One sunny day, the business was pretty slow at my flower shop. I had been waiting for customers for hours and I almost dozed off when suddenly someone came into the shop.

“Aunty, I want to pre-order a lot of flowers.” A young voice pulled me back from my half-sleepy state, drawing my eyes to a thin little boy who was standing beside me. His face was pale but he had a big smile on his face. His big, round eyes blinked at me.

“Could I pre-order 60 years’ worth of flower bouquets?” He raised his head and asked me. After hearing his words, I nearly burst with laughter as I had never heard of anyone who wants to pre-order flowers for 60 years. “I want to pre-order a bunch of flower bouquets, mainly carnations for the next 60 years to be delivered on September 22nd. Is it possible?”. He smiled after he asked me.

“I want to give these flowers as a birthday present to my mother and September 22nd is her birthday. My mother is 40 years old now and she may live until 100 years of age, so I would like to pre-order 60 years worth of flowers. After that, you need to help me deliver a bouquet of fresh carnations to my mother on every September 22nd. This would make my mother feel happy and blessed.” The little boy told me in just one breath. Such a pure child!

But, how could I keep my florist business running for 60 years?

Out of curiosity, I asked him why. “Why do you want to pre-order 60 years of flowers? My florist might not be open for that long! Could you come and book once every year?”

“No, I couldn’t. I need to pre-order 60 years of flowers. If your florist closed down, please get another florist to continue to send these flowers.” The boy answered thoughtfully.

“Please tell me the total cost of the flowers.” The boy said with a serious tone.

I was afraid that this child was pulling a prank on me. This was a pre-order of 60 years worth of flowers. Children are always playful, aren’t they?

I replied after thinking carefully, “Let me think….Ok, the total cost would be $30 dollars. How far is your home from my florist?”

“It’s very close by, my home is just opposite the road. Here is a $100 bill. 60 years is a long time and who knows when inflation hits, the price of flowers will increase.” As he spoke, the boy pulled out a $100 dollar bill from his pocket. I was surprised by the way he spoke.

He might be eleven or twelve years old but he spoke like an adult!

The boy then gave me the $100 bill and wrote down his address on a piece of paper. “This is my address. Please remember to deliver the flowers to my home.” He handed the paper with his crooked handwriting on it. “You need to tell me your mother’s name”, I said to him.

He nodded his little head, smiled, and replied, “My mother’s name is very nice. Her name is Catherine and I am Toby.”

While I was taking note of his mother’s name, the boy said, “Right, it is July now and my mother’s birthday is in two months’ time. Please remember to deliver a bouquet of carnations to my home.”

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