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Love is a flower that needs care to blossom

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Ugh! People are annoying.

Thought like this one were constantly on the fore-front of his mind when he started his daily shift in the store. Now that the Princess- what’s her name again?- started to advertise Selphia, more and more tourists came to see the city. Thus, more tourists decided to enter their shop to buy souvenirs and other stuff. So far so good, right?

If Selphia was an ordinary city, ruled by an ordinary mayor or king or whatsoever, you might think that a convenience store sells souvenirs and other stuff that some mean person might call a waste of money on their best days and simple trash on his not so good days. I start to sound more and more like said mean person.

But the point is, Selphia was not an ordinary city, because for one, a freaking Dragon was the one in charge, along with a princess - Honestly, her name is on the tip of my tongue!- that is not really a princess at all. She isn’t even royality, just some freak who fell from the sky in the right moment. Yeah, I know, talk about qualifications. This city is really a sh-

“Excuse me. sir?”

And here we go again. The time has come, a man cannot even dwell in his misery properly in this hellhole.

“Sorry to interrupt, but do you happen to know where the souvenir section is?”

What a perfect time to demonstrate my misery.

“No Madame, unfortunately I do not happen to know where said section is. You see, this is a convenience store. You buy food, seeds and other goods for your daily life.”

“But there has to be a souvenir shop then, right? Do mind showing me the way, young man?”

“I am terribly sorry to tell you that the wonderful town of Selphia has no souvenir shop to speak of right now. But I would recommend the tiny shop next to the castle. The lady working there is always happy to improve our humble town.”

“Next to the castle you say?”

“Yes, Ma’am. You cannot miss it even if you try.”

“Well, if that’s the case I will talk with this charming lady you just described about this precarious situation! Thank you and a good day to you!”

His answer, albeit quietly muttered, did not reach the customer, who ran out of the store to bother someone else.

“Wonderful town of Selphia?”

Just what I need right now….

“Can a man not even relax for one second without being bothered by some kind of beast?”

He sighed and glared at the new customer. Well, customer would be too farfetched. Customer would suggest that they buy something and leave, without being a complete annoyance not to say dick to the employee.

“Of course a man can do that. But I wouldn’t go as far and call you man.”

“What? You freaking horse-brained-piece of sh-”

“Doug!”

The stairs were groaning loudly under the weight of the owner of the store. Granny Blossom, grabbed the banister and descended the old staircase. The aforementioned horse-brained person, rushed to help her.

“Oh thank you Dylas, you are too kind.”

He felt his cheeks getting warm. Not only was he the most annoying person in the whole town, INCLUDING the tourists, but now he even stealed his limelight. It was his job, and his only, to help his Granny! How dare he? One glance towards said nuisance confirmed his suspicion. The other man was just trying to annoy him. His eyes glinted with mirth and he was clearly trying to stop his face from grinning. His cheeks were now hotter than Bado’s forge in the freaking summer, anger replacing the embarrasment from before.

“I don’t mind helping the people dear to me.”

“Oh, Dylas! You have such a way with words!” She swooned and her hand clasped her chest, her face beaming. “Doug, you should consider spending more time with people like Dylas, you know? Maybe they have a good influence on you.”

She continued and went behind the counter where he was currently slouching in a chair. She glanced towards his chair. A few seconds passed and nothing happened. To be honest, Doug didn’t even notice her stare, his focus was solely on the person who destroyed his sacre peace. He earned himself a slap on his head for his lack of concentration. But at last he got the gist and got up to offer Granny his chair.

“Thank you, my dear.”

She said with a self-satisfied smile on her lips. Doug mumbled something along the lines of “No problems.”

“Well, it is always nice to meet you Madame Blossom, but I have to leave now.”

“Oh, what a shame! Try to visit more often. It is always a pleasure seeing you my dear!”

She answered and her tone implied sincerity.

“Doug and I are always happy to have you! Right, Doug?”

Now both set of eyes were focused on him.

“If you say so.”

Was his answer. Granny seemed disappointed with his behaviour. A frown replaced her happy expression of before.

“Anyways, I have to leave now, otherwise the guests won’t be able to eat anything. Porco seemed especially hungry this morning.”

“Give my greetings to him and Meg, would you?” “Of course, have a good day!”

“And you!”

The sound of the door closing was heaven in Doug’s ears.

Finally.

His heavenly peace was destroyed by Granny hitting him on the head.

“Stop it!”

