Summary: It was a typical day. You were surrounded by hundreds of beautiful flowers and the smell of the open ocean. Working as a florist can be quite boring at times. But, that’s until you spot a figure coming to the beach in the middle of the night.
A/N: Hey guys! This is just a short drabble that I’ve been wanting to write. Hope you enjoy ツ
The salty smell of the ocean blew by as the wind carried it across the board walk. You stopped as you were assorting a new bouquet that a customer ordered and sighed, taking in the fresh air. You’ve been working as a florist for the past several months. Business was good, but you mostly accepted the job offer for a chance to have a beautiful view of the ocean while at work. Although you weren’t allowed to go to the ocean during business hours, which was from 10 am - 9 pm, seeing the waves crash down on the sand was good enough.
It was a typical Sunday at work. People would come in and order or pick up bouquets that you’d assort. You were well known around the boardwalk as one of the best florists around.
A few moments before closing time, you decided to try and make one more bouquet before the day was done. Usually, you liked to bring the flowers outside and assort them as you watched the sun set. A small smiled formed on your lips as you watched the sun slowly disappear behind a line of water.
Because you decided to work on the new bouquet so late, you didn’t finish until around 10 pm. As you walked out of the store and got ready to lock the door, you heard a few footsteps behind you in the sand below. Typically, students and college kids would be leaving the beach by now, so you didn’t think much of it.
After locking the door, you turned and were a bit confused once your sight landed on the beach in front of you. There, a tall figure was making its way to the shore. It was a boy wearing a light colored hoodie and had ash-brown hair. You watched as he made made his way to the edge of the water and sat down. Typically, everyone was leaving at this time, so you were curious as to why he would come out at this hour. But, then you watched as he tilted his head up and followed his gaze.
A small gasp escaped your lips as you took int he sight above you. Hundreds of bright stars filled the sky. You then looked down at the figure and smiled a bit. He was enjoying the scenery. Usually, boys would be chasing after girls in swimsuits or be dancing at one of the clubs near by, so this surprised you. He was different, and this intrigued you. Because your head was too busy with thoughts running through your mind, you didn’t notice as he turned around and met your gaze. Once his eyes met yours, you froze.
He was quite handsome. Probably the same age as you. Because he was pretty far away, you couldn’t make out his face in detail, but could tell he probably had nice features. Your cheeks instantly began to feel hot and you quickly left the boardwalk, hoping he wouldn’t think that you were stalking him.
The next day, all you could think about was the boy at the beach. You couldn’t help but gaze at the spot where he was every few minutes. Mentally you weren’t there at work. You would often over-water the flowers, causing water to spill over a few customers.
“Watch it! What’s your problem?!”
You couldn’t help it, you wanted to see him again.
It was around closing time, but you decided to stay again and see if he would come to the same spot. So, you decided to work on another bouquet until 10 pm, the same time as yesterday.
Your eyelids were slowly getting heavy as you stuck another flower into the plastic wrapping. Since you didn’t get home until later, you didn’t get as much sleep as you usually did. A yawn came out of your mouth as you stretched and looked out towards the ocean front.
Once your vision focused on a tall figure sitting on the sand, you shot up and instantly felt an adrenaline rush running through your body. It was him. Although he was wearing a snap-back hat, you could tell it was. You felt your heart flutter as he peacefully looked up at the sky again like last night.
The next day at work was just like yesterday. You were distracted and constantly had the boy on your mind. You had to get his attention somehow.
As you stared blankly at a bouquet of flowers, you were thinking of ways to get him to notice that you were there.
“Should I walk out there when he comes?… No… What would I say?”
As you mumbled to yourself, you didn’t notice one of your co-workers walking up next to you.
“Uh…y/n? Who’s he?”
You quickly snapped out of your thoughts and laughed nervously, thinking of an excuse.
“N-no one… No one important.”
You co-worker eyed you for a second and then shrugged it off. She then handed you a large bouquet of small blue flowers.
“Here are the Forget Me Not’s. Some lady accidentally ordered too many so we have a bunch left over. The boss told me to give them to you? Something about them being your favorite?”
You softly smiled as you touched one of the delicate petals of a flower.
“Yea, they’re my favorite…”
Your co-worker then went back to doing her own business, leaving you with the flowers. Then, an idea popped in your mind.
It was around 9:45. You quickly closed the shop and headed down to the ocean. As your foot hit the cold sand, you sighed. You hadn’t been able to touch the sand in forever. You then remembered the task you had on hand and quickly made your way to the spot where the boy would go.
You looked around, making sure no one was looking and pulled out a small bundle of blue flowers. It was the Forget Me Not’s. You placed them in the sand and made a small pile at the bottom of the stems so they wouldn’t be carried away by the wind. After, you quickly made your way back to the boardwalk and looked back at the spot before leaving. You bit your lip nervously as you made your way to your car, hoping that he’d be there tonight and see what you left him.
When you came back the next morning, you saw that the flowers were one and next to them, were a pair of large footsteps. You smiled, hoping that it was him who took the flowers.
This continued on for several days. After work you’d leave a small bouquet of the Forget me Not’s on the sand and the next day, they’d be gone.
Today, you were running a bit late with some errands you had to do, so you didn’t have time to pick out a cute bouquet that you usually did. You picked out a simple clear bouquet wrapping with the store’s logo on it and quickly set it in the sand before leaving.
