If I Only Knew.

I drove down that road, on my way back and forth to work, several times a day. She was always there come rain or sunshine, flaunting her bewitching smile at passers by, beckoning to potential customers to come buy her flowers. I don’t know why it irritated me so much to see her cheerful.

“What has she got to be happy about?” I wondered, “Skinny as if she hadn’t eaten a full meal in a month, ribs sticking out from under her threadbare clothes! Such impertinence – smiling as if the world was her oyster!”

Here I was, the envy of all women, rich, well connected, a prosperous entrepreneur, and good looking too! But the perpetual frown on my face had begun to leave wrinkles on my forehead. I noticed that friends were happy to keep their distance.

“Not a nice person to know,” I heard someone whisper.

“Who cares?” I thought, “Money can buy me anything I want.”

Then why did the innocuous smile of the flower woman irritate me so much?

That day I was in a particularly foul mood. I could cool off only by venting my spleen on somebody. The flower girl was a convenient target.

“There she is again,” I thought, “With that irritating smile permanently plastered on her face.

I would understand her happiness if she had a large clientele. But only the odd housewife stops to buy a length of jasmine for her hair.”

I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I didn’t see the boy on a bicycle approaching, until it was too late. I swerved, and drove right into a lamp post. The last thing I recall as

I lost consciousness was that tender hands were holding me close.

For almost forty eight hours I was in and out of sedation, oblivious of the world around me. But on the third day, though my body ached from various injuries, I was fully awake.

“Where has your friend gone?” asked the nurse.

“Friend? Who?”

“She never left your side since you were brought in. Perhaps she’s gone out for a breath of fresh air, knowing that you are awake. It was she who called for an ambulance and brought you to the hospital.”

Whoever the friend was, she didn’t put in an appearance again. But every morning with my breakfast tray, there arrived a bright red rose. It was left at the nurses’ station for me.

“It’s the flower woman,” I thought, “She just won’t let me be.”

But somehow I couldn’t summon up my dislike for her. I knew I was undeserving of her attention. She had put aside her means of livelihood for two whole days, to sit by my side.

“When I’m better, I’ll drive down and thank her. Of course I’ll also make good her monetary loss.”

It was two whole months before I could drive my car again. But the flower woman had disappeared without leaving a trace. I drove down several other streets in the hope of finding her, but I never saw her again.

“Was she an angel sent specially to teach me a lesson in humility?” I wondered.

Perhaps she was somewhere out there, on another errand of love.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Muddy Loafers