Bouquet – by Juma (Senior)

“The name and décor? Those were Molly’s ideas. She was inspired by an online writing contest.” I leaned back in the dark red chair, remembering. 
“It was the day of that record-breaking snowstorm. We were all gathered right here in this very same room ….”
The room was empty back then except for makeshift tables and rickety chairs. The four of us had called a meeting to finally decide on a name.  While the rest of us listed a few choices – Dragon’s Breath, Sword and Stone, Crooked Wheel, Blue Swagger – Molly was glued to her laptop.
“None of those names are right for a ‘dry’ pub.” Nancy expressed what we were all feeling. “We need something cleaner, fresher.” We all agreed. But what?
“Molly, are you still with us?”  My wife was staring intently at her laptop screen.  “Snowstorm … Just one bouquet of freesias, to last until spring.”  She explained that this was a prompt for a short story writing contest.
“Are you going to write a story?” Sid sounded interested, but I was exasperated that she had changed the subject. We needed to concentrate.
“No, I won’t be writing a story.  We are going to be the story!”
“This is more than a writing contest. It’s a sign.” Molly was into signs. “Snowstorm outside, our grand opening scheduled for the first day of spring.  We’ll call the pub ‘Bouquet’”.  And that was that.
The reporter who was interviewing me glanced around the exuberant room. Molly had painted a few colorful freesias on the walls, picked out plush leather chairs in each freesia color, and for the final touch, placed strategic pots of potpourri next to the front door.  Every day passers-by got a whiff of scent, the “bouquet” of the flowers.
“And the rest is history.”  I finished my story with a smile, reaching for Molly’s hand.
The reporter put down her notebook.  “Congratulations, Ben and Molly.  Ten years later, a roaring success!”  We clinked glasses of coconut freesia macadamia delight and rose to our feet. 
“Here’s to the Bouquet!”  Everyone in the room raised a glass.
Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-01
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