Thursday, 4 July 2013

Passions: A novella on Passion, Love and Flower Cards.

By Jannet Ellis,
(Publisher's Note: This is a fictional tale except Jannet Ellis is the owner of Fresh As A Daisy Cards. The characters are not real clients. Have fun reading.)

 It was a crisp, bright, London morning, which was Jannet’s favourite type of morning.  There is something exhilarating about a morning with sunshine, she thought.  The owner of Fresh as a Daisy Cards put coffee on for Ned, who would be at her studio soon.  They always shared a few minutes over coffee while she picked her daily flowers for the orders she created.

As the coffee brewed, Jannet checked her computer for the day’s orders. The day was looking good, she thought, smiling.  It was going to be a busy one, but they were all busy days, and she was grateful to have such a flourishing business. Oddly, the phone started to ring; it was early for a customer, so she hoped that it wasn’t her assistant Rebecca calling in ill.  She would need all the help she could get.

Butterfly Card

 ‘Good morning, Fresh as a Daisy Cards’, she answered. A hesitant male voice responded with a stutter, ‘This is Josh Hardgrove. I ordered a flower card last night and I was wondering if it had been delivered.’

Shaking her head, she responded, ‘Yes, Mr. Hardgrove. I have your order, but the Royal Mail doesn’t deliver to anyone’s home at 6:30 a.m., so we will prepare it a little later in the morning and mail it by noon.  She should receive it shortly thereafter, sir.’

  ‘How silly of me’ said Josh. ‘Of course it wouldn’t be delivered this early.  I didn’t know how these things worked . . . you know, when you send something in the middle of the night’, he said, totally embarrassed.

Feeling his anxiety, Jannet immediately responded, ‘No worry, Mr. Hardgrove. How about I call you when the order has left my studio and give you an approximate time when it should arrive to your friend Lady Sarah?’

‘That would be splendid’, replied Josh. ‘Madame, I’m so sorry to have called so early. It was stupid of me. I’m not sure what I was thinking.  I look forward to speaking to you later.’  Josh hung up the phone.

Jannet laughed to herself and thought, Ah, someone is smitten and now is going to fret over his decision until she responds. Jannet pulled his order to the top so it would be the first flower card that she and Rebecca prepared and would get to the post ASAP.  If he is calling at 6:30 a.m. and put the order in at 2:00 a.m., he will be a full mess by noon, she thought to herself.
Handmade-personalised-flower cards for all your wonderful moments.

Just as she pulled the card, Ned came to the door with all of his beautiful flowers.  Ned had been a flower wholesaler since his teens.  He and Jannet had become automatic friends as soon as she had opened her shop. . His years of helping flower retailers all over London had made him the old sage of the business.  He knew what worked in this business and what didn’t work.  They sat with their morning coffee and just enjoyed the view from back of her studio.  A bright red cardinal and his family had taken up residence in an old walnut tree there. When the cardinal appeared, both Ned and Jannet smiled at nature’s beauty.  It was why they were in the flower business.  Who wouldn’t want to work with nature’s most beautiful blooms?  Neither of them said this, but they both knew they were thinking about it.

Awaken Someone's Heart with a flower card

 Josh was already at his desk at Sachs.  He had attempted to sleep, but he couldn’t.  All he could think about was Lady Sarah and wanting to touch her. He thought of her flawless porcelain skin and wondered what it would feel like to the touch.  The thought of it had driven him crazy all night and rendered him sleepless.  He finally got up, jogged, showered, and came to the office—only to make a complete fool of himself by calling the flower card lady at 6:30 a.m.  But Josh’s distracted mind thought about it for a moment. The flower card lady had actually answered the phone! Hmm, he thought, impressive.  He shook his head and told himself to snap out of it.

Time to get to work, Josh thought.  He busied himself with paperwork and phone calls to contacts and customers.  His customers were a lot like he was—up early and driven, and they never cared if he called early.  They liked knowing that he was on top of their portfolios. And telling them how he made them richer—well, there was really no time of the day that people didn’t like to hear that news.

At about 9:30 a.m., Coop stopped by Josh’s office and plopped himself on the chair in front of his desk. Looking very hung over, Coop asked, ‘What happened to you last night? You left early without saying good-bye.’