He complained and tried to protect his head with his hands.

“I could say the same to you!”

She yelled. Heat pooled in his cheeks. He hoped nobody was in the store to witness this. A quick glance around helped to settle this fear. The store was unusually empty for a tuesday. Granny seemed to regain some sense of humanity again and stopped her attack. Not that she could do any real harm, mind you. He was, after all, the best fighter in Selphia if not the whole Sechs Empire. He was a real threat, even unarmed like now. But he would never defend himself of Granny, lest he might hurt her.

“Why can’t you be nice around our customers? No, let me rephrase it! Why can’t you be nice at all?”. She said and her glare intensified.

“I don’t know what you mean.” He crossed his arms before his chest and tried to mirror her glare.

It would work better, if she wasn’t still sitting on the high chair. The high chair made her at least as tall as him, if not even a bit taller. Not that it was important to him, no, he just liked his opponents on his eye-level.

Maybe that’s the reason you hate Dylas so much?

He hated to have thoughts like that. And in the middle of the day. Such thoughts were only allowed in the middle of a sleepless night, a relaxing bath or when he was walking around the town to think.

“Don’t you dare to fool me, son! You know exactly what I mean. You always behave like an asshole and you know it. You are mean, lazy and always eager to steer up some trouble. I watched you for a long time and I tried to be patient with you, but enough is enough.”

Her words cut through the silent store. He knew he was in trouble the second she called him son. She always did this when he was either in trouble or if she was proud of him. Her voice and her face could only mean the first one, unfortunately.

“You will stop with those creative insults of yours and start to respect the people in this town. Especially your friends. Furthermore, if I see you one more time, talking with a customer in a way that is anything but polite and nice, I’ll stop doing anything for you ever again. This includes washing your clothes, cooking for you and cleaning for you.”

Granny Blossom breathed heavily and her cheeks were flushed with anger. Doug tried to avoid her glare, but could not bring himself from looking away from her furious eyes. He knew he overstepped a line, when talking to the customer earlier. But he didn’t really thought Granny Blossom would react like that.

The last time he was told off like this is at least a few years ago. He thought he behaved better nowadays. Apparently, he was wrong. Shame flooded his entire body and he noticed that his sight got blurry. He had to confess to himself, that Granny’s words did something with him. They hit him hard, like no sword ever could. Her disappointment was worse than losing a fight. Suddenly, her eyes changed and a smile graced her lips.

“Doug, I know you didn’t have the easiest life.”

Biggest understatement of the year.

“I know you lost everyone that mattered to you in your childhood.”

He couldn’t deny the tears that filled his eyes anymore.

“But, I beg you, don’t close your heart. Trying to be the tough guy all the time won’t bring you happiness. Shutting our the people who love you, won’t help you. You are such a brave young man, to see you guarded like this all the time isn’t only hurtful for you, but also painful for the people around you. I see your pain every day. But you won’t be happy if you keep your attitutide. It hurts me, seeing your friends going out, having dates, being genuinly happy, when your smile won’t even touch your eyes, lest your heart.”

A silent tear escaped his eyes and he felt its wet trace on his cheek. Granny sat on her chair, eyes closed, her face wet. Doug felt the need to reach out to her, to hug her and to dry her tears. But he couldn’t. His entire body was frozen. He closed his eyes and tried to regain some composure.

Suddently he was engulfed in a warm hug. He opened his eyes and say the chair that was occupied by Granny just a second ago, vacant.

“Oh Doug, my Doug.”

She sobbed and hugged him even tighter. He was completely out of his comfort zone. He was insecure and vulnerable. He had avoided such feelings since his childhood, having no one to turn to for some comfort. The longer Granny held him like that, the tighter her grip, the more he missed his family, his mother, his father. He missed the warmth such an embrace could spark in his chest. Finally he lifted his arms and hugged her back. Tears were now running freely. He felt a deep sob bubbling up and he was too weak to hold it down anymore.

All those years, he wanted someone to hug him like this, to hold him and never letting go.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered inbetween sobs.

“I know my dear, I know.”

“I don’t know what to do anymore.” His despair getting the better of himself.

“I just don’t how to act anymore. I miss them so much, Granny! I miss them so much… I blame myself all the time. And it hurts, Granny, it hurts so freaking much.”

“I know Doug, I know. But you aren’t alone. I am here for you. Always.” She said and rubbed his back and he let himself believe her. His heart filled with hope at her words.