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Poppies in Summer

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The store looks humble from the outside-- he can vaguely make out the enormous variety of plants behind the store's glass. A cute floral trim ordains the awning with the sign of the store’s logo above. He basks in the aroma from the flowers on display outside and checks the chalkboard sign next to it for information. “Summer special…” Midori murmurs to himself, and he turns to glance at the flowers on display. They all are in pots and are ready to be cultivated at home; however, he just really needs a bouquet. His mother might think that plants are too much work when they already have to deal with vegetables. A bouquet is sufficient: easy maintenance, not permanent, and it usually is a nice surprise for anyone. He reassures himself that his mom will at least appreciate the fact that he bothered to get her a gift this year.

A soft, yet sweet voice greets him as he walks inside. Soothed by the voice, he turns to its owner to see a boy his age with light blue hair and mesmerizing violet eyes. “Tell me if you need any assistance!” The boy supplements with a smile, and Midori feels his heart skip a beat.

“Um… ah, I've decided to do something so bothersome,” he laments with a shake of his head, “it's my mom’s birthday today… I don't know a thing about flowers, but I figured I should get her some.”

The blue haired boy clasps his hands together and he beams brightly. Midori cranes his neck slightly to the side so he can catch a glimpse of his name tag. Hajime Shino. “Ehehe, how thoughtful of you! Surprising your mother with flowers is always a good idea! I can help you. Do you know which flowers?”

Midori shakes his head, “I don't really--”

“Should I pick for you?” Hajime blinks, “excuse me, what's your name?”

“Midori Takamine… nice to meet you, Shino-kun.” He answers quietly, rubbing the back of his neck anxiously as he watches the boy scribble on paper. “Ah, it's with this kanji…”

“That’s a lovely name,” Hajime remarks as he picks up a clipboard, and then exiting from behind the counter. “The owner is more experienced than me, but I will try my best to pick a suitable flower for her! Does she have a favorite color?”

“She likes yellow…”

“Maybe some yellow tulips!” He exclaims, and he swiftly walks to where the aforementioned flowers are located. Midori wordlessly follows him around as he darts around the room to add more to the bouquet. “Hehe, it'll surely be beautiful with some moth orchids~”

Hajime confirms the price of the flowers, hands it to Midori, and then the two head to the cash register. He counts his change quietly, and then lightly plops it in his hand. Their hands brush for a split second, and all Midori can think about is how soft the other’s hands are. “Thank you, Takamine-kun. I hope you see you again! Please tell me if she likes them.”

He shoots Hajime a small smile in return, “you’re very soothing, Shino-kun.”

“A-Ah? Me? Hearing that from someone as cool looking as you makes my heart beat a little!” Hajime squeaks, “Well, have a nice day.”

Midori blushes in response, and he waves one last time at Hajime before he leaves the shop.

Midori opts to look around the shop this time. For the most part, he spends his time inspecting a flower on display before glancing back at Hajime. He looks tired, Midori thinks as he notes the pensive expression on the other’s face. Hajime unconsciously fiddles with the lavender colored pouch in his hands, and remains in that trance-like state.

Although a bit concerned, he figures to leave Hajime alone as the shop is pretty quiet today. Plus, the longer he stays here, the longer he can avoid summer homework and having to help out at his family’s greengrocer.

He spots a particular flower with a dark blue hue, and he reaches out to grab it. He tells himself to make sure to inquire about its name and meaning a little later. As he plucks a flower, a cushioned object (he suspects) wheezes as it hits the ground. Midori turns slightly to spot the pouch Hajime was clinging onto.

He walks over to sweep it off the ground. Midori snorts to himself as he gently places the bag on the counter.

As he draws his hand away, he notices Hajime’s nose twitch in reaction to the renewed aroma. The boy’s eyes gradually open, and he takes a moment to rub the sleepiness out of his eye. “Ah!” He squeaks and jumps slightly at Midori’s unexpected proximity. The taller takes the hint and backs away from the counter. “My apologies, Takamine-kun… I didn't even notice you come in! Uwah, what if I missed other customers…” His lips curve downward and Midori assumes that he's just over thinking.

“You're fine,” Midori assures him, “when I'm working at my family’s place, I start sleeping too. Well, they just throw tomatoes at me to keep working.”

