You are a florist, and all you have is your little shop and the little flat you lived in. Your days are just how you like them; repetitive and void of surprises. You wake up in the morning as soon as the sun rises, set up your shop and get ready for whatever the day is going to throw at you. Luckily, it rarely threw anything. In fact, your shop doesn’t have many visitors, except on days like Valentine’s Day or Parent’s Day.
But visitors don’t matter much to you—you like your shop as it is, and you like the company of flowers more. On rare occasion, you would find a customer who’s as interested in flowers as you are. But besides that, nothing else interests you much.
Well—nothing except one person.
He is your twin’s friend—a happy college student who goes by the name of Yoosung. The first impression you get of him is that of a puppy—the way his eyes glow when he’s excited, and the way his voice sounds when he’s whining.
Yup, definitely a puppy.
But you can’t say that, especially when you know how much teasing would follow on Saeyoung’s part. Instead, you feel better keeping that to yourself. It feels better that you’re the only one who thinks of a puppy when you see Yoosung.
Yoosung visits your shop from time to time. At first, you were wary of him; you didn't know him well. Then you gradually started to open up. He is an honest person, and it's hard not to be honest with him. He is easy to read too. That's one of the best things about him.
You hear the familiar voice of your twin. He enters through the door leading upstairs to your flat. He’s dressed up, and he’s looking very happy. It’s not a very new sight, but he feels happier than usual.
“Good morning,” you reply. You feel a smile forming on your lips. His energy gets to you quickly. “You’re up pretty early.”
“I have to get a present for Yoosung,”
You look up, trying to hide the interest in your features and voice. “Yoosung…? Is his birthday close?”
Saeyoung definitely picks up the tone. He smiles. “Does it have to be his birthday?”
He’s definitely trying to mess with you. You don’t plan on falling into his trap. You just roll your eyes. “I’m only guessing,”
“Yes, it is his birthday. Tomorrow.”
You’re not sure if you’re supposed to care; you don’t know much about Yoosung—only that he’s a college student, that he’s good at this game called LOLOL, that he got into SKY University on a scholarship, and that he’s very smart yet amusingly easy to prank, and that he’s extremely adorable when he’s talking about games—
Okay, maybe you know a few things about him.
You’re afraid anything you say is going to be used as teasing material. Saeyoung seems to pick up your wary expression, and he laughs.
“Are you interested?”
To be honest, you don’t know if it’s okay for you to be interested. You’ve talked to Yoosung about games before, but that’s all. You don’t know if you should be interested, or if it’s acceptable for you to be interested. In fact, you want to—you’re just not sure…
“…I don’t know…”
It escapes your lips before you can stop it. Saeyoung notices your tone, and you find him by your side, smiling gently.
“That’s okay. I think he’ll like that.”
You look at your brother’s face for any signs that might indicate he’s making fun of you, but you find none. You smile and nod.
“…I’ll think of something.”
Saeyoung smiles brighter. “Great. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the thought,” he says. He glances around the shop then looks back at you. “Of course, you’ll settle for flowers, right?”
You’re not sure—you definitely know more about flowers than other gifts, and you know that you like to spend time indoors. And Saeyoung was probably heading to the mall or some other gift shop, while you weren’t much of a fan of going out.
But aren’t flowers…a bit too predictable…?
You sigh and hide your face with your hands. You don’t need to voice the thought—Saeyoung knows what’s wrong. He helps you to a chair, rubs your cheek and kisses your forehead.
“Don’t think too much,” he says gently. His voice soothes you—a bit. You nod. “I’ll come back in the afternoon; I need to go grocery shopping.”
Usually, you were the one to go grocery shopping—it was one of the rarest occasions on which you left the shop. You don’t think trying to negotiate would help, so you nod again. Saeyoung kisses your forehead again and makes his way to the door.
“Stay safe!” you call after him. He looks back, smiles and nods, telling you not to worry. Of course, you still worry, but that’s fine—you always worry, anyway.
As soon as you set everything up, you place the ‘Open’ sign on the door. It’s handwritten in beautiful calligraphy—a friend of yours made it for you. There are nice floral designs at the corners—looking at it makes you feel grateful.
Maybe you should design a card for Yoosung too? But what flowers would you pick for him? Daffodils and violets come to mind, but wouldn’t that be as predictable as you deciding to gift him with flowers?
