new to the neighborhood

At the corner of my new street was a stop sign with a sticker that read, “and smell the roses.” And you really could, because on that corner was the rose bush you pulled me out of.

You started laughing at me, but when you noticed I seem embarrassed, you reached down to your ankles and yanked up your jeans until they reached your knees.

“It got me too.”

We both started laughing, and you asked me if you could buy me a beer. I said no. Because I wanted to buy you a beer. I felt like I owed it to you anyway, and when you agreed, you said, “but if we end up having a good time, I get to buy you one too-you’re new to the neighborhood anyway right?”

Three doors down was a bar we would one day become regulars at, and I bought you that beer. And then you bought me one. We played pool and you did that horribly cliche thing where you stood behind me to teach me how to hold the stick properly, even after I sank three balls in a row. Then I taught you about how extra innings in a baseball game worked, because the Twins were playing on the TV by the bathrooms. Even though I’m sure you already knew,  you let me tell you anyway, and you asked questions, and let me rant all the way to the bottom of my pint.

Later that night we walked down the street that led us back to the rose bush. You stopped in front of it, hands in your pocket as you said, “I’m glad you fell in there.”

I was glad too but I couldn’t let you know it, so I pushed you in instead. Just so the score was even.

I eventually pulled you out, laughing madly until you said, “You’re a real thorn in my side.”

“You know, you’re jokes are just too thorny for me…”

Then you said something like, “Who are you anyway?”

“I’m just a girl standing in front of a bush, asking it to love her. Who are you?”

“The guy that planted it.”

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