Hajime’s eyes widen, “no way! That sounds like such a waste of food.”

“You think..? We own a greengrocer, so it's pretty abundant.. they go bad anyways.” Midori blinks, “it’s down the street…”

“Oh, so that one!’ Hajime laughs, as he swoops the pouch off the counter and straightens his back, “it’s a little pricey, so I haven’t went in a while.”

Midori worries briefly if he’s just taking up the other’s time, and ushers himself to hurry up and buy the flower, “That so? If it’s you, I don’t mind giving a discount.”

He beams in return, and clasps his hands together, “really? That’d be a big help… but, you’re also buying a flower from me everyday. You really are a hero, Takamine-kun!”

Midori coughs, and glances away. “Mm-- I don’t think that’s the case. Um, do you mind telling me the name of this..?” A bit embarrassed, he quickly hands over the blue flower.

“Oh, a morning glory!” Hajime exclaims, “they’re very pretty, huh? The meaning of it is affection, fleeting love, and it’s indicative of a hard bond.”

Midori nods to himself, letting Hajime go ahead and ring up his purchase. He ponders for a moment on what exactly he’ll do with these flowers, and thinks about the meaning of this morning glory. “Affection, hm..?” He murmurs underneath his breath, and his eyes widen as an imaginary light bulb fires off in his head. The ends of his mouth curve upward in a smile, and Hajime looks at him with a puzzled expression.

“Takamine-kun, did something good happen?”

“Huh? Oh, nothing.”

It’s oddly busy today at the green grocer. Midori groans as he wearily mans the register, and it gets to the point where he begins to run on autopilot. His mind wanders to Hajime. He hasn’t had the chance to go to the shop at all today-- honestly, he’s made it a habit to go there every day, and he couldn’t understand quite why he’s so drawn to go to there. He isn’t even a huge fan of flowers, but he pretends to have an interest in them because of the way Hajime’s eyes light up when he asks him about them. It’s cute. He’s cute.

“Ehehe, Midori-kun, wake up. Those aren’t carrots, they’re radishes.” He must be dreaming, right? Hajime’s voice is soothing as usual, but the sound of it causes him to shake out of his reverie. “Looks like we’re even now, sleepyhead.”

Midori’s cheeks burn with sheepishness, and he picks up his work and tries to void the radish from the screen. How does he even get them mixed up? They’re a totally different color! “Sorry, Shino-kun… it’s just way too busy today, so I didn’t have the time to go.” Honestly, he’s in disbelief how he could just think about him, and then he just appears!

Hajime laughs, and waves him off with a reassuring smile, “It’s fine! I decided to leave early anyways, it was pretty slow today. There’s a sale here today, after all. I’m sure everyone wanted to come to get some fresh vegetables.”

Midori blinks, “ah, yeah. That’s because I was asking if I could give you a discount, but then they ended up deciding to do a sale since it’s summer…”

“That’s really kind of them!” Hajime nods. When Midori gives him the total price, the other hums to himself as he grabs the yen from his wallet and something else before presenting to Midori.

Midori blinks at the green pouch in Hajime’s hands, and picks it up alongside the yen for his purchase. He reaches inside the pouch because of Hajime’s gentle urging. “Lavender, huh… what’s this flower here?”

Hajime clasps his hands together, “think of it as a gift for becoming my friend, Takamine-kun. It’s a poppy.”

“Mmm.. a poppy? What’s the meaning?”

Hajime lets out a surprised yelp at Midori’s question, and suddenly he’s rubbing his cheeks to justify the redness. “O-Oh, that’s… um. Compassion, cheerful and gentle --”

“Cheerful?” Midori laughs almost uncharacteristically, “it doesn’t really suit me, Shino-kun.”

“T-The rest applies! And I think you’re cheerful, Takamine-kun.” Hajime exclaims, and steps back. His cheeks continue to burn, “there’s another meaning, too…”

Midori tilts his head in slight confusion, but bags the vegetables and offers them to Hajime. “What’s the last one, then..?”

“Um, it’s… p-premonition of… l--” Hajime pauses suddenly and covers his face out of embarrassment. “Have a good day, Takamine-kun!” He shouts as he quickly snatches the bags of his groceries out of Midori’s hands and rushing out of the store.