It’s tough—you never had to get a birthday gift for anyone. Even Saeyoung—he’d usually say he’s happy you’re there with him, and that that’s the best gift he could ever ask for. (You’d like to say the same thing, but it would be too awkward for you to voice out.)
What flowers does Yoosung like? Daffodils? Lilies? Roses?
Roses seem like a good pick. You don’t want to be over the top about it, and most people like roses. But what colors...?
Yellow definitely comes to mind first—joyful and lively, just like Yoosung. Should you just leave it at that…? Wouldn’t a bouquet of yellow roses be too bright? Yoosung seemed like a bright person, but still…
You can’t hide it—you are definitely worried about Yoosung’s reaction. You feel like you should have taken more time to watch him closely—what flowers does he like to look at? He likes them all—he told you so—but there has to be a one he favors. But you can’t just remember…
‘Idiot…’ you scold yourself and bury your face in your hands again. This is harder than you thought. You never had such a hard time picking flowers and arranging bouquets.
What’s happening to you?
“Good morning—oh, are you okay?”
You jump up, and so does your heart—it’s Yoosung! Is he dropping by for a visit?
“I’m good…just tired…” you reply, realizing soon after that it sounded like a lame excuse. Yoosung seems to not mind it.
“Do you need any help?” he offers.
“You don’t have to,” you say, trying your best to smile without looking awkward. “It’s not like the shop has many customers.”
“Oh…yeah…” Yoosung says quietly. “…you must be disappointed,”
You’re not, actually. You like your shop the way it is. “Not really…I like how quiet it is,”
“I guessed so,” Yoosung takes a seat on one of the chairs. “You…don’t run this shop to make money, right?”
It’s a strange question, but you don’t mind it. “No. I just like flowers,”
‘And I want to share them with people,’ you want to say, but you know you’ll just look awkward.
“They suit you,” Yoosung says then gasps softly. A nervous laugh leaves his lips, and it makes you smile. “Okay, that was weird.”
“No, that’s okay,” you say. You’re not upset in the least—in fact, you feel happy. Yoosung has acknowledged that flowers suit you! Who wouldn’t be happy?
Well…anyone who’s not apparently obsessed with
“Is Saeyoung here?”
“No, he’s shopping for groceries,”
“Damn, I missed…” Yoosung says, frowning. “He’s probably going to try and prepare another prank for a birthday gift.”
“Does he…do this regularly? I mean on your birthday?” you ask. You knew Saeyoung liked to mess with Yoosung a lot, but you never imagined he’s do that on Yoosung’s birthday too.
“Yeah, he thinks it’s a funny gift,” Yoosung says. “I mean…it’s funny when I recall it, but at the time it just…makes me feel a bit angry, I guess,”
You feel like that’s the only way your brother would have it anyway. He was an idiot like that.
“I bet it’d be nice to get a normal gift,”
“Yeah. Something simple and prank-free would be awesome,” Yoosung replies, laughing. “It’d be nice to not feel skeptical about a gift, you know. And every year, Saeyoung tries to come up with a new prank.”
Yoosung continues to talk about it, and you let him. You know how bad it is to keep feelings bottled up, no matter how little they were. And you like listening to him—his voice is warm, and he makes that whiny puppy tone you find adorable. You have to be careful as not to be caught smiling.
An hour flies by, and Yoosung excuses himself. You feel a bit disappointed—you couldn’t figure out what flower he liked most, but that doesn’t make you sad. He was so engrossed in talking to you that he didn’t pay much attention to his surroundings. It makes you feel proud. (Just a bit.)
“I’ll see you later!” he calls as he leaves the shop, and you return back to your brainstorming session. Only when a customer comes in that you snap out of your thoughts and proceed to help them pick out flowers for their sick relative. It takes your mind off the birthday gift, and soon you find yourself lost in work.
By the time Saeyoung returns, you’re exhausted. You weren’t prepared for that number of customers so early in the morning. Saeyoung finishes arranging all the groceries and comes downstairs to help you. There are fewer customers now, which means more time for you to re-gather your energy.
“Did you make up your mind?” Saeyoung asks. You glance at the yellow roses on display and sigh.
“I’m not quite sure…”
“What do you think suits Yoosung?”
You glance at the flowers again, and you feel doubt rising within you. You start to feel frustrated with your own indecisiveness. “What if he doesn’t like roses? Or tulips? Or daffodils?”
