A young stranger made his way across Michigan Avenue with a smile on his lips and a sparkle in his eyes. As he felt the serenity of the day absorbing him. It was the time of spring when change would come soon. The time between the end of spring and the beginning of summer and the promise of something so new and magnificent that someone would be able to find. Even if they did not believe there was magic in the air, it was still evident that something was still there. There was something in the air that brought about a wonderful feeling that he showed on his face. Even though the sound of the traffic of the city still could be heard, it did not matter to him at all. For he was in the moment which the day made him feel.
When he stepped onto the sidewalk of the other side of the street, he turned and continued to walk. Passing by the multitude of unfamiliar faces that came to him and surrounded him. A few of the people that passed looking his way and smiling, to return the smile that he was giving. But he did not do it for anyone really, it was just because of the feelings that the day was bringing out in him. He did not even realize how someone smiling could possibly make a person feel uneasy. Especially when a person was alone, they would stand out by doing something as simple and normal as giving a smile. Of course that was the way that the city was, filled with paranoia and defensive actions, wanting nothing more than to just be left alone as they went about with their own routines in life. But he didn't care, for he was enchanted by the feeling of the day. And the world around him took on a new look to him that he had never really noticed before. He passed by a couple of young female art student (he could tell because of the large portfolios they were caring), as they made their way passed him. Their eyes glancing over at him with a playful grin on their faces. Acting almost like high school girls dealing with their first crush on a boy.
"Hey beautiful." one of them called out to him, giggling.
He just looked at them, giving then a playful wink as he continued on his way. In way he did feel beautiful, and why not. The day was so perfect that it could make anyone feel that way. Letting the troubles of this world fall to the waist side and nothing more matters. It was the season when such feelings should come forth to someone. And why wouldn't anyone feel beautiful on a day like this? Just the thought of what the young woman had said put a little more exhilaration in his step. Because he knew that was the way he felt right now. The way the warmth in the air brought about a hint of something that could come. The more that he walked, the more this feeling absorbed him. His hand reached into the inside pocket of his brown leather jacket to make sure nothing was about to come out. When he once was assured of it, his hand came out and dangled out to his side.
The whole time he walked, his eyes stayed focused in front of him, seeing the crowd pass him like an oncoming current. Knowing that there was some place that he was suppose to be. Or at least he thought that there was some place that he was suppose to be. None of that mattered though as he continued to move down the street. The only thing that he could think about was of one woman whose image stayed trapped within his mind. The woman named Sadie. For she was the one who had won his heart and who he had vowed that he would stay with her no matter what. And he knew that he would keep that promise, no matter to what extent that he would have to go.
It was then that he stopped in front of a small store with a large store front window, which had caught his attention from the corner of his eye. The sign elegantly etched on the window read, Paradise Florist and Gifts. And within the window were a few bouquets of different colors flowers, all bright and arranged in such an artistic and elegant manor. Just so that anyone who looked upon them would be impressed by them. Along with that was a could couple stuffed teddy bears, two of them with hearts on their chest and the word love on it. But that did not seem to really impress him as much as the flowers did. Before he could think about it, he found himself walking through the opened front door of the shop. The smell of freshly cut flowers filled the air as the soft melody of music was heard coming from the speakers somewhere in the store. He instantly could tell the name of the song without even thinking about it. Faithfully by Journey. Just hearing that made him feel even more confident than a moment ago. And why not, he knew that faithful was the one thing that he always prided himself on.
He made his way further into the shop and over to a large refrigerated display case with three glass doors. Standing there, he looked at the multitude of flowers, as he found himself unsure of what he would chose. Even though he knew that flowers were a bit cliché it did bring about the proper effect to a woman that he wanted to give. Still, he was not sure of which ones he would really get.
It was then that he heard the sound of a woman's voice, soft and young, coming from the side of him. At first he did not hear what the woman said or even responded to it. For he was still heavy in thought at the moment. And in a way, he figured that the woman probably was talking to someone else. But when she spoke again, he knew that she was speaking to him. He turned to his right and noticed a young woman with short black hair standing next to him and smiling. The skin tight black denim jeans she wore and matching tank top hugged the curves of her young frame. On the tank top in gold was the name of the store. She stood there for a moment, waiting for him to respond, even though he had no idea what it had been that she had said to him.
"Do you see anything that you like?" she asked in a pleasant voice.
The way she said that was innocent enough and yet he thought he could sense a hint flirtation within her voice as well. But that was something that he knew he would just ignore.
"I am not sure what I am looking for." he replied smiling.
"Well, who is it that you are getting the flowers for? Girlfriend? Or someone else?" she said as her hand reached over to one of the display doors.
"Someone." was all that he replied.
The woman just looked at him curiously, not really saying a word about the way he was being so evasive about her question. Probably because she had gotten men in the store before that had said the same thing. Her smile stayed on her lips as she looked at him, now showing a look that was more serious.
"Well, let's do it this way, if this is for someone like your mother, let's say, then maybe you would want our spring bouquet. A collection of different spring flowers that would look so beautiful as a floral arrangement. But, if this is for a girlfriend, then I would say that you could not go wrong with roses. Every woman loves to get them from a handsome man." she said smiling.
