Chrysanthemums. Someone had left chrysanthemums in her locker. And not just that. There was also hellebores and bluebonnets and even some forget-me-nots. It was a bouquet. She had a secret admirer.
This thought raced through her head as she went from class to class. A secret admirer. It was so exciting. It wasn't until the end of the day that she realized that her secret admirer might be someone she didn't like. What then? Reject him?
She frowned at the flowers before leaving them there and leaving the school. This was suddenly complicated. No, she needed to know now. Was it the cute boy in Biology? He smiled at her once. But he probably didn't even know her name. Was it one of the nerds in English? She didn't want to judge people based on appearance and she knew they were probably very nice, but still she hoped it was the boy from Biology.
As she walked home, she noticed a man standing across the street. He had unkept red hair and wore a dark coat that had very long sleeves, sleeves that went past his hands. He turned before she could see his face and walked the other way.
As she brushed her hair that night, she again thought of the flowers and who her secret admirer might be. She had texted her friend about the flowers and her friend had texted back that it was creepy. COULD B FROM NEBODY, the text said. EVN THE JANITOR.
She hadn't thought of that. She had been worrying that she wouldn't like her secret admirer, but what if it was worse than that? What if it was a teacher? She could tell her parents or the principal if it came down to that.
She didn't notice the man outside her window. She didn't see the smile.
The next morning, as she walked to school, she again saw the red-haired man with the long sleeves. He was holding something in his hand, however. She squinted and tried to see what he was holding.
Chrysanthemums. He was holding chrysanthemums.
He was across the street, but now he was in front of her. Now she could see his face, see his smile. It's too wide, she thought before screaming, how can it be so wide oh god.
When the police searched for her, the only thing they were able to find was her discarded bookbag. To their bewilderment, it was filled with chrysanthemums.