I finally got up the courage to enter the flower shop.

There she stood, recognizable even after fifteen years. Dark hair just to the shoulders; a smooth and quiet way of moving that drew my eyes. I doubted I was so recognizable after all this time and was glad for it.

But I swear, I walked in and her gaze changed immediately.

“Rose! My goodness.” She tiptoed in my direction around pots of bursting spider plants and drops from freshly-sprayed herb gardens.

“Lena, hi.” I looked down at a speck of dirt on my sneaker toe. She stopped a foot from me.

“It’s nice to see you! What’ve you been up to? What brings you back here?” She had so many questions, so much energy. And I had the energy to match if only I wasn’t so nervous. And immediately the guilt spilled over,

“Lena, I always thought you were so beautiful. And I realized recently that all those other kids were just mean to you because they thought you were pretty, and we were all insecure, and I was too, and who cares if you wore make up at twelve -”

She was still smiling, the kindly twinkle in her eyes shifted to something more intimate.

“Rose, honestly, it is what it is. I don’t blame you. We can be different people now that we’re older.” And without knowing why I was smiling too.

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