"And how much would they be?" he asked.
"Ten dollars for the spring bouquet and twenty for the roses." she replied.
"Kind of expensive." he replied.
" Well, if you really want to impress a woman, it will cost you. But in the end it will be worth it. Trust me, if it is for some special woman in your life, then you will want to spend that kind of money on her." she said. "I'll even arrange it so that it will be so beautiful, with some baby's breath. She will totally love it."
He knew that Sadie would love it, for she had always had a soft spot for flowers. It was something that always warmed her heart. But he just was not sure about it. Even though he knew that he could afford it, he wasn't sure if she would really like what he would pick out. Still, it was a chance that he was willing to take.
"Tell you what, we have these miniature roses on sale today. They are only twelve dollars for a dozen. And I will personally arranged them so it will take your woman's breath away." she said.
"Ok. That sounds pretty good to me" he said after thinking about it for a minute.
The woman opened the case and pulled out a dozen red miniature roses and then led him over to the counter. As he followed, he could hear the new being broadcasted over the speakers now. Of course the same as it always has been. Some politician was being arrested for embezzlement, the screw driver killer had claimed its fifth victim last night, the price of gasoline going up again. But none of that mattered to him, for he knew that he was going to be with his Sadie, and show her how much he cared for her.
The woman had been gone for only a minute or two and then came back with the arrangement just like the way she had promised it would be. Then wrapped the bottom of it with paper, and smiled at him as she handed it to him.
"I hope that she will like them. I am sure that she will, all women love flowers." she said kindly.
" I am sure that she will." he said handing her his money.
"And tell her that the flowers will last a little longer if she cuts the stems a little bit and puts the package of solution in the water that is inside the bouquet." the woman added as she handed him his change.
"I will make sure to do that. Thank you for your help. You have been most kind." he replied and then turned and made his way out to the street.
When he got back outside, a sudden cool breeze slapped his face and he made his way down the street, the way that he had came. He knew that he had to get moving. The sun had already started to lower to the horizon and the night started to creep in the air. As he moved, his hand gripped the tied up end of the roses in his hand as his eyes stayed focused in front of him. He made is way across Michigan Avenue once again and into Grant Park. Passing by couples that were walking hand in hand across the bridge or stood there looking down at the Metro trains that moved with such speed below them. It was the end of a perfect day and he knew exactly how he wanted his to end. And he would make sure that it did the way that he wanted it too.
It was then that he had seen her within the garden near Buckingham Fountain. She stood by a wooden gazebo that had probably been used for countless wedding photos, and the perfect place for someone to propose to the woman that they love. But now there she was, standing there all alone waiting for him, like she always had done before. A few strands of her medium length sandy blond hair being ruffled in the breeze, as she looked around at the beautiful garden in awe. The black long sleeved blouse and vest, along with her light blue leather mini skirt and black velvet high heel boots complimented her beauty so well. She was a vision of beauty alright and he was so lucky that she was his. He approached her and when he was close enough, he called out her name.
"Sadie, I knew that I would find you here. You always come here before you leave to go home. To our special place." he said handing her the roses.
She took them , a faint smile on her lips as she looked at them for a moment. Not a word was spoken from her lips and a confused expression appeared on her face.
"I am sorry, but I think you got me mistaken for someone else." she said as she handed the roses back to him.
It was then that he realized that she was not Sadie. For Sadie had been dead for seven months now. His hand instantly reached inside his jacket and pulled out a long screw driver. And then lunged forward holding it over his head for a moment and then bringing it down upon her. Letting it pierce into the skin of her breasts as she screamed. Yet no one would hear her, for the only people that were near were a few boys playing football in the distance. And with the commotion they made, it would drown out her screams. Over and over again the tip of the screw driver stabbed into her, ripping the front of her blouse and revealing the black lacy bra and smooth skin of her breasts. He continued stabbing her, within this place where couples came to start a new life together, or even share a moment of such fiery passionate love in the shadows. How dare she not be Sadie….his Sadie. The woman's body collapsed to the grass and then he pulled it underneath the shade of a large oak tree. Putting her in a sitting position against the trunk, so no one would be the wiser. Then wiped the sides of his weapon on the stomach of her blouse and walked away.
As he crossed the busy street of Michigan Avenue one last time, he knew that she was out there. That his Sadie was out there waiting for him to find her. Even though he had been wrong six times so far, he would find her no matter what. And next time he would not be fooled by some woman who dared to pretend to be her.
He passed by a small outdoor Italian café, where a couple in their lat forties sat drinking coffee and having polite conversation. The woman looked at the stranger as he passed, seeing the overwhelming smile on his lips. She knew right away what he was feeling and who it might be that he was smiling about.
"Why don't you ever look at me like that anymore?" she asked looking at her husband.
Her husband just shrugged his shoulders and then looked off at the other people that passed by. She watched him as he continued to move down the sidewalk, so confidently. She knew that he was a man in love. A man who was going to make one special woman so happy.