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Geez3r

Making Amends & Floral Arrangements (IC)

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Dynamo was beat up, but not physically this time. A while back he had met this really cool girl Erin, but she seemed to have a lot of problems and was suffering. Eli couldn't let that stand, and he tried to talk to her and make things better. Well, that didn't work out so well. He was pretty sure all he did was make things worse. He had tried walking up to her to talk to her about it, but always lost his nerve before he got anywhere close to her. He needed something to say sorry with, but not need to be in person to do it with. While trying to clear his head, Dynamo saw what might be the answer: flowers.

Now sure, he knew precisely jack about flowers or how Erin might feel about flowers, but hey if it worked in the movies, it was worth a shot. There was a jingle as the door to Flowers by Nature as a new customer walked in, one who was most definitely not on the sidewalk a moment ago. He looked like a college age frat boy, spiky blond hair, popped collar and all. But he looked really nervous and out of place. "Uh yeah. Is this the place where I can buy flowers?" asked Eli immediately aware of how dumb he sounded.

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For a florist shop, there weren't as many flowers as he might have expected. There were bouquets here and there, and pictures of flowers, and stacks of books of pictures of flowers, but not a blessed posy had a price tag on it. A woman was working behind the polished front counter, attractive despite a very slightly green tinge to her skin. It was complemented, at least, by her spring green hair, pinned up in braids and twists around her head and decorated with yellow flowers.

Stesha looked up and smiled at the young man as he came in, for all he didn't look much like her typical client. It wasn't too unusual for people who were unfamiliar with the business to wander in off the street. "We do sell flowers here," she told him kindly, "though we may not be exactly what you're looking for. What did you have in mind?"

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"Uh yeah hi, I was just - wow..." Eli stops mid sentence as his train of though derails as he catches sight of the shop keeper. Shaking his head and blushing a bit he starts back up again. "Uh yeah... So I was wondering if you had any flowers in the "I'm a complete asshat and even though I never, ever deserve to be in your good books ever again, I was hoping you'd take pity on me because I'm so incredibly sorry for everything I've done, yes even that" variety. I kinda need a lot of them." blurts out Eli in a single breath. He looks at Stesha with a honest to goodness puppy dog face.

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Normally Stesha would've referred him to the florist down the street for a bouquet of flowers, but she couldn't help feel amused sympathy for the young man. "We don't normally do make-and-take bouquets around here," she told him, "but I might be able to help you out. First, though, what exactly is it that you're sorry for? Some sorries require different flowers than others. Some sorries require flowers and jewelry," she told him cheerfully. "Did you have a fight?"

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"Yeah, that'd pretty much sum it up." said Eli as he ran his hand through his hair nervously. "So like I just met this girl Erin. And while she's a cutie, just looking at her I could tell there was something like really bothering her deep down. And I tried to get her to say what it was, so I could help her. She seemed like the saddest person I ever met, and a nice girl like that don't need to carry around that kind of baggage. But I think I just made things worse."

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"Mmm, sounds like maybe you came on too strong," Stesha told him sagely, leaning an elbow on the counter. "People who are really sad deep down often don't like to talk about it with everyone they meet. Maybe she didn't even want you to see it, and you embarrassed her. Flowers a good apology for that sort of misunderstanding." She pulled out a pencil from behind her ear (or was it from behind her ear? It certainly hadn't seemed to be there a moment before), and started making notes on a bit of scratch paper. "I think we can figure something out. We'll start with the basics. How much are you looking to spend, and do you know what flowers she likes?"

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"Five hundred and no idea." says Eli without missing a beat. When Stesha gives him a look at the rather high figure, he dismisses it saying "Yeah, I messed up that bad." With an exhasperated sigh, he drags his hands over his face. "I'm way in over my head aren't I? I guess I'm just used to moving faster than most people. Like I came from a small town, everyone knew everyone else. Talking about anything wasn't a big deal because we all knew most of everything about one another already. There weren't many taboo topics ya know?"

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"Mm, much as I love to make a sale, five hundred might be a little much for someone you just met, if you're already on thin ice for coming on too strong," Stesha told him with a smile. She came around from the counter and led him over to a little table where books of flowers were stacked. "Let's take a look at some of these arrangements and find something that says what you want it to. Now where are you from?" she asked conversationally, sitting down in one of the chairs around the table and opening the book.