“What if he likes them? You wouldn’t know till you try,” Saeyoung raises an eyebrow. “Don’t be scared—he won’t hate you just because you didn’t get him his favorite flowers.”
You sigh for the umpteenth time that day and bury your face in your hands. You’re feeling exhausted again, and you even consider closing the shop earlier than usual.
“Just do it, Saeran,” Saeyoung says in an attempt to encourage you. You don’t want to disappoint him, but you don’t think it’s working. You say nothing, and you surrender to the thought that maybe you shouldn’t get Yoosung a birthday gift. You weren’t really his friend, anyway…
Time seems to pass quicker, and soon you find yourself putting up the ‘Closed’ sign. You haven’t made any progress with the birthday gift thing, but you didn’t want to drop it. The idea has grown on you, and you want to give Yoosung something. He’s been visiting the shop for a while now! You should at least be grateful!
Or do you have to be? You’re not sure. You think you should be grateful, but you don’t know if you should express it. People express feelings through words or gifts, right? You’re not good with words, so maybe you should…gift him something…
You feel like you’ve realized something—Yoosung would like it if you gift him something you liked too, right? This shop was to share your love for flowers with people—as much as you wouldn’t admit it out loud. If you relay on that feeling to Yoosung, he will be happy, right?
But that brings you back to making assumptions; what if someone else gets him flowers? Maybe they’re even better than yours. What if his friends throw him a birthday party? You weren’t very fond of parties or people. How would you manage to deliver your gift without people thinking you’re silly? (You didn’t know how that worked—it just came to your mind like that.)
‘No. You should do it, Saeran,’ you say to yourself, sitting up straight. Saeyoung is right; you’ll never know till you try. It’s not like this is the last time you get him a gift. (As long as your anxiety allows it.)
You throw a quick look around the shop, and soon you find all the flowers you think suit Yoosung best—roses. (Yes, you finally settled your mind.) You’re going to give him a bit of everything. Roses are your favorite (well, you liked all flowers); you love them and if you arrange them just right…maybe he’ll feel that too.
You glance at the clock and bid sleep a ‘farewell’. It didn’t matter—you were going to stay awake as much as it was needed. You were going to arrange the best assorted bouquet you’ve ever arranged. All for one special person.
You’re worn out. It’s morning and you feel like you’ve been awake for a few days. You weren’t much of a healthy person, and staying up like that was sure to trigger your anxiety. Hell, you don’t even know how the hell you’d be able to deliver the bouquet.
Should you gift him a vase too? You could paint something on it. A shooting star or a puppy—
On second thought, the shooting star sounds better.
You paint a nice, simple shooting star on a white vase, and add some bright details here and there. The vase and the bouquet are as bright as their recipient, and you can feel yourself smiling. You’re proud of your work.
All you have to do is to head over and deliver the gift—
Oh no! You didn’t make a card yet!
You hurry to find a plain card that you can draw on. You worry that your sudden spike of anxiety might end up ruining the card, but it doesn’t. Once you’re finished with the design you sigh; now you have to find a suitable note.
Maybe…you should settle for something corny…just to make the atmosphere a little less tense. You know how anxious you’ll get, and maybe if you write something light-hearted, it will ease the tension, right?
You scribble in the best handwriting you can manage—your handwriting should express your character, right? Yours did—it was complicated, awkward, and a bit angry... (Yoosung won’t notice that, right?)
Saeyoung is a wake by the time you pack everything. He smiled as soon as he sees you. He wants to see the bouquet, but you refuse.
“Oh~ You don’t want me to see your special gift for your special person?~”
Your cheeks heat up, and you’re glad your skin doesn’t turn red easily. “Shut up,” you mumble as you walk out of the shop and pack the gift box carefully in your motorcycle. You check your watch—Yoosung should be awake now. (He usually texted Saeyoung at that time.)
“Be careful,” Saeyoung says as you put on your helmet. “I’ll take care of the shop till you return!”
You want to ask him if he was going to give Yoosung his gift soon, but you’d rather not. You want to give Yoosung your gift first, so that it leaves an impression on his day. (The thought makes you feel warm and strange, but you like it.)
“You be careful too,” is what you say before you ride off to Yoosung’s apartment complex. It doesn’t take you long to reach him, and you could feel your heartbeat accelerating as your motorcycle does—maybe even faster.