Bewildered by the other’s sudden departure, he regards the handcrafted pouch with curiosity-- he really does wonder what the last meaning of the flower is. Premonition? He decides to drop it in his pocket and worry about it later.

The store has been busy for the rest of the week, rendering Midori trapped at the store for a while. Finally free for the day, he enters the flower shop for the first time in a week.

Hajime idly hums to himself as he waters the flowers-- he was so preoccupied he fails to notice Midori approaching. Midori waves, but decides that it’s not enough. “Shino-kun.”

He jumps, just as Midori expects, and Hajime looks at him with a fully flushed face. “T-Takamine-kun, you must’ve been busy!”

“Mhmm…I guess this means I have buy a week’s worth of flowers.” Midori groans at the thought of the price, but decides he should make up for lost time.

“Just six. The poppy counts…” Hajime mutters, and he shakes his head. “Just tell me when you’re ready, Takamine-kun!” Midori nods in return, and Hajime lets out a sigh of relief.

Midori grabs several flowers that reminds him of Hajime. He figures it works, and nods to himself as he heads up to get them ringed up.

Hajime seems startled for a moment, but speaks, “this one is my favorite, a lilac… it just calms me, ehehe.” Midori makes a mental note. Hajime continues this, pausing briefly to discern its meaning. Midori figures it’s nothing much, but on the last one, he finally asks about its meaning.

“Oh, this is a begonia. It means unrequited love, confession of love, kindness, and happy days.” Hajime finishes with a soft smile, and he places it carefully in the bag. “All of these flowers you’ve chosen are really romantic. Who’s it for?”

“N-No one,” Midori answers quickly in response, and takes out a few bills out of his wallet. He hands it to Hajime, and his mind swirls with gross emotions. It’s for you  he thinks and grows impatient as he waits for his change. He doesn’t want to deal with these feelings, he kinda wants to go home at this point.

Hajime finally hands him back his change, and smiles at him again. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”


“Midori-kun, you dressed up today!” Hajime blinks in surprise as he also notes the big bouquet of flowers, “did you need a ribbon?”

Midori rubs the back of his neck, “are you fine without one?”

“Huh? I don’t mind, but why do you need my opinion--” Midori abruptly cuts him off by walking over to him and presenting the flowers to him.

“Then, please accept this.” Midori speaks in a gentler tone, “I know you’re already surrounded by flowers, but…”

Hajime flushes, and looks over each flower-- his blush intensifying as he recalls the meaning of each one, “are you saying..?”

Midori nods, looking away nervously with his hand still on the back of his burning neck. “It’s hard for me to say outloud, so…”

Hajime begins to sniff, and tears at the brim of his eyes. While trying to wipe them off, he accepts the bouquet. “I didn’t think you felt the same way,” he sobs, “I thought I was just doing some wishful thinking.”

“S-Seriously?” Midori whispers, “I’m lazy, irresponsible, and always negative.”

“I don’t think that at all! You’re a hero to me more than anything, so that’s why I thought I’d never have a chance. You’re so cool, Takamine-kun!”

Midori flushes, and he somehow feels tears welling up on his end too, “cool? A hero? I probably only seem that way because you put me at ease, Shino-kun.”

“Uuu, don’t cry too, Takamine-kun.” Hajime manages between sniffs. He finally decides to breathe in all the aromas emanating from the flowers, and urge Midori to do the same. “See, don’t they make you feel calm? “

Midori’s lips form a small smile through his tears, “see, you’re plenty cool too, Shino-kun.”

Hajime giggles sheepishly, and shakes his head. “No way… but… I’ll be a little bold.” He carelessly drops the bouquet on the ground, and lets the flowers fall out into a pile right next to them as Hajime raises himself on the tips of his toes. He tugs on his dress shirt as an anchor for him to remain standing. He pulls Midori closer to him and touches his lips with his.

After that, Hajime releases Midori and stares at him with a charming smile, “a premonition of love.”

Midori’s baffled for a split second, but then remembers the poppies. He chuckles at the idea, and leans over to touch foreheads with him. “I guess it was right.”