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"Heh. Slow learner I guess." says Eli as he takes a seat looking over the book "Thanks." Definitely made the right choice coming here. though Eli as he brought one of the books over to him. Eli nearly went into his old habit of reading through the book at high speed, but caught himself just as he was about to turn the page. If Stesha was observant, she might have seen his arm flicker a bit. "I want to do this right is all. I'm all the way up from Maple Grove, New York originally. It's out a bit past Owego."

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"Oh, I hear it's pretty out there," Stesha replied. "I meant to get up there this fall when the leaves were changing, but I never quite managed it. Are you out here for school?" she guessed. He seemed the right age and attitude for a college student, and they were close enough to the university to make it a reasonable assumption. She opened a book and turned it towards him, showing several bouquets of roses. "These are some very romantic bouquets, really gorgeous rose mixes, and there are some with lilies thrown in as well. If she's a very feminine girl, she'll probably really like something like this."

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"Well I don't know if feminine would be exactly the right word to describe her with. She could probably break me in half." joked Dynamo, but only partially. "She seems really strong, tough and independent. I'd go almost as far to say that she's got a chip on her shoulder. Kinda the whole reason I got involved with her I guess. And yeah, I'm down at Freedom College, I'm done with class for the day. But I got to ask, why do people drive so far outta the way to look at the leaves changes colors, I never got that. You're the plant lady, got any insight for me?"

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"Hmm, so more a tomboy then. We can work with that." Stesha flipped through several more pages in the book. "I like to look at the leaves because it's a nice break between the summer and the winter. There's just something special about a perfect fall day with the scent and color of dead leaves. We have entire color palettes of fall flowers just to try and capture that moment, but you really can't beat that perfect day. How do you feel about these?" She turned the book back to him, turned this time to cheerful displays of daisies and sunflowers, big sturdy blossoms in blocky vases. "Did you meet this girl, Erin, you said, at school?"

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"You have no idea." muttered Eli to himself. Eli cocked his head as he looked at the flowers. "I don't know, maybe a little more fru fru. Then again, I've seen too many sun flowers in my day, my beighbor was crazy about them. Conservative estimate is that she had 200 a them in her back yard. Didn't stop there neither, she decorated her house with them too." When Stesha asked where he had met her, Eli hesitated for a moment. "Not really. More of an extracurricular activity. I can't reall go into more detail than that."

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"All right," Stesha replied, though her curiosity was piqued. "How romantic do you want to be? Do you want to start with an "I'm really sorry, please be my friend" bouquet, or an "I'm really sorry, and I am also ideal boyfriend material" bouquet? We can totally ditch the sunflowers, and go with daisy poms, asters, pink roses, and a couple of calla lilies, in a wicker basket. That's a good friendly bouquet, or we could punch it up and go with multicolored roses and white stargazer lilies in a ceramic vase with ribbon for some romance." She pointed out the flowers as she spoke, going quickly, but with Eli's speed that was hardly a problem. "Either of these should knock her socks off without being overwhelming."

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Eli weighed his options. "Let's go with I want to be your friend." said Eli making up his mind as he chewed on his bottom lip. "I figure I should probably make more of an effort to take it one step as a time and scale it back a bit right? Right now, I'm more focused on getting back into the frying pan than anything else, I don't really want to complicate matter more than I have to, and with my luck, it'll still blow up in my face." Eli slid a hand down his face. "Why's doing the right thing have to be such a pain in the butt?" moaned Eli.

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"If it was easy, everyone would do it," Stesha joked, giving him a sympathetic smile. "And there's not much more difficult than the battle of the sexes. We'll get you started here with a really excellent apology in flowers. After that, though, you're going to have to go in there with a nice laid-back apology in words." She pointed out a few suitable friendly apology bouquets. "Now maybe you don't want my advice, but if I were you, I'd avoid mentioning whatever's making her sad until you're back on solid ground again. It's tough when you want to help, but you can't be much help if someone won't even let you in the door," she advised sagely.

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Eli chuckled a bit at Stesha's joke and his mood lightened considerably. "Yeah, wounds from that battle are the hardest to heal, but god are there good war stories. Yeah, I'm done killing that analogy, pun not intended." smirked Eli. Eli leaned over to look at the new bouquets Stesha was pointing out. "I like the second one the best." Eli nodded when Stesha gave out more sage advice. "Yeah I probably should, but its not really in my personality though ya know? Like I see a problem that I can lend a hand in, and I have to lend a hand. I can't ignore it, ya know? Yeah, I'm a busy body and yeah I get all up in peoples' business, I guess I just can't see how people don't do that ya know? There are people in this city who don't really know their neighbors, and sometimes, that scares the hell out of me."

