's family didn't like Sam, making both families even when it came to being at odds. As much as Sam and Taylor tried to stick up for one another, their family members kept their ears closed and sang out of tune "la-de-da's."
Sam told Taylor to meet him in the park at 7 p.m. He wanted to hold her hand and go for a walk. He wanted to tell her about how sad he felt today when he saw an older couple walking down the street in Chinatown. They weren't holding hands. They weren't even talking to each other. Sam couldn't figure out what made them grow apart and why affection had somehow lost its appeal. He knew that wasn't the kind of relationship he and Taylor had, or ever would have. They were going to be an old couple someday, sharing two entrees at a fancy restaurant and holding hands across the table.
It was 6:57 p.m. Taylor walked toward Sam with a noticeable bounce in her step, and he knew it wasn't just because she got a great deal on sushi at the grocery store.
"These are for you," Sam said, holding out the pink and white flowers.
"They're lovely," Taylor said. "Thank you."
"Can I put one in your hair?" Sam asked.
Taylor giggled and nodded her head.
"Will you dance with me?"
"Only if you'll dance with me," Taylor said, draping her arms around Sam's broad shoulders.
Love. That's what makes people happy enough to dance in a park full of middle-aged men walking their dogs and young women jogging and teenage couples sprinting to the nearest frozen yogurt shoppe.
"As much as I like these flowers," Taylor whispered, "I'm going to drop them right here, right where we are dancing."
Taylor thought that maybe someone would come along and take a picture of the flowers and wonder why they were there. But thinking and hoping are two different things. When it came to hoping, Taylor hoped that the person who noticed her flowers would find the kind of love that she found: the kind of love that is fresh, admirable, and in full bloom--just like the flowers themselves.
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .