The last time I received flowers was back in October 2020.
I was at a farm outside of Vancouver, doing work for my (then) 9-5 job, when my phone rang. It was my apartment buzzer. I picked up assuming it was Amazon (isn’t it always Amazon?).
“Hi, flower delivery.”
“Excuse me? WHAT?” I was shocked. Flowers. For me?
“FLOWER DELIVERY.” The delivery guy sounded annoyed. I guess it was just another day for him delivering flowers. But for me, it was anything but. At that time I couldn’t remember the last time I had received flowers. Needless to say I was very excited. And this is coming from a Capricorn. We don’t get excited.
I buzzed him up, and then for the next couple of hours, as I wrapped up my assignment for work and made the trek back home via the Vancouver rush hour traffic, my mind remained on the flowers. More specifically on WHO would send me flowers?!
A roster of people flashed through my mind — my ex who I was back in contact with, a secret admirer, a thoughtful friend, my parents.
“God please don’t let it be my parents,” I thought.
Upon my arrival at home I was practically skipping to the elevator and rushing up the stairs to my beautiful bouquet of flowers. Only when I came to the doorstep, my mysterious flowers…weren’t there. There were no flowers.
Immediately, because this was 2020 and the world was on fire, I thought THIEF! Someone had clearly stolen my flowers. I mean, why wouldn’t they? Amazon packages were known to go mysteriously missing in my building from time to time. If someone wanted to steal the contents of an unmarked package that probably contained discounted spices and dish soap, why wouldn’t they want to steal the most beautiful flower bouquet of all time?
Upset over my missing flowers, I left a message for my building manager who was out of office for the remainder of the day, telling him that I had buzzed in a delivery for flowers and NOW THEY WERE GONE.
Because I didn’t know who these mystery flowers were from, which meant I couldn’t follow up with them or the floral delivery service, I did what I do best — major recon work. Let it be known — I am an expert sleuth. I will leave it at that. But yes, I can find out pretty much everything. And I will. Oh, I will…
Anyway. So I texted my friends: “Hey did you guys send me flowers?”
Within minutes I received back their responses: “Nope not me!” “HAHA NO!” “What?”
To be honest, I think they could’ve been a little more sensitive. But they were a lot better than my parents.
“Why would we send her flowers?” I heard my dad say in the background after I called my mom, giving her a brief rundown on the missing flowers.
“Well, you’re not going to find them now,” said my mom. “They’re definitely gone.”
“No! I’ll find them!” I was determined. Those flowers would be found. I figured I would find out the sender from the source itself — the delivery service. The only problem was…I didn’t know where the flowers came from and there are hundreds of flower stores and delivery services in Vancouver. I watched enough “Law & Order” reruns to know I had to start with proximity, so I called the flower shops within my area and asking them if they had an order earlier that day for my building. The first two said no, but when I called the third, a flower shop on the corner from my apartment building, I found my first break in the case.
“Yes, I think my son was there earlier today,” the owner said. “He does the deliveries. I’ll call him.”
I was hopeful.
In the meantime, my friends were hitting me up with messages asking me about the flowers. “Did you find them?” “Who would send you flowers?” (Again, not entirely sensitive.) My mom called me too. “I hope it’s not a stalker. You dad thinks it’s a stalker.”
Oh great. So only stalkers can give me flowers.
The flower shop owner called me back. “I asked my son. He wasn’t there. What’s the issue?”
“Oh, well, I had a delivery person buzz me earlier but my flowers were gone by the time I came home.”
“So your flowers are missing?”
“I’ll call you back.”
I didn’t think much about the flower shop owner calling me back. I figured he was just double-checking with his son. I didn’t even expect him to call me back as I was fielding calls from my mom who was still very concerned I had a stalker.
Then the flower shop owner called me back. “I have flowers for you,” he said.
“What do you mean? You found my flowers?”
“No. We never had your flowers. But I feel bad for you. Every woman should have flowers. So I made you flowers. Please come to the store in twenty minutes.”
“Thank you, but—”
“No, but. They are my gift to you. See you soon.”
I didn’t know what to say. I still didn’t know what to say twenty minutes later when I walked into the shop and laid my eyes on my beautiful bouquet of flowers.
The shop owner and his wife smiled brightly at me from behind the counter. I bit my lip so I didn’t break down in tears in front of them.
“These are for you!” they said proudly.
“Enjoy your flowers,” said the shop owner. “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
I thanked them a million times before finally leaving the store, gripping my bouquet of flowers as I walked home, overwhelmed by what had just happened, the sheer magic and generosity and craziness of the night. I mean, these people didn’t know me an hour ago and now I felt like family (well, maybe that’s a stretch).
The next day, my building manager called me. “Hi Brianne, I got your message and I did some investigation and…”
“Those flowers weren’t for you.”
“What do you mean?”
“The delivery person buzzed the wrong number. They were delivered to the proper owner. I’m sorry.”
I was a little disappointed (and somewhat relieved I didn’t have a stalker). Truth is, I wanted a secret admirer. I went out of my way to call everyone and their mother, including my own mother in search of these missing flowers because they had had represented a feeling to me beyond a classic rom-com gesture. They were a symbol of being seen and heard and loved and looked after in a year that had stripped away so much.
Then I realized, eyeing my big bouquet in its vase from my real secret admirers, I had gotten exactly what I wanted.
The case of the missing flowers was closed.