Sunflower opened the door of the store. It was to early to open up but she wanted to be sure she knew where everything was. This was not her usual store to work in. It was noisy being so close to the train track, but this was an overtime day so she really didn't mind too much. She could use the extra money. Little did she know HOW exciting of a day it would be!
Taking her time she counted the money in the cash register. She didn't want any mistakes her first day in the new store. She had begged to be closer to home to her manager, and this was the store she hoped she would be sent to. Being so close to the train station would make the day go fast. It was a busy store. This would be a good test to see if she could handle it. "And just think of all the interesting new people I'll meet today" she thought.
Her first hours she worked alone. The company knew when the store was the busiest and there was no need to pay for 2 clerks if they didn't have to. She had proved many times she could be trusted, and worked well under pressure alone. She liked working alone. It gave her a chance to visit with the customers and get to know them. Her usual store she had her regulars. This would be totally new experience and she was excited.
As she turned to unlock the door Sunflower looked through the glass and saw people were waiting to be let in. "Probably want their coffee," she thought. "What's a day without coffee?" She let them in and gave each of them a cheery welcome greeting. To her surprise they hardly said a word to her. "THIS is going to be a loooooooong day!" she muttered.
Most of the morning was pretty much the same. No one really wanted to chat. They were in a hurry to catch their trains. She was grateful when her helper showed up. It's amazing how alone you can feel when you are so busy... and she DID feel alone at this store. Even with all the people she waited on. Her helper that showed up could barely run the cash register. She made many mistakes and Sunflower worked well into her lunch correcting them. When she was sure the girl would be fine on her own she made her way to the back room to eat her lunch.
Her lunch eaten, Sunflower made her way up front to the register. She got there just as Arwin was finishing up her purchase. She didn't even look up when Sunflower wished her a nice day. Sunflower put the pretty card Arwin bought into a small bag, and Arwin hurried out the door. It had been months since she had left OZLAND and she was ashamed she had not visited more often. Thank goodness Llola's birthday party was coming up soon. It would give her a chance to visit friends forgotten. Maybe one day she would return HOME to OZLAND. "Just as soon as my finances are together," she promised to herself, as she pushed the drawer closed on the register.
When Sunflower looked up another familiar face greeted her. She thought it was Raphaela, ANOTHER OZLAND resident, but she wasn't sure. Raph had yelled to Arwin... but Arwin hadn't heard. Sunflower was just about to say something to Raph when the same card Arwin had bought caught her eye. Raph placed the card on the counter and quickly grabbed her wallet out of her purse. She paid the money and left before Sunflower could say a word.
Sunflower watched as Raph turned the corner to the direction of the trains. "Two OZLAND residents in one day," she thought, as Sven laid his purchase on the counter. "He looks familiar," she thought to herself, but was quickly distracted by the card he was purchasing. "humm... Same card as Arwin and Raphaela's. Three cards all the same. I need a card for Llola's birthday... maybe this one will do." Llola!!! THAT's who he is... She let out a..."That will be 4 dollars sir... sir??? sirrrrrrrrrrr???" SVEN!!! But she was to late. He handed her the money and was off before she could say anything more.
Her shift almost over, Sunflower went to the greeting card section of the store. Hopefully there was one more of that card she could purchase. She found the card the OZLAND residents had bought and read the saying inside. "PERFECT!" The last one... and it was hers. She paid for the card and finished her shift.
What an exciting day she had. She saw her family... even if they didn't recognize her. It was her own fault for working too much and not spending more time with them. Sometimes work DOES get in the way of play and she reeeeeeally needed to play more often. She signed the card and put it in her purse so she wouldn't forget to take it to Llola's party.
Sunflower felt at HOME as she visited with her friends in OZLAND. It had been a long week and she was thankful for a night off from work. Llola looked lovely as usual. Sven was there too. He and Raphaela had stayed awake to enjoy the party. Arwin and Iliana were fashionably late, as usual. Sunflower didn't care... she gave them both long hugs. There was music and dancing and Sunflower forgot to mention that she had seen Arwin, Raphaela, and Sven earlier that week.
Soon it was time to open the presents. Llola opened the boxes first. Everyone ooo'd and ahhh'd. Sunflowers' heart pattered as Llola picked up her card to open. She read it to herself then started to laugh. LAUGH??? How DARE she laugh??? It wasn't a funny card! Arwin grabbed the card... read it and also started laughing. Soon the card was all around the room and everyone was laughing. Sunflower just stood there in shock. WHY was everyone laughing?
Suddenly the whole room recited in chorus...
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.
Sunflower laughed along with everyone, she finally understood, and they were all amazed at how one greeting card could touch, so many lives.