‘It was time to go’, said Josh.  ‘I had an early morning this morning.’  

Coop nodded his head, not believing any of it.  ‘Well, you missed some of the best parts of the party.’

Josh raised an eyebrow as if to say ‘Really! What?’

‘Well’, said Coop, ‘you missed Lady Sarah giving His Highness the brush off for one.  And then you missed His Royal Highness getting sloppy drunk and embarrassing himself in front of Lady Sarah by proceeding to hit on Silvia Grainger.’

‘Really?’ asked Josh, with a little too much enthusiasm.

‘No’, said Coop, ‘none of that happened.  I just wanted to see your reaction.  First of all, the sloppy drunk phase ended for His Highness after that embarrassing incident that happened stateside.  Second, no one would ever be dumb enough to embarrass Lady Sarah—she is just too sweet. Third, Silvia Grainger was throwing herself at His Highness, not the other way around. It was just a great party, and you shouldn’t have left.’

Josh smiled sheepishly, feeling defeated again.  He so wanted Lady Sarah to blow off His Highness.  Josh had spent the night thinking about where he came from—and that he wasn’t part of England’s elite. And never did he feel more like an outsider than when he had listened to Lady Sarah and His Highness chat with each other.  His Highness had everything that he didn’t have, and to make matters worse, His Highness wasn’t a bad guy.  A little spoiled, perhaps, but who wouldn’t be if they were raised in palaces with servants and nannies and never had to worry about when or where the next meal was coming from?  It was a stark contrast to Josh’s background.

The phone rang, breaking the awkward silence that had developed as Josh had thought about Lady Sarah.  It was Jannet from Fresh as a Daisy Flower Cards, saying that the flower card was gone and at the Stanley Estate.  Josh’s heart was pounding so hard he thought Coop could hear it.  ‘Who signed for it?’ asked Josh in a bit of a harsh tone.  Jannet, not fazed by his tone, calmly replied, ‘The Baroness herself. Is there anything else I can do for you, Mr. Hardgrove?’
‘No, thank you’, Josh said as he hung up the phone.

Baroness Stanley was a woman well into her later years, but one would never know it by looking at her.  She took very good care of herself by not smoking, drinking little, and pampering herself weekly at Salon Mayfair.  For the Baroness, it was a sin against God not to look your best.

The Baroness had been walking by the door when the post rang.  She hadn’t been expecting any deliveries and was slightly annoyed that the post had not gone to the delivery gallery at the rear of the estate. When she had opened the door, a sloppy-looking gentleman with a package stood there.  Annoyed by his half-tucked-in shirt and dirty cap, she had signed for the package, which had turned out to be a lovely greeting card with flowers in the middle of it.  Millie, a servant, had arrived to free the Baroness’ hands to sign for the delivery and had placed the card on the sideboard.  She had removed the packaging with care to ensure she didn’t disrupt the beautiful display.  She had thought, How exquisite, but she hadn’t dared to read inside the card because it was for Sarah.  And heaven knows, she thought, that Sarah is protective of her privacy.  The Baroness asked Millie to fetch the telephone so she could call Sarah at the museum.
‘Darling’, she said as Sarah picked up her direct line, ‘a greeting card has arrived for you with flowers.’

‘From whom?’ asked Sarah.  Not missing the moment, the Baroness took the opportunity to read the full text of the card and to say only, ‘It’s a thank-you from a Josh Hardgrove for the party last night. It appears you left an impression on this young man.  Where was His Highness last night?’ demanded the Baroness.

Sarah sat back in her seat and smiled to herself; she felt her heart flutter oh-so-slightly at the thought that Josh had sent her something.  He had left in such haste that she wondered if she had said something wrong.  Her mother was on the other end of the phone, nattering about His Highness—Did he attend? Did they speak? Was there an attraction?  Sarah obediently answered, ‘Yes’, ‘Yes’, and ‘No.’  Her mother then came out with one of her classic lines: ‘If you only did something with your hair, maybe His Highness would take notice of you.’  At this point, she ended the conversation with her mother and asked her mother to have Millie put the card with flowers in her room.

What will happen next...Will His Highness move in? Will Lady Sarah call Josh?  Stay Tuned...More to Come.

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