“Guren.” As soon as he heard his father use that tone of voice, Guren knew he was in trouble.
Purple eyes very like his own flickered around his room and made Guren shrink and pick at his fingers, but he kept his mouth shut, he knew admitting to a crime before being accused was the height of stupidity so...
“Since when are you such a fan of flowers?”
He tensed and then forced himself to relax, everything was fine, his dad didn’t need to know the truth… it was too embarrassing.
“They’re pretty,” he answered defensively.
“And expensive,” his dad added with a raised eyebrow and it was all Guren could do to not shuffle nervously.
“I have the money,” he said with a stubborn tilt of his chin but his father smiled.
“And how much of your savings has been spent in this, hm?”
Guren really didn’t want to think about that.
“Enough that you can’t buy a new 3DS and games anymore, right?”
He flinched and heat rose to his cheeks, yeah ok, he had been saving up for a new 3DS after his old one started failing him but… he would need to save for some time longer now, no big deal, he could live without the new pokemon game.
“Guren,” his dad sighed and stepped further into the room, “may I sit down?”
Guren nodded and Sakae sat down on the bed, patting the space next to him, his eyes so gentle that Guren was already sitting down before even thinking about it.
“Son, I would understand a vase or two, but this?” he signalled the room where seven different vases contained at least thirty different flowers. “We both know you aren’t given to so many external decorations and impulse buying. Can’t you trust your old man with whatever is bothering you?”
His dad looked so worried and earnest that it made Guren’s eyes burn in shame. What kind of son was he that he made his dad worry so much? And over something so stupid?
“I wanted to give them out to someone,” the words came tumbling out of his lips, “but everytime I try, I get nervous and my words fail me and I just… can’t.”
He was enveloped in a tight hug, feeling his father’s fingers card through his hair immediately made him feel safe and protected and like everything would be alright, and he let some of his tears fall.
“It’s normal to feel like that, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.” As always, his dad knew exactly how to cut through his issues. “I’m sure they will be delighted to receive a flower from you. It’s such a thoughtful gift, Guren. I’m impressed.”
“Now you’re just trying to make me feel better.”
Sakae laughed a little and pulled away.
“Well yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Guren,” his father’s hand came to cup his cheek, “you’ll never know the answer if you don’t ask the question. Be brave; if they feel the same as you, then they’re just as nervous as you are, and if they don’t, well,” his dad shrugged, “then at least you’d be over and done with it. Like ripping a bandaid.”
Guren sniffed and rubbed his eyes. His dad was right, he had to get this done; his heart couldn’t handle much more and neither could his wallet.
“Meanwhile, how about taking some of these and adding color to other parts of the house?” his dad asked with an impish smile that made Guren laugh.
“Sure dad, take anything you want.”
The school day was over, club activities done, and here Guren was, standing before the same flower shop as countless other times (33 actually, he had the flowers to prove it). He tightened and loosened his grip on his bag as he talked himself into entering once more.
This was it, his heart was hammering and his hands were sweating but today was the day he would walk out of this store with an answer, whatever it might be.
With one final breath, he pushed the glass door open, the little bell attached bringing attention to his entrance.
It was like walking into a fairytale, flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors exploded into view, the very visage of the garden of Eden welcoming him with sweet scents and beautiful colors, and amongst them stood a silver prince with eyes of sapphire and hair of moonlight.
His name was Shinya, and he went to a different high school. He worked part time instead of having club activities, he liked cats and disliked bitter teas. Guren first met him when he wanted to buy a flower for his mother’s birthday and fell the proverbial arrow to the heart as soon as he saw him laugh.
“Welcom- Hi Guren!” Shinya waved from where he was watering some flowers, eyes bright and smile even brighter. “Which flower would you like today?”
His breath caught in his throat, his tongue stopped working, and he almost forgot what he had come to do. He almost rushed to order the first flower he saw, he almost gave in to the urge to run away as far and fast as he could.
But he didn’t, he couldn’t. Standing there, watching as Shinya blinked expectantly, as he tilted his head and pushed some strands of silky hair behind his ear, Guren yearned as he had never before.
He forced his eyes that wished to drink in more of Shinya’s beauty to move away, to look around himself and consider the flowers that surrounded them.
“That one,” he said, picking up a pretty white flower with a tall stalk.
“Oh! A Daffodil! Nice choice,” Shinya answered as he put down his watering can and carefully plucked the flower out of it’s bucket, carrying it to the counter to wrap it with gentle and confident movements.
His fingers were so long, his motions so elegant, Guren felt like he could watch his hands work for hours without growing bored, it was poetry in motion.
He didn’t even hear the price of the flower, didn’t bother to count the change as he hastily stuck it in his pocket. He focused in taking the flower with trembling fingers, and paused.
His eyes found Shinya’s and he didn’t know how much time passed as he watched the blue of them go from bright and friendly, to confused, to slightly worried. Each emotion as clear as spring water, each minute change in his expression a drink that barely satiated his yearning. He wanted to watch him always, to learn every little thing about him, to be blessed with seeing every expression and emotion he had.
“Umh, Guren?” Shinya asked, his voice snapping Guren out of his thoughts.
One breath, two breaths.
“Here,” he said, extending the flower back in his direction. There was no turning back.
“Pardon me?” Shinya blinked in confusion.
“It’s for you,” Guren insisted, pushing the flower back into Shinya’s hands.
“You bought me a flower?” His nose scrunched, adorably confused.
“Thirty four flowers actually, but… umh…” his face was heating up, he could feel it, he had to hurry before his voice failed him again. “Iactuallywantedtoaskyouonadateandchickenedoutandboughtflowersinstead,” he blurted out as fast as he could, ducking his head and hiding his trembling hands behind his back.
“I did not understand a single thing you just said.” Shinya’s voice trembled with contained laughter and Guren had to tighten his fists as hard as he could to not run away.
“I have...” he swallowed and tried again, “Would you like to go out… with me… on a date?” his voice was a little high by the end of it but he said what he actually wanted to say so all he could do now was wait.
Shinya’s eyes widened, looked at the flower, looked back at him, and looked away, his cheeks turning a bright shade of pink that made all of Guren’s thoughts fly out of the window.
“A date sounds nice,” he said, eyes flickering back at Guren. “Umh, I get out early on Fridays...”
Were his ears deceiving him?
“So we could go somewhere this Friday? To the movies, or the arcade, or just hang out I guess, I don’t mind, whatever you want,” he hurried to speak up, leaning a little over the counter in excitement.
Shinya laughed a little, a twinkling sound that made Guren’s heart somersault in his chest.
“Yeah, that sounds nice.”
“Ok, ok, awesome! I’ll see you Friday then! Same time.” He had a date! He! With Shinya! Shinya wanted to go on a date! With him!
“I’ll be waiting for you,” Shinya said with a smile, half hiding behind the flower Guren gave him.
“Yep! I’ll come, definitely! See ya!” he almost tripped on a water can on his way out and Shinya bursted into laughter after him, but he didn’t care, he had a date!