Valentines Memories


Emily Sousa '23, Author

You’re the only florist in town, and this Valentine’s Day is going to be a doozy.

Every year near Valentine’s day my flower shop is packed with customers. I am grateful for the interested customers, however, it can become overwhelming at some points. People usually begin to plan their Valentine’s bouquets for their loved ones a few days in advance, making sure that they create the perfect mix. Most of the time it is  men getting flowers for their wives or women getting flowers for their grandmother or sister who doesn’t have anyone to spend Valentine’s day with. I do custom flower bouquets at my shop, which is what draws the significant amount of attention around this time of year. Customers can choose from an array of flower types and colors, along with personalized cards that match the bouquet. 

There are many aspects of my job that I enjoy, whether it be helping customers or putting a smile on someone’s face. However, this Valentine’s day I experienced something that I will never forget. It was February 12th, and a small boy entered the shop. I expected an adult to follow after him, watching him as he only appeared to be around 10 years of age. However, he was alone. He looked a bit nervous, peering around the store. I didn’t want to intervene, however I made sure to keep a close eye on him.

A few minutes went by and he was browsing the flower selections. He kept on smelling the flowers and then proceeding to check the price underneath. He eventually walked up to a cluster of roses and smelled them, looked at the price, and then reached into his pocket. He pulled out a few stray dollar bills and multiple coins. My heart jumped as he began to count out the money, appearing to be trying to see if he had enough money to purchase the flowers.

A while later the boy comes up to the register holding a single rose. He gently places it on the counter and then pushes his money towards me. I tried to act politely, but it was still strange to me that this young boy was shopping all alone. All of a sudden he spoke.

“This is all that I have, I hope that it is enough.”

He seemed disgruntled and embarrassed, not making eye contact with me as I counted the money. He had enough money for the rose, however it was odd to me that he was only buying a single one. This boy had intrigued me, I wondered what his story was.

“Getting a rose for Valentine’s day?” I tried to start some conversation with the boy, as the silence was too loud.

“It’s for my mom. Do I have enough money?”

He seemed so worried about paying for the rose. My heart broke. The more that I looked at this boy, the more apparent it became that he didn’t have clean clothes. They were torn, covered in dirt. It became clear to me that the boy didn’t have a lot, and wanted to do something special for his mom for Valentine’s day. I looked over to the section of the store where the bouquets were made. I told an employee to cover the register, and I brought the boy over to the bouquet section. 

“Are there any other flowers that you think your mom would like?” I asked. 

“I don’t have enough money. This is all that I have saved up.”

My heart broke.

“That’s okay. Choose anything that you want, anything that you think she would like. No worries about paying for it.”

The boy’s eyes lit up. He then began to move throughout the section and chose enough flowers for a bouquet, handing them to me when finished.

“I think that she will like these.” The boy said, becoming shy again after handing them to me.

I walked him back over to the counter, returned the money that he had given, and then put together the bouquet. I handed the bouquet to the boy when finished. He had tears in his eyes.  

“Thank you so much. My mom will love these. I haven’t been able to get her any gifts in the past and she doesn’t have a boyfriend, and I wanted to do something for her for Valentine’s day.”

I nodded, scared that if I spoke the tears would start falling. I waved to the young boy and he started out the door with a bouquet of flowers. This is why I love my job. Owning the shop means that I have complete control over things like this. I often think about this boy, hoping that his mother enjoyed her flowers. I will never forget this Valentine’s day.