Happy New Year!!!
Oh my gosh! You guys! If I wasn’t semi-anonymous, I would tell you of all the amazing things God has been doing in my life this past two months but story website, not church. LOL.
Anyway, I am excited for 2015 and if you aren’t, please start being excited. And I know you are probably like ‘Kiah, you have no idea what I am going through..’ but trust me on this when I say I have been there. It might be a different kind of low but I have been there but trust God on this one, perfect days are ahead of you, plenty, plenty, perfect days.
Kike had not had a perfect day in a long time but when she woke up that morning in late November, she decided that that was going to be it; her first perfect day in a long time.
She got ready for work, singing Jason Mraz’s The Remedy as she went about getting ready. Kike loved Jason Mraz or at least she loved the man his songs portrayed him to be. If she ever got lucky again in love, Kike hoped it was with someone kind and sensitive like Jason.
It was shaping up to be a perfect day indeed. The coffee she usually bungled turned out perfect. It was the caramel flavor she had bought at this divine store in downtown Denver in the erly weeks of her arrival. Her usually stubborn hair even obeyed her coconut oil and shea butter ministrations. Her tummy bulge looked almost non-existent in the blue dress she had chosen to wear. Everything was perfect.
It was her third month in Denver. She had moved there in August and had already experienced two snowstorms. In New York at least, snow storms waited till December and January before unleashing their wrath on the city. But Denver? Denver seemed to have no chill; literally.
Kike was finding it hard to reconcile the beauty of her first three months with this wintry reception that the end of the year had brought. At least in New England, they had autumn, however short it was. In Denver, there was no respite from the beauty of the summers, no fading of leaves into the red and brown colors of Fall before winter came along and blanched them all white.
She would never admit it to anyone else but she missed New York. Denver was where she was meant to be, she knew. But it didn’t stop her from missing Manhattan and its uptight residents. Or Brooklyn and people smoking cigarettes on sidewalks in front of houses that seemed willing to share secrets with you if only you would just say hello. Or the Bronx with a variety of accents that always left her feeling like she had the whole world in one place.
Still Denver was where she was meant to be. No matter what her mother in faraway Lagos said. No matter the grunts her father gave her every other night as she described whatever new thing she had stumbled upon in this new place over the phone. No matter the hassle her friends gave her about how much she was missing out on NYC’s social scene. Denver was where she was meant to be.
‘Denver ba wo? What is in Denver?’ Her mother had exclaimed when Kike broke the news to her parents over the phone.
Kike sighed as she got in the car to head to work, remembering that phone conservation and the things her mother didn’t say.
‘But you know no one in Denver.’
‘Are you running away from Ade?’
‘But you will be lonely and alone in that new place. Can’t you got to Houston where your sister is?’
She turned on the car radio to her favorite station but someone had called in to complain about her spouse and his late nights so she popped in Jason’s CD instead before pulling out of the driveway.
She had driven past the flower shop on Main Street when it suddenly occurred to her that perfect days needed flowers. So what if it was the middle of winter and she would have a poor choice of plants? So what if these were the first flowers she would ever receive? So what if she would be buying them for herself? None of that mattered. All the perfect days she had ever had happened with lilies, turnips, buttercups, roses in the background.
Like that time Ade had gotten down on one knee to ask her to marry him in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens before things had started to go horribly wrong between them. Or back when as a child living out many perfect days, she and her best friend, Molara could pick flowers from their neighbors’ gardens to put in each other’s hair as they skipped home from school. Or that time when on her parents’ 35th anniversary, everyone had thought her father had forgotten until he had left for work and the flowers had started pouring in until there were no more vases for them. Or when Molara had passed her bar exams after the second try and they had all gone out to celebrate. The restaurant had been filled with flowers from well-wishers and Kike had felt a twinge of envy at all the bright forms and colors love could take.
The flower shop on Main Street was quaint and had only one other customer as well as the shop attendant. Kike waved the attendant off when he approached her to offer help. The other customer had come first and Kike was content wait her turn breathing in the many scents in the shop. She was considering some roses when she heard the attendant ask the customer ‘Who are the flowers for?’ and then man reply after a few seconds of hesitation ‘They are for me.’
She turned around then to look at him. His eyes met hers with no apologies and that made her smile because indeed no one should be ashamed of seeking out summer in winter.
Kike couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of a man buying himself flowers. He didn’t look like Jason Mraz but his green eyes were a well of kindness that seemed like they would never run dry. She hoped that someday he met someone who loved him well enough to attempt turning winter to summer, someone who loved him enough to buy him flowers.
She would end up leaving the shop with tulips and he, crocuses and they would both end up with different perfect days. Days made perfect by love, the love of oneself, by flowers and other little things they usually took for granted on imperfect days. Things like a stranger’s green eyes, like good coffee, like a mother’s love that invaded your privacy with no apologies and went everywhere with you, like music, like hope. And after that perfect day, they would both realise that days were what you made out of them, that you could choose to have perfect days with something as simple as buying yourself flowers or saying hello to a stranger that bought herself flowers too.
Kike returned to the flower shop on Main Street many times that winter to buy herself tulips or roses. She would run into the man with green eyes many times too but when summer came around again, they would stop running into each other, at least at the shop. He went to Home Depot instead and bought seeds that grew into roses and tulips, Kike’s favorite kind of flowers. Kike had no garden to repay the favor and so she kept going back to the flower shop on Main Street. But after that winter, she only ever bought crocuses.
Song of the day: Sola Allyson – Oro Oluwa