The brilliant pink and white buds are what is keeping my sister in school. She’s 5, and just started learning to spell her name. My parents are already talking about pulling her out. As long as I can sell these flowers, though, she can continue to learn.
A man in a navy blue suit, carrying a grey umbrella, approaches me. I tense, but attempt to lift my lips into a friendly smile. If he’s here for flowers - well, I need the business. If that’s not what he’s here for, there are enough people in the street to hear my screams.
Very few try anything in this intersection, though. Too many witnesses.
The man stops a few feet away.
“Do you have roses?” I scramble to pull three bouquets of roses out of my threadbare bag.
“Yes, sir! Red, white, and even pink this week!” I offer the three for him to view. He hesitates, then points to the red ones, “I’ll take those.”
I smile, then return the other two bunches to my bag. He pays, then leaves with his purchase, no doubt bringing them to his wife. To his home - safe, with a roof to protect from the rains. One that doesn’t have a leak over his bed.
I sigh, then turn and walk to side of the street, I need to sell at least three more bouquets before I can leave. I plaster a false smile on my face and continue on.