Jacob made his way down the streets. He wore his heavy winter coat and the fur around his hood danced before his eyes at every step he’d take. The weather was cold but nice and some birds chirped in the distance. The sun would go down soon but the sky wasn’t tainted by warm colors yet.
The news of him and Kath going along at the Festival had spread like wild fire and rumors had started to circulate. Kath never seemed to mind it. On the other hand, it seemed to bother Jeremy, who looked a lot less happy-go-lucky than usual. Jacob hadn’t been able to ask why but he thought it might have something to do with Kath.
They had agreed to meet at the cemetery over the phone and when Jacob arrived, she was already there. She was sitting on the same bench in the same fashion than the previous time but she wore a brand new winter’s coat with a big scarf and tuque that looked both handmade.
She heard the snow crunch behind her and turned to check. When she saw it was him, her eyes lit up and she waved with big woolen mittens that looked handmade as well.
-“You’re a late, you know?” She said trying to hide her smile.
-“My mom was being difficult, sorry.” He answered. He came to her and rubbed her head with his gloved hand. “Shall we go?” A sly smiled grew on his lips.
In the white scenery, his green eyes looked more vivid than usual and Kath’s gaze lingered on them longer than he would have liked. They both made their way to the temple’s alley, where the Festival was being held. The multiple sounds grew as they approached. Everyone was getting ready for the opening ceremony and the mix of voices, music and noises was deafening.
Strangely enough, Jacob was never scared of crowds. Instead of feeling watched or crushed, he felt invisible, as if all the people around would hide him from unwanted looks. His hood made him feel safe too and he confidently walked around.
Kath followed him closely. They stopped to buy hot drinks and warm food. They were walking down the aisle, surrounded by shops and stands of all types when Kath stopped with a “oh”. Jacob, realizing that she wasn’t following anymore, halted to look at her.
She was facing a counter. On it was countless Snow Roses. The beautiful white flowers with a slightly blue hues would only bloom in very specific conditions. They were considered to be one of the hardest flowers to grow. Kath’s gaze was lost in them for a moment. When she raised her eyes and realized that he was waiting for her, she shyly looked away.
This time, Jacob couldn’t help himself but smile sweetly. She was a tomboy and she might have wore male’s clothes but there were so many little things that made her feminine.
She was about to walk to him when he made his way to the stand. He handed paper money to the lady who smiled and bowed while giving him the flower. Kath could only look, flabbergasted. Those flowers were really expensive but Jacob didn’t seem to care. He only turned around and handed her the flower in the less romantic way possible, almost hitting her in the face with it.
He thought she would laugh but she just raised her hand and slowly grabbed the flower.
-“Do you like flowers, Jay?” She asked quietly. He started walking again and she followed closely.
-“I do but I could never manage to grow them.” He said with a sigh. “My window isn’t facing the right way.” He chuckled to himself distantly.
He had a strange fascination to all the nature he could find. Flowers were one of the thing he liked, even if it didn’t really fit him that much. He could have cared for a plant like it was a pet, watering it everyday with attention and pruning it every so often but, sadly, the only ones in his house were the kind that wouldn’t yield any flowers. His bedroom window faced west and could never give enough sun to the ones he wanted to grow himself. His father had walked over the ones he had grown outside with the lawnmower. In the end, he had decided to give up on them, even if he found them so interesting.
-“Do… you know what it means?” Kath muttered.”In the language of flowers, I mean?”
-“Mmh…” He shrugged. “Might be something romantic… As long as it’s not for mourning, then it’s fine, right?”
This time she burst into laughter. Her smile looked light and carefree and she struggled to speak her words.
-“Really?” She said, tears in her eyes. “Were you trying to be “romantic”?”
-“Nah.” He answered with a grin on his face. “I’m happy you’re laughing, though. It’s better when you laugh…” He trailed off. She stopped laughing and frowned for a second.
She opened her mouth to say something else but was interrupted by a loud voice.
They both turned around and were met with a smiling Jeremy. A girl was clinging at his arm, giggling. His eyes fell on the flower Kath was holding and his grin disappeared.
-“I see…” He mumbled in a low voice.