The girl at the garden check-out smiles as you approach, takes the flowering cymbidium – pink with a burgundy-coloured spray decorating its pale throat – and reads the barcode into the store’s inventory and pricing system.
A tall girl, a year or three out of High School, no ravages in her fair face.
‘What is the difference between a man who buys an orchid for a woman and one who doesn’t?’
All the girl can do is shrug, unable to offer a response.
I tap the card. The sale is approved.
‘Nobody has ever bought one for you?’
Another smile now, slower. Real.
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