Flowers and Tattoos

Phil Lester has never been a 'social butterfly'. He goes to work at the tattoo parlor and lives his days calm and alone in his apartment. But, when he has to run a special errand to the flower shop down the street, he may meet the only person willing to be his friend. Can Phil hold a friendship? And will this only be... a friendship?

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2. coffee with a hint of romance

That Friday afternoon, the man came back for his tattoo. The flower was put right between his heart and shoulder blade. He left smiling.

Once the sun was setting and it was time to close the parlor, Jen walked over and pointed outside. "I'm going out for a coffee. Wanna come?" I nodded and she locked the money in the back and grabbed her jacket. She grabbed the keys as I pulled on my sweatshirt and we locked the store behind us.

Awaiting us on the stoop was Dan.

He perked up once he heard the door close and shot up, causing me and Jen to jump back and almost scream.

"Dan!" He smiled as I put my hand over my heart, feeling the beat getting slower and slower. "What are you doing here?"

Dan thought for a moment, as if he had forgotten why he was there in the first place. "Well, I just wanted to see you. We closed the shop early and I had no plans. But," He stole a glance between me and Jen, "It seems you two are going out. So, I won't intrude. Have a good weekend!"

He started to walk when Jen put her hand on his shoulder to pull him back. "We're only going out for coffee. Would you like to come?" Happiness came over his face, which he quickly hid behind a shy smile.

"I would love to. Thank you..."

She laughed. "It's Jen."

Dan shoved his phone in his pocket and pulled his coat on. "Then let's go for coffee, Jen and Phil."

The walk there was rather quiet. Dan, walking behind Jen and me, seemed to be studying our behavior. Jen and I exchanged small talk about the weekend.

"You're really not going out again?" She pushed her hair back, the auburn color standing out against her black outfit. "You seriously need to get out more, Phil."

I shrugged. The places that Jen and her friends always invited me to were always weird and full of drug-users and drunk teenagers. Not my type of place.

"Well, Phil," Dan perked up from behind us, "I have this event on Saturday if you'd like to come. It's a convention for fans of different movie franchises and book phenomenons. If you're into that."

Before I could answer, Jen leaned in and answered for me. "That would be perfect for him! He needs to-"
Dan put his hand out abruptly and stopped walking. "Sorry Jen, but I wasn't asking you. I was asking Phil." He turned to me and flipped his hair out of his face, which had been ruffled by the mild winds. "Phil, would you like to hang out with me this Saturday?"

I almost stuttered. Jen was looking at us, dumbfounded. Without even thinking, I started to pick at my nails nervously. "Um sure. I would love to." I met his eyes and he smiled, continuing his walk as if nothing had happened.

***

As we sat down in the cafe and waited for our drinks to be served, I looked out the window behind us. Dan was looking at me and Jen was staring at Dan. The best thing I could do was pretend to be lost in thought.

After the waiter brought out our drinks, Dan attempted small talk between Jen and I. He asked about our hobbies and favorites and general "Get-To-Know-You" questions. Jen finally took the last sip of her cappuccino and stood up.

"I have some friends I need to meet up with." She quickly pulled on her jacket. "See you on Monday, Phil. Nice to meet you Dan." Jen quickly pulled on her purse, handed me a ten, and walked out the door.

Dan watched her leave and then took a sip of his tea. "So Phil, how's your drink? I've never had that one." In my hand was a warm cup of chamomile tea with honey and cranberry hints. I had grown quite attached to it and always ordered it.

"If I remember, it's called 'Chamomile Cup of Calm.' I always get it. Goes great with any sort of pastry." Without even thinking, I took a sip of the warm tea and looked at Dan.

Dan pulled out his phone and quickly typed something in. "I will have to try that, thank you." He quickly put his phone away and continued sipping his tea. "So tell me, what do you usually do on the weekends? You seem like the kind of person who chills and watches movies but occasionally parties."

On weekends? I mostly stayed home and played new games and watched different movies and tried all new snacks. I didn't go out, I stayed in and drew tattoo ideas.

I didn't even realize I'd spoken it all aloud until Dan started laughing. "That sounds like the life. My dream is to do that every day."
Before I even knew it, I was laughing too. "It's fun, but can get lonely." My tea was gone and I wanted to order another and talk for hours about relaxing and nerding out on weekends. "Alright, as much as it pains me that I can't stay here and nerd out with you, I must be on my way."
Dan immediately stood up and shook my hand. "I will see you tomorrow?" I nodded and gave him my address. Within minutes I was out the door and on my walk home.

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