It was the first warm morning of the past two months, and he set out to buy flowers for her. A brisk, chilly wind blew, Nature making sure everyone knew it was still winter, but the sun had risen early this morning, offering hints of the coming change in season. She couldn't tolerate the winters, he knew, it was a very difficult time of the year for her. Last weekend, she had refused to step out of the house into the snow outside, instead lazing all day on the drawing room couch, her hands and legs taut in a pose of stretching and relaxation. She would not even step out to buy groceries, the walk could have done them both some good. And the previous year's winter, she'd been sick with a nasty cough for weeks on end.
This pleasant day would bring all the rosiness back to her cheeks. So he set out, early in the morning, before she woke up and found him missing, to buy her some spring daisies from the florist's down the street. The sun was bright and shiny, as if it too had just woken up from a well-earned, hearty night's sleep and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky to mar its brilliant blue. It gave him a sense of warmth inside and satisfaction with the entire world. Such days always had that sort of effect on him.
Christmas eve had been like this too. Julie had brightened up immediately in the warmth of that morning. They'd gotten together to decorate the Christmas tree and baked pies and cookies, because their friends were coming over later. It had been a good day, exchanging stories of happiness and funny incidents with their loved ones, while sharing hot chocolates and creamy desserts. In the evening, after everyone had left, it was just the two of them, lazily drifting off to sleep in front of the fireplace, forgetting to clean the dishes or tidy the room. He remembered the wave of utter relaxation that had spread through his body then, seeing her lounge so instantly and so absolutely on the soft rug in front of the fireplace, her emerald-green eyes reflecting the dance of the flames. They hadn't felt the need to speak to each other, for with the gusting of the winds outside and the crackle of the flames in front of them, everything had seemed at peace.
Personally, he did not mind the winter so much. He wasn't so sensitive about the cold, not as much as Julie was. He enjoyed it even, relishing all that it had to offer him. Even in its most extreme, bitter coldness he could content himself with the idea of a sunny day coming soon. Maybe that was what he loved most about winter, he thought as he walked down the street along pebbles and cobblestones to the florist's. Winter, in its cold and white blankets of snow, offered the promise of a coming spring. It taught patience and gentle faith in the wait for the next season - a season of colours, grass, the sun and, of course, flowers.
So thinking he reached the florist's shop, glad to see the fresh spring daisies displayed at the window. They, to him and to Julie as well, were the first clear signs of the coming spring. She would be delighted to see them. Chuckling to himself, he imagined her skipping with joy and bounding towards him once he stepped through that door and showed her what he had found. He shook off the snow that had settled upon him and entered the shop, ringing the bell above as he pushed open the glass door with white borders.
"Timothy!" exclaimed Mrs. Rhimes, the gentle, aged florist. "Did you come all this way in the snow by yourself?"
Smiling at her, he nodded. She would understand why he was here so early this morning. He pointed to the bouquet of daisies.
"Oh, you want them? Aww, that is just so sweet, Tim! For Julie? You're such a sweet boy," she gushed. Her smile, heart-felt and all-encompassing, always cleared the wrinkles of old age off her face, revealing the youthfulness one always felt when truly happy.
She smiled at him now, radiantly, as she picked up her phone and dialled a number.
"Aah. Let me see, what was it? Yes. Good morning, is this Ms. Julie Sanders? Hello, Julie, yes, I'm sorry to wake you up so early. This is Mrs. Rhimes from the flower shop down the street from your house? It was just that young Timothy, your dog, he's come all the way down here to my shop. The poor fellow looks absolutely frozen, I tell you. Should I keep him with me until you come pick him up? No, it isn't a problem. It's only my dearest pleasure, Julie. Goodbye!"
Putting the receiver back on its place, she came round the counter and patted him on the head gently. She took out one of the daisies from the bouquet and carefully placed it in a plastic vase, one of the many she kept in the shop as decoration. The plastic vase with the single, bright yellow herald of spring in it, she kept in front of him on the floor.
He grinned up at her and settled down on her soft, thick rug, looking at the beautiful flower in full bloom. Julie was coming, he knew. She would be so happy to see the flowers had finally arrived too.