It was a fine Spring day when I first met her.
We crossed paths on a busy street, before a florist. She smiled at my smile; I was caught off guard when it lit up her face. My thoughts were unreadable to even me, until one thought rose over the static.
All she needs is a flower for her hair
Without really knowing what I did, my hand moved on its own, to pluck a single lilium head from the florist and place it in her hair. She touched her hair where it was, and smiled ever wider as she looked back to me. One fleeting instant, and before I knew it she was gone in the crowd and so was I.
The days passed, and I could not forget her. I thought of her black hair adorned with a flower, and her deep brown eyes that lit up when she smiled.
I met her the next week once again, in the same time, at the same place. We shared smiles, and I plucked a rose. She turned her head for me to place it, and as I did she leant into my touch.
I hummed a happy tune all day long, and smiled to myself.
The very next day I saw her again. My face warmed when I saw that she still wore the flower I had given her, and my heart began to beat out of control. If I didn’t say something to her I’d regret it for sure.
“Hi, I’m James,” I said with a smile.
She gave me a worried frown, and I panicked, the beating of my heart turning painful. Had I misread the situation? I rubbed my sweaty palms on my pants and tried again.
“You look really beautiful, especially with a flower in your hair.”
She smiled hesitantly and lifted her hands to her chest, pointing to herself, holding her heart, and pointing to the rose.
Oh! The realisation hit me in an instant, and my worry melted away. I mimed back to her as best I could.
I’ll. Read. – How could I communicate sign language to her? I wiggled my fingers together in front of me, and she laughed, shaking her head. I joined in, sheepishly laughing at myself.
She took my hand gently and turned it palm up, placing the rose on it. She mimed to me – You. Me. Here. Again. I nodded vigorously, already thinking of learning as much sign language as I could before we met again.
We parted ways for the day, and I already looked forward to our next time with eagerness. I visited the bookstore that very day, and spend long hours that night poring over The Beginner’s Guide to Sign Language.
I reached our place before the florist early the next morning, excited as I was to do this right. I bought a bouquet of flowers to give, as well as a single white chrysanthemum for her hair.
I’d learned some basic phrases in sign language – I’d spent a long time on ‘Would you like to get a coffee sometime?’
I continually look out for her while I reminisce on the first times we met. My heart’s fluttering uncontrollably again; here she comes!
She smiles when she sees me with the bouquet flowers.
Hi, I’m James, I sign, You look lovely today.
She brings her hands to her face and gasps, and I can see her eyes moisten.
Hello, I’m Emily, she signs to me, And it’s wonderful to meet you.