The bus screeeeeeeached to a hault. Arwin had 10 minutes to grab what she needed and get back to the bus before she had to be at her next stop. If she hadn't taken time to help that old lady get out of the bus, she'd have more time... but she saw her struggling and Arwin couldn't help but help the old woman. Oh well... can't cry over that now... She had her mission... Get in and get out of the store as fast as she could.
Iliana had been feeling poorly the last few days and Arwin wanted to cheer her up. Ili's work was intense. She was in demand.. a LOT. Her curse for being so smart. "How DID that office run before she joined the company?" Arwin thought. Ili's back hurt... her head hurt... even her emotions hurt. Arwin wanted to get her JUST the right card to cheer her up and let her know how much she was loved and appreciated. Unlike Ili's co-workers, Arwin NEVER demanded her attention or ordered her around. Arwin giggled.
Pushing her way to the greeting card section, Arwin was scanning the cards from a distance. BIRTHDAY... ANNIVERSARY... GET WELL... none of those would do. Then her eyes hit the GENERAL GREETINGs section. That section was busy... OF COURSE it was!!! When you're in a hurry.. nothing is easy. Arwin didn't even notice the faces of the people looking at the cards, when her eyes rested upon a card with a couple on it.
"This card sort of looks like me and Ili on it," she thought to herself, knowing the whole while that it was probably a guy and girl on the card front. "The flowers are beautiful.. they look like Pansies." It had the artist signature on it... Sisse Singh. She opened the card and read the verse to herself...
I give you lovely flowers
to show my love for you!
I hope they make you smile
even when you're feeling blue.
I hope they brighten up your day
and fill your room with scent
So when you look at them you'll know
how much your love has meant.
"PERFECT!" She said out loud... No one seemed to notice and she hurried off to the check out counter. She never noticed the man she bumped, who dropped his card and bent down to pick it up, grumbling. Her mission was almost complete... and she had just enough time to make it back to the bus. She mumbled a few words to the lady at the cash register as she paid and then rushed out the door.
Climbing the bus stairs she made a mental note to sign the card later and then closed the door. One minute to spare.. she WOULD make it to her next stop on time. Carefully she put the card in her bag. It would be a few hours until her shift was over and she didn't want anything to happen to it.
The next few hours where busy... people rushing in and out of the bus... it was a flurry of people of all kinds... old... young... black... white... tall... short. Arwin loved the variety... it made the night go quicker. Everyone seemed in a good mood tonight. There was even a couple in the back of the bus cuddling and smooching. Arwin thought of the picture on the card. She giggled again at the possibility of some cuddles and smooches with Ili. Giggles....
At the end of her shift, Arwin pulled the bus into the garage exhausted. The night had gone fast and she was anticipating a nice relaxing evening with her love. She grabbed her stuff off the bus and made her way to sign out for the night.
Arwin threw her bag of stuff on the front seat of her car. As she sat behind the wheel she decided she'd better sign the card she got for Ili before she forgot. She picked up the bag and to her surprise the card was GONE!!! Oh noooooooooo.. what had she done with it??? Frantically she dumped everything that was in the bag on the seat... It was not there. It must have fallen out of her bag sometime after her dinner. She remembered seeing it as she ate her sandwich. There were so many people in and out of the bus that night, she hoped it was still under her seat somewhere.
She ran back to the garage where she'd parked her bus. It was gone... The guys had probably taken it to get it's nightly wash and clean. She knew right where to go. Glancing at her watch she noticed the time... Ili would be home soon. It would ruin the surprise if she was not home when Ili arrived. Quicky she headed to the bus wash area. The bus was just coming out of the wash. A few of the guys were wiping it down and someone was sweeping the inside. "Hi Arwin," one of the guys said. "Ya come to help us clean your bus?" The guys laughed. "No... I lost something and I'm looking for it. I think it fell under my seat," she said. "Oh... one of the cleaning crew found a pink envelope on the floor under the drivers seat. If that's what you are looking for, he took it to lost-n-found," said one of the guys. "O.k... thanks.. I'll go there now," said Arwin, and hurried off.
"WOW.. I'm sure getting a workout tonight... all this walking," Arwin muttered to herself as she opened the door to lost-n-found. A tall skinny gentleman sat at a desk in the corner of the room. Walls of boxes of unclaimed items lined the room on all sides. The man greeted her as she entered the room. She explained that she lost a pink envelope on her bus and the gentleman nodded. He had just entered it into the log. He went over to the box with the envelope in it and handed it to Arwin. "Is this it," he asked as he handed it to her? Arwin opened the envelope and the card was still in it. She nodded yes and signed her name on the line in his log book.
She glanced at her watch again as she made her way back to her car. She still had time to get home before Ili. Maybe Ili was be running a little late. No time to get flowers like she had planned. The card would have to do. Arwin sighed. Flowers would have been a nice touch but all the stores were closed by now and she didn't have time anyway. She cursed the busy night on the bus. Oh well... "No use crying over spilled milk..." her mother used to say. And she was right.
Arwin glanced at the familiar... WELCOME TO OZLAND sign. Almost home now. She loved coming home to OZLAND. It was the right place for her and Ili to call HOME. All the cares of the day seemed to melt away once she entered OZLAND. It was a magical place. She couldn't imagine living anywhere else.
She opened the door and listened for Ili to say hi. Corwyn greeted her by the door with Girly Girl not far behind. Ili wasn't home yet.. GREAT! Time to feed the kitties then get everything ready for when Ili got home. She quickly opened 2 cans of Fancy Feast and spooned the contents into Corwyn and Girly's dishes. Loud purrs echo'd in the room.
A quick change into something more comfortable and she was ready for Ili. She sat on the couch and layed the card on the table. She signed a romantic message and put it back in the envelope. She was ready... now she just needed Ili.
Arwin was too tired to move... "I'll just lay my head down for a few moments," she thought, but quickly fell fast asleep.
Ili found Arwin laying on the couch. She gently pushed away the hair from Arwin's face and kissed her on the cheek. Lifting Arwin's head to her lap, as she sat on the couch, she he pulled a cover over Arwin's shoulders and grabbed the envelope in Arwin's hands. It had her name on it. She opened the card and read the verse. This made her day. She had Arwin in her arms and she knew she was loved.
Corwyn and Girly Girl lay curled at Ili's feet. Their tummys were full and they were happy. Laying her head on a pillow, Ili closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep herself, with a smile on her face.