Yesterday was a tough day for Mike.
Mike is a mechanic and he knows a lot about cars, but not a lot about much else. He is one of only four repair guys in his one horse, two stoplight town.
He goes to a local diner for supper after work most everyday unless a schoolbus needs a repair, or a similar emergency. He likes one of the waitresses, whose nametag says Sally, but everyone calls her SJ, for Sally Jean.
I think Mike would have bought her a birthday present, or at least a card if he knew it was her birthday, but he didn't know that. At least not until 4 pm, when he was clocking out and one of his co-workers mentioned it to him. His friend was probably trying to help, knowing that Mike likes SJ and all.
So, Mike who is not exactly a planner, didn't know what to do, so he drove around town a couple of times thinking and when he decided he should buy her flowers he realized that he would have to drive to Jackson (thirty miles North) if wanted to find to a florist, and they probably closed at four anyway. About that time he passed the cemetery and, well, one thing led to another.
About an hour later, after his mealoaf special and two sweet teas Mike asked for his check and without really looking at her, told SJ Happy birthday. She smiled and gave a little blush.
At that moment Mike was certain he had done the right thing. After he paid his bill, Mike pulled the flowers out from under the booth and left them on the table with a note written on one of the paper napkins on his table:
these are for you- Mike
Its likely it would have worked out great if SJ had not recognized the roses as the ones she had left on her mother's grave the same morning.