A Story by EChaps

I'm not really sure what this is, or if I'll continue, but it was fun to write.

She knocks three times, brisk and professional; requesting that the door be answered but not in an obnoxious manner. It's door-knocking strait from the training manual. 

She's done this many times before. Not the delivery bit, because that's her job, but the getting-sent-to-the-ritzy-part-of-town-to-deliver-a-package-because-her-superiors-think-it-satisfies-some-kind-of-womanly-desire-to-mingle-amongst-the-wealthy bit. It's true, she thinks, that a lot of women might enjoy getting a glimpse into the city's high-life, even if it's only for the amount of time it takes to get a signature and hand over a box. 

She, however, isn't one of them. More often than not, the affluent faces she's sent to don't let her inside, and on the rare occasions that they do, they scoff disdainfully at her mustardy-chocolate UPS uniform and tell her not to get dirt on the luxury throw rug.

Like she'll somehow contaminate the air by breathing or something.

The door is quickly pulled open, and the man who pokes his head through the opening briefly scans her and beckons her inside.

"I'll be just a moment," he says, back already to her. The room is wide and open, and there's a little girl standing against a backdrop of off-white painted canvas, holding a bouquet of flowers in varying shades of purple. A woman, probably the girl's mother, stands behind the man and waves a Tiffany's-adorned hand at her daughter, ignoring the brown-suited lady with the package like she's another piece of furniture.

"Smile, sweetie!" she encourages, and the little girl rests her chin on the bouquet, flashing a gap-toothed grin as the man aims the camera and clicks a button that makes the room flash white.

A photographer, she thinks. She's only delivered to one other social-pyramid-topper at their workplace, not their home, and that was also the only time she's run into two people "having fun" while on the job. 

Offices have made her wary ever since.

The man examines the camera's LCD screen for a moment before turning to the mother.

"Perfect," he says, then looks towards the little girl. "Okay, Claire, you're all done."

Claire, still holding the flowers, skips towards him and wraps her skinny arms around his waist. He stiffens for a moment, like she's an insect who has just latched onto him, then chuckles and gently pats her back, his tan tailored suit jacket flopping against her curls.

She thinks it's probably Armani.

Smiling up at him, Claire steps back and holds her bouquet out to the photographer.

"For me?" he exclaims in mock surprise. Why, thank you Claire. I am truly flattered."

She scampers, giggling, after to her mother and out of the studio entrance. He turns back.

"Here, you keep them," he says, holding out the haphazard bouquet with one hand while taking the box from the lone UPS worker with the other. "They compliment your eyes."

She hesitates for a moment. "I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure purple and brown don't compliment each other very well. I appreciate the thought, but--"

"Purple and brown?" It's as if she tells him she is actually a long-lost queen instead of a dingy UPS worker, the look of disbelief on his face is so intense. "These," he points to the flowers, "consist of a variety of shades that go all the way from lilac to aubergine. You cannot label them as strictly purple. As for your eyes, they're more of a luminescent mocha." He stares softly into said eyes for a moment and murmurs, "They will never simply be brown."

She c***s an eyebrow. People aren't usually this enthusiastic about their delivery women.

"Um," she says. "Listen, I gotta go. I just need you to sign this, and then I'll be out of your hair." She hands him the electronic signature pad; he scribbles a quick name on it and hands it back.

"Really though"--he reads her nametag--"Flora. Ah! See, another reason that you should accept this lovely bouquet. I won't use them, and there's nobody I'd rather give them to. So please, Flora, take the damn flowers and smile once in a while." He winks, offering them up again teasingly, and she turns towards the door. "Come on. Live a little." 

Flora shakes her head in exasperation, snatches the flowers out of his grip, pockets the electronic signature pad, and trudges in the direction of the exit.

"Thank you for your time, sir," she mutters.

"The name's Benjamin!" he yells, but is cut off by mid-sentence by the slam of his studio door.


Flora pulls into her delivery base, frowning at the bouquet on her dashboard as she puts the van into park. She ponders tossing them, knowing how much crap she'll get for them once her coworkers see, but they are pretty, after all, and her mother is always saying she needs more color in her life. So she gathers them up, slings her bag over her shoulder, and strides into the UPS building to punch out.

It isn't long before someone notices.

"Heeeey, Floooora!" exclaims Jorge, stretching out the e's and the o's like a confectioner pulling warm taffy. "Got an admirer, eh? And a smart one, too, giving you pretty flowers like that. Everyone knows women like pretty flowers, no matter what they tell you."

Flora just smirks at him. "I'll see ya, Jorge."

Donny and Marge are rolling a cart of packages in the direction of the warehouse when Marge signals for him to pause. "Now, Flo, what have we got here?" she inquires slyly, eyeing up the arrangement of purples. Flora was beginning to regret sparing them the trash bin. "Those look expensive, dearie; whomever gave them to you?"

"It wasn't that creepy old guy on Twenty-Seventh Street, was it?" Donny interjects. "He gets weird packages all the time, and Angie is always the one who has to deliver them; she comes back with some crazy stories, lemme tell you."

Flora shakes her head with a laugh. "No, Donny, it wasn't him. Although I almost rather wish it was." And with that, she turns to leave.


The flowers sit in a dusty glass vase of her mother's that she had to dig out of the back of one of her kitchen cabinets. Delicate yet bold, they stand out from the dingy yellow of her aged tablecloth and brighten the rest of the kitchen.

She tries not to notice.

And yet every time she walks to the fridge, she finds herself naming off the shades in her head--violet, lavender, plum--and every day that week when she arrives home from work, she sees the vase of heliotrope-scented petals and her day becomes a little less banal.

© 2013 EChaps

Author's Note

I don't really have anyone else edit my writing, so it's all kind of word vomit. Go ahead and rip it apart.

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Added on February 25, 2013
Last Updated on February 25, 2013
Tags: short story, prose, fiction, romance, flowers, purple, and all its varying shades, UPS, story, writing, words



I like tea and words and gnomes. more..

love letter #1 love letter #1

A Story by EChaps