Every day she walks the neighborhood regardless of the weather and today is no different. Today the sky opens up and looses endless torrents upon her and her umbrella but still she drags the old bucket through the streets. Everywhere she goes she stops when she passes someone to hand her a flower from her bucket. Some people thank her, some people ignore her, and some look at her like she may be dangerous. Regardless of how they respond she smiles and tells them she loves them.
Winston has watched her for years now from his porch in the “nice” city neighborhood. Observing thousands of interactions between this young woman and his neighbors and visiting suburbanites he has decided she is harmless. He has received more than his share of carnations, black-eyed susans, and even roses from her. She just smiles from underneath the wide brim of her straw hat and gives him her gifts, the flower and the declaration, with no expectation of reciprocity.
He would dearly love to know her story. How she came to this place. Why she does what she does. She is intriguing and lovely and he thinks they could be friends, but something holds him back. Part of him is just like everyone else and he thinks she is probably a little crazy. Winston has had his share of crazy in his life and could do without. He feels bad knowing that he is being small-minded and a little weak.
Taking some solace from the fact that she does not seem to mind he stays on his porch, sipping his iced tea. She plays no favorites, giving to rich and poor, to cops and vandals, to men and women, and old and young. He says nothing as she walks up his driveway and hands him today’s offering: a daisy this time. “I love you,” and she smiles and walks away.
No, he tells himself, it is better not to know her better. In a way it would be conceited. She herself is the gift to the neighborhood and to claim more than anyone else on the street would be selfish, even if they do not know what they have. He smiles content knowing that in his way he loves her back, and that will have to do.
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