It had been a long, long winter for Johnny. Being alone for the first time in his life was difficult, both emotionally and financially. Winter that year seemed especially dreary, and the school year was particularly wearing. Once the weather started to warm up, Johnny started thinking about working in the flower shop again. Though that job had worn him out by the end of last summer, he definitely needed some relatively mindless work to after all of the mental stress that came with being a teacher.
Just before Mother’s Day, Johnny got a call from Stewart asking if he’d like to work the Saturday before the busy holiday. Johnny jumped at the chance as he was excited to get back to Southampton. It had been months since he’d seen Stewart, Kona or Jackie and he was looking forward to seeing them again. Like any other group of working people, they’d become another sort of family to him. He hadn’t spoken to Kona since last January and he was really looking forward to more good times with her.
Soon enough, the day to start back at the flower shop had arrived and Johnny raced all the way to Southampton, excited to see everybody. He parked the car and went into the flower shop.
“Hey Johnny!” Stewart walked over to greet Johnny and give him a welcoming hug as he entered the back door. “How’ve ya been? How’s school? Are you ready for a crazy day?” Stewart’s reaction to seeing Johnny was mutual to his. It already felt good to be back.
They chatted for a few minutes when Johnny heard someone coming up the stairs from the basement. “Kona!” he thought, the excitement welling up inside him at seeing his long lost friend.
“Johnny, I want you to meet someone. Johnny, this is Misty.”
“Hey!” Misty introduced herself. “So, you’re the famous Johnny Driver Stewart’s been telling me about.
It’s nice to meet you,” Johnny was more than a little surprised.
“We didn’t ask Kona back.” Stewart knew what Johnny was thinking. “She was just way too much drama for us. After she had gone to Vail, James and I discussed it and we thought it would be better to find someone new. Luckily we found Misty here.”
“Oh Stewart, I’m the lucky one. You guys are just too much. I love it here.” She turned to Johnny, “Stewart’s brilliant, isn’t he?”
Stewart giggled. “Aw Misty!”
Johnny didn’t know what to say. He was shocked. Already he didn’t like this one. The two of them seemed a little too chummy, and he wondered what it was going to be like working at the shop now that Kona was gone. He immediately went about the day’s work, avoiding any more conversation about the change in personnel.
It was a long day. Johnny was glad he’d spent most of it out of the shop, on deliveries. Of course there was going to be some animosity with Misty. After all, he and Kona had become good friends, and so not having her there was going to change the whole makeup of the shop. When the time came to clock out, Johnny was grateful that summer hadn’t arrived yet and so he wouldn’t have to be back until sometime in June. He’d have to think on it for awhile anyway, and try to get used to the idea.