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"That's a good choice," Stesha nodded at the selection, making a few notes on her memo pad. She'd need to force a few flowers to get it taken care of, but that was sort of her specialty these days. "And think about it this way, you can talk to the people in your hometown in a certain way because they knew you when you were in diapers, right? It's the same with the neighborhood I come from. You can be blunt, even pushy, and the worst someone is going to think is that you're being a little annoying with your heart in the right place. That's because they trust you."

She flipped through the book, though most of her attention was on her client still. "The big city's different from that. You have to act differently with people who don't know you and where you come from. They don't have any reason to trust you, you know? Especially if your friend is a college student just starting out in the world as well. You have to establish trust, you can't just assume you have it because you're a nice guy, the way you could back home. Does that make any sense?"

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"Yeah I guess. I'm just kinda used to people seeing me as the good guy ya know? Maybe I should start wearing a cape?" said Eli jokingly, but internally he was considering it a real possibility. "Actually she's still in high school. Kind of the other reason I'm avoiding any inclination to romance. Guess I got to give this time. It's gonna be hard though, I haven't had to do that before. Well I did it with a few of the guys up at college, but they're pretty darn one dimensional. Oh, one more question before I forget." added Eli. "What perfume do you have on; if you don't mind me asking? It's my mom's birthday in a couple weeks."

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"It's a personal blend, it's never the same twice," Stesha fibbed smoothly. "You could always send her some flowers," she suggested with a wink. "This bouquet will take me about an hour to put together. You can come back and pick it up, or you can give me an address and I can have it couriered over for you with a message attached. What's your pleasure?"

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"Ah poop. I was hoping I could kill a few birds while I was here. You ever consider bottling it?" asked Eli a bit intrigued. He hadn't really seen put anyone put that much effort into the way they looked let alone smelled. "Nah, it'd feel like I was getting the same gift for multiple people, which is kinda weird. Especially for my mom, gotta put a bit of effort in ya know? Sorry. I'll come back and pick it up, running stuff around town will do me good. And I ain't callin inta question your professionalism, but I'd prefer if no one else even had a chance to read the note ya know?"

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"No problem," Stesha said with an easy smile. "Some messages are better left private. I can ring you up now and get started on that right away. If you want, you can go buy a card to go with the flowers, that'll give you a little more room for a message than a florist card." Truthfully, Stesha wasn't sure they had any florist cards floating around, it wasn't something they needed a lot of, given their clientèle." Standing, she moved to the cash register and began the process of finessing the computer to handle a single bouquet instead of an entire event. One day she was sure she'd toss the damn thing into a giant flower in a fit of pique, but today she merely regarded it with a look of frustration as she worked the keys.

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"Nah, I already got a card. Well, I've got a few dozen crumpled up pieces of paper in a corner of my room to be honest. I've been trying to get the wording just right for most of the day. I came out to clear my head actually." Eli stands up and stretches as Stesha goes over to the register and begins plugging in the transaction. A frown crosses his face as he sees her eyebrows scrunch. Stesha feels a bit of a breeze as Eli has made his way up to the counter. He dolls out a few bills and several coins before handing a piece of paper to Stesha. It contains a list of the flowers, their prices, the total and the tax. "Thanks for doing this. I know you normally don't do this sort of thing. The name's Eli by the way."

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"Nice to meet you," Stesha told him with a smile, looking over the totals and entering them into the balky computer. "I'm Stesha. You're lucky in your timing, I'm just between weddings this week, and we have lots of flowers around. And sunny weather always puts me in a good mood. We'll get you set up with your flowers, and I'll cross my fingers that things turn out for you." She took the bills and made change for him, printing out an invoice and a receipt. The flowers weren't cheap, this was a classy joint after all, but it was substantially less than five hundred dollars.

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"Thanks a lot for your help today, all of it. For what it's worth, I'll pass your name along to any more substantial jobs that come along. I ain't promising results though." smirked Eli. "Knowing the social circles I run in, getting flower arrangements for a party ain't exactly a hot topic. Just hopes this works." continued Eli looking down at the money he was forking over. "The burgers flipped to flowers earned ratio's pretty darn steep. So anyways, be back in an hour ya said?"

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