In your anxiousness, you almost miss your stop. You park your motorcycle, unload the box as carefully as possible, and make your way to Yoosung’s apartment. If you remember correctly…it was on the 5th floor…
You don’t take the elevator—it makes you feel sick; what if you lose your balance and drop the box?
You reach the right floor, and you take a deep breath. This is it… The final step. All you had to do was to give him the box. Your hands are shaking, and you worry that you might drop the box. Soon, it’s not just your hands—your whole body is shaking like it was hit by an earthquake or blown by some very strong wind. (You’re not sure about the earthquake but wind in a proven fact.)
You stand in front of his apartment. Your breath is hitched, and you don’t trust you’ll be able to ring the doorbell without dropping the box. However, you manage to do it with a very shaky hand. It’s not long before Yoosung answers the door.
“Oh, Saeran!” he exclaims. He looks surprised. “I never thought your visit me!”
You smile. He takes the box, probably noticing how shaky you were, and invites you in. You comply—you’d like to sit down and breathe because you don’t think you can handle all that anxiousness building up within you.
Yoosung sets the box on the coffee table and sits down on the sofa. You sit down next to him, unsure of what to do now. You never considered what people do on birthday parties—you and Saeyoung celebrated quietly, with a cake and games and ice cream. Everything was done quietly, since you weren’t very fond of making a commotion.
You mentally scold yourself. Why did it have to sound like a question?!
Yoosung stares at you for a while then laughs. He’s not mocking, but warm. It feels genuine. “You sound so unsure,” he says in between laughs. You didn’t expect that, but soon you start laughing as well. It feels…comfortable. Much more than you imagined.
“I’m bad at this,” you say as your laughter dies down. Yoosung dismisses it.
“That’s okay,” he replies with a smile that makes you feel really warm. How could he be so understanding?
He glances at the box. “Can I…open it?”
“It’s yours,” you respond, returning his smile. The thought of your smile not being as genuine as his strikes you briefly before it’s replaced by a joy. Yoosung looks…delighted!
“Oh my God!” he exclaims. Yoosung takes the bouquet and the vase out carefully, and you swear he looks like he’s going to cry. “These are so adorable!”
You’re glad. You really are. You’re even happier—if that’s possible—when Yoosung takes out the card and reads it, then he laughs. “’To my shining shooting star.’ and a wink! Did Saeyoung give you that idea?”
You can’t find the words to say. You feel like your smile could split your face—you’re really happy. And your heart is beating harder than ever. Your only worry is that this might turn into an anxiety attack…
“Saeran, are you okay…?”
He touched your face and your breath hitches. You realize that your tears are flowing down your face. You try to wipe them away, but it’s impossible. By that time, you don’t know if you’re happy or sad or anxious.
“…I—I…” you sob, trying to will the sting in your eyes away. “I could…fill the v-vase with…with these…”
You’re probably going insane, but it doesn’t matter—Yoosung laughs at it, and that makes you satisfied.
“You don’t have to,” he says gently, wrapping his arms around you. You like it—it’s warm and comfortable. You return the hug awkwardly, burying your head in his shoulder. You don’t know how long you’ve stayed like that, but you do know it was long enough for you to almost fall asleep on Yoosung’s shoulder. You are so fucking sleepy.
“I’ll go put these in the vase,” Yoosung says as you let go of him. You really want to fall back asleep. He’s warm and comfortable—just like your bed.
But you have a shop to run, don’t you?
But taking a day off…won’t hurt anyone, right?
“You look really sleepy,” Yoosung comments as he walks back into the room. Your tears have dried by that time, and all that remained was your sleepiness. “You should take a break. You deserve it,”
The smile on Yoosung’s face was very encouraging. But you can’t stay; Yoosung has to go to school—
“I have no classes today, too. Well—” he pauses and laughs a little. “—not any important ones, I mean.”
He sets the vase on the table and sits down next to you. You lean against him, and he doesn’t mind it. It feels strange that you’re this physically close to someone whom you've been skeptical of giving a gift too, but that strangeness soon fades away. Yoosung leans against you too, arms draped lazily around you, and soon you drift into a deep sleep. You smile a little, feeling proud you managed to make Yoosung that happy.
And your gift will definitely be better that Saeyoung’s, that’s for sure.