valentine's day

Today is Sunday. Which means five days ago was Wednesday. Which means five days ago was Valentines Day. Which means that the boxed bouquet of flowers sitting under the mailboxes on the main level of my apartment building has been there for five days. She did not pick them up. Who she is I am not sure. And what deterred her from picking the flowers up, I am also unsure of. Five grueling days of me walking into my building to see the boxed flowers still there, untouched. Five days of me wondering what on earth he did that has made her as stubborn as a woman gets. Stubborn enough to leave an expensive arrangement of flowers delivered to her on Valentines Day still in its box, still on the floor of our building. Didn’t she hate seeing them every time she entered the building? Wouldn’t she have rather just thrown them out? 

Today is Sunday. Which means she is definitely not coming to get the flowers anytime soon. So today I walked into my building and made the decision to pick up the box. I didn’t receive flowers on Valentines Day and I didn’t want hers to die, though they were probably on their way, so I took them up my elevator and into my apartment. The most action they’ve seen since being packaged. I used scissors to tear through the tape and get into the flowers, and the closer I got the flowers, the more guilt I felt. These flowers weren’t mine to be opened. They were hers, whether she was going to open them or not. Once I opened up the box and saw the beautiful decaying arrangement of pastel yellow and pink and red and purple roses with green leaves tucked in between, a note in a tiny envelope fell to the floor. It read: “To Ruby, happy Valentine's Day, alize delame.” Which means something along the lines of darling or sweetheart in Farsi (thank you Google). I had torn through Ruby’s flowers so I could keep them alive only to find out they’re already dying and Ruby is someone’s sweetheart and I invaded all that secrecy between the two of them. Whatever conflict there was, there was not, there could have been or maybe was — I was no part of it. 

I quickly boxed the flowers back up and returned it down to the mailboxes. Now I’ll walk into my building everyday and see the love that I trespassed. I think not knowing was better.