Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Yesterday was a long-ass day. I worked the part-time job after the full-time job and stumbled home, my mind racing, my feet and back sore. Alicia was on the phone with me from New York, and I entered my dark apartment. A strange smell greeted my nose. It was thankfully not of the dead-rat variety, but a subtle, new smell. I knew my landlord was stopping by to fix a leak under my sink, and my first thought was that he replaced the waterlogged wood at the base of the cabinet. I turned on the lights, and I stopped Alicia mid-sentence.

"You're not going to believe what is on my coffee table."

"What's on your coffee table?"

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My first thought was that my landlord left them (listen, it was late, I was tired) to make me feel better about the leaky sink and mice in the ceiling. Two dozen beautiful red roses just sitting on my messy coffee table. A shrubbery of red roses. Despite myself, I was smiling.

In a way, I knew they weren't for me. When I turned twenty-four I had to spell out in painful detail that I wanted the Whatever to buy me flowers for my birthday, which he interpreted as "have Amy's friends pitch in for flowers" because he was a cheap douchebag. My Mom suffers from a similar ailment, and she bought me flowers for my college graduation after I asked her. Pete bought me flowers for the prom. But I am not the kind of girl who gets two dozen red roses delivered to her.

I looked at the card, which was addressed to an Alejendra who lives at my building number, but on a different street in the Back Bay. Her phone number was on the card, so I got off the phone with Alicia and gave her a call.

"Hi, Alejendra?"

"Yes?" She asked cautiously.

"My name is Amy, and I live at [my address]. I just came home and found a bunch of roses that should have been delivered to you."

"Oh my goodness," she said, laughing, not sure what to make of the situation.

"Do you want me to bring them by? What should I do?"

"I don't know. Oh my goodness."

"I do have the number of the flower company on the card. Do you want to call them, or should I call them?"

"You call them. Is this a number I can call so I can call you if I need to?"

"Yes. I'll call the flower company now."

I called the florist, who still had people on-call at nearly 9:30, which surprised me. I explained the situation, and the woman took Alejendra's number and mine.

"Is someone going to pick these flowers up?" I asked.

"I'll take your number, but I doubt it. I think we'll just send her another bouquet."

I repositioned the flowers near my window, but then moved them back to my desk so they wouldn't rot in the sunlight. There's a card attached to the bouquet from whoever sent Alejendra two dozen red roses. The envelope is red, with "Alejendra" spelled across the front in sloppy black handwriting. I haven't opened the envelope-- as long as I don't hear from the florist today that they want to repo the flowers, I'll toss it-- but it was a Herculean effort to not open the card. Who sent Alejendra two dozen red roses? Obviously, someone who loves her, but she sounded surprised on the phone. Was it someone who admired her from afar, and was finally admitting it with a big gesture? Had he had a fight with her boyfriend, and he was apologizing? Maybe her mother or father wanted to surprise her? Was it her birthday, and she had to spell it out for her cheap boyfriend?

No matter what, I came home to two dozen red roses after a long day. That's got to be karma paying me back for something.

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