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Love Fest Drabble #2

This drabble was requested by rosefyre and seconded by smoothiesims.  It's not my best work by far, but I wanted to show Henri in a rare happy moment.  This takes place while Henri is in college.

Henri looked up from arranging the bouquet of calla lilies she’d received earlier that day when she heard the sharp knock on her door.

“Come in,” she called.

Mrs. Crumplebottom, the mistress of her boarding house, opened the door.  In her arms were three more bouquets of flowers.

The older woman looked down her nose at Henri.  “These make eight bunches of flowers for you.  Your room is going to look more like a funeral parlor than a bedroom.”

Henri stifled the urge to giggle; the cranky mistress would not approve.  “Thank you,” she said, taking the flowers from her landlady.

Mrs. Crumplebottom sniffed.  “I just hope, Henrietta, that you take the messages these bouquets are sending you to heart.  Let some of those beaus of yours down gently, and let the rest of the girls in Portsimouth have a fair shake at catching one of them.”

“Oh, these aren’t all from beaus, ma’am.  Some of these are just from good friends who happen to be gentlemen.”

The older woman sniffed again.  She turned and left the room, muttering something.  Henri caught the words “flighty,” “indecent”  and “improper,” but she quietly shut the door behind Mrs. Crumplebottom’s retreating back.

Henri turned and looked at her room.  There were a lot of flowers in it, she had to admit.  The thought of how all her admirers had remembered her on this Valentine’s Day made her smile; being the recipient of such affections certainly was lovely.  She placed the three new bouquets on her bed and sat down next to them, eager to read the cards and see who they were from.

The flowers had started arriving at breakfast.  First there were the daisies from Mr. John See, and then the beautiful purple lilacs from Mr. Norman Medford.  Just before lunch Mr. Paul Nelson had sent red carnations, and just after it a bunch of white lilies from Mr. Steven Bancroft had arrived.  They were soon followed by a bundle of beautiful calla lilies from Mr. Ralph Warrington; they were the ones that Henri had been arranging in the vase when the three latest had arrived.

The first bouquet was of red tulips.  As a rule, Henri was not a fan of tulips, but these were exquisite in their perfection.  The card that accompanied them was signed Mr. Stanley Smitherman, a young man who was a student at SimHarvard across the river.  He and Henri had passed a pleasant afternoon strolling by the river not too long ago.  He was not what one might call handsome, but he was kind.

She put the card aside, and turned her attention to the red rosebuds.  They were from Mr. Gerald Asher, the son of the local milliner.  He’d been waiting on the counter when Henri had gone in to purchase a new spring hat after seeing the new fashions in the window.  They’d then crossed paths at a concert, and he’d been very attentive to her the entire night.  She certainly would not be opposed to getting him to know better.

The last bouquet was perhaps the prettiest.  It contained exactly one dozen perfect pink roses.  The card was signed Mr. Vincent Hemmingway.  Henri was rather shocked.  They’d been introduced by a mutual acquaintance some weeks ago and had seen each other around town since, but had hardly spoken at all.  She pulled a book off her shelf from her flower arranging class.  What exactly did pink roses mean?

She flipped through the chapter on flower meanings until she found “roses, pink.”  She put her finger to the page and slid it across as she softly read the words aloud.  “Pink roses may symbolize perfect happiness, secret love, grace and sweetness, or indecision, depending on the sender.”  Well, perfect happiness and indecision were most likely out; they hardly knew each other at all.  Grace and sweetness certainly was possible, but secret love somehow felt right.  She smiled at the though.  The idea of a beau confessing his attraction through a Valentine’s Day gesture was so romantic, and she decided that this was the message Mr. Hemmingway was sending her today.

A smile played at Henri’s lips as she put the book back on the shelf.  The small room was brightened by the beautiful arrangements of flowers.  She went to open the door; she’d need to ask Mrs. Crumplebottom as her housemates had turned up their noses in jealousy when the flowers for Henri kept coming.  It really had been a lovely Valentine’s Day.  How lucky I am, Henri thought, that I have so many thoughtful men in my life.

* * * * *

Flowers and their meaning were big during the Victorian era.  What did all Henri's flowers mean?  Check out this website to learn more.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 21st, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
Awwww! So sweet! It's really too bad that Henri didn't get to end up with any of the gentlemen that would have treated her right. At least she got a wonderful son though.
Feb. 21st, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It is sad that she didn't end up with a better man, but you're right in that Victor is wonderful.
Feb. 22nd, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Awww. I'm glad Henri had SOME happiness!
Feb. 28th, 2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks. She did have a few moments of happiness, before it got snatched away from her.

(As an aside - how do I not have a Henri icon????)
Feb. 28th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
You are the only one who can answer this question. :P
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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