The next day at work was going a bit slow, since it was humid and drizzling outside, not that many people came out to the boardwalk.
Since business was running a bit slow that day, you decided to head to the back room where you kept all the finished bouquets and make sure each of them was assorted correctly.
As you scanned through multiple bouquets, you stopped at one with small blue flowers. The Forget Me Not. You held one of the flower stem in between two of your fingers and sighed.
“Why hasn’t he confronted me yet?… Maybe, he isn’t interested.”
As you let go of the flower, you heard the bell that alerted you and your co-workers if someone walks in the door go off. Your co-worker was in the front, so you relaxed and continued to observe the bouquets in the back.
“Hi welcome to our flower shop. Can I help you with something, sir?”
You listened as your co-worker greeted the customer.
“Uh yea. Um… I think these are from your shop? Someone left them for me and I was just wondering if they are from here.”
You instantly froze where you were. Was it him? Was it the boy from the beach?
As your heart began to race and numerous thoughts ran through your mind, your co-worker walked into the room and quietly shut the door.
“Y/n! There’s a guy out there and I have a question… Did you give him those flowers?”
You laughed nervously and shook your head.
“No… Why do you think it was me?”
Your co-worker smirked and pointed at a Forget Me Not in one of the bouquets around you.
“Forget Me Not’s are your favorite right? And your the only one who has the extras. Wait! So, he’s the ‘he’ you were talking about!?”
You sighed and nodded.
“Yes, but now I instantly regret it. Just tell him it was a mistake.”
She shook her head and grabbed your wrist.
“Wait, what are you-…”
She quickly opened the door and flung you out the room and closed the door shut before you could run back in. You instantly froze, because the door was right behind the front counter, where the boy was.
You slowly turned around and looked up to see the boy standing behind the counter. He was really tall, and really handsome. His ash-brown hair effortlessly flowed around his head and he had very deep dimples in his cheeks.
Because the door slammed shut, he looked up from the bouquet in his hands and your eyes met his. He instantly froze and eyed you up and down. He felt a sense of familiarity once his eyes landed on you. You quickly snapped out of it and slowly made your way to the counter.
“H-Hi… Can I help you with something?”
He finally took his eyes off you and nodded.
“Yeah. Someone’s been giving me these flowers for the past few days. And judging by the logo on the bouquet, they’re from this shop.”
You took the bouquet as he handed them to you. You felt as if your heart was racing and began to stutter.
“I-…I gave t-these-…”
He softly smiled and leaned against the counter. His dimples got deeper and you couldn’t help but stare at him.
“I know it’s you.”
You felt your cheeks get hot and began to feel embarrassed. He knows it was you!? How!? He smiled, noticing your cheeks turn pink from embarrassment.
“I recognize your face from the boardwalk… It’d be hard to forget since you’re so pretty.”
You froze and your heart skipped a beat. Did he really just say that!? You were speechless and began to play with the flowers. He looked down at your hands and took one flower out of the bouquet. You looked up as he observed them.
“Forget Me Not’s, right?”
You were caught off guard when he named the flower.
“How did you…”
“They’re actually one of my favorites.”
You looked over at him the same time he looked at you and softly smiled.
After a few moments of silence, the boy cleared his throat and slid his hands in his pockets.
“Hey, how about you…meet me at the beach tonight?”
You quickly nodded and he smiled. He then slowly began to back out of the store, still facing you.
“Great. See you tonight… Oh, I’m Namjoon by the way.”
As you said your name, he smiled and stopped before leaving the store.
“See you tonight, y/n.”
You waited until he left the store and squealed. You danced happily as you hugged the bouquet in your hands. Your co-worker came out of the backroom with a large smile on her face.
“Thank me later.”
You stepped out of the store after closing it and took a deep breath. The wind was strong, and blew through your hair, causing it to get all messy as you headed down to the shore. You were there before him ,so you decided to sit and wait a little.
After a few moments, you felt a tap on your shoulder and turned to see Namjoon taking a seat next to you. You smiled softly and hugged your knees as a cold gust of wind blew by.
“Are you cold?”
You didn’t know that it was going to be this cold b the water, so you wore a t-shirt and a skirt. You shook your head and hugged your arms, but he slid his jacket off and wrapped it around your shoulders. You smiled and thanked him for the kind gesture.
“Thanks… Anyways, why do you come down here in the middle of the night?”
He thought for a moment and then looked up at the sky.
“I like to stargaze… Back when I was younger, I didn’t have the best parents in the world, so for my escape, I’d go out and look at the stars.”
You felt a bit of sympathy for him, but he still had a smile on his face.
“You know, there are over 300 billion stars in the sky?”
You couldn’t help but feel intrigued by this boy. He was really smart, you could tell, and was different from other people you’ve met before. He then looked over at you and you froze.
“I’d like to do this with you more often.”
You smiled and nodded as you both looked up in the sky and were consumed by the breathtaking sight. As you looked up at the sky, Namjoon handed you a small bouquet and you instantly smiled. It was a bouquet of Forget Me Not’s.
Walking in the Wind is such a paradox of a song because you’ve got that light, airy rhythm that kind of sounds like summer and warmth and soft smiles, but then you’ve got the most bittersweet lyrics that follow, which shouldn’t fit with the tune but they do. You’ve got hope, you’ve got redemption, you’ve got loss, you’ve got promises all wrapped 3 minutes 23 seconds. It’s a masterpiece. It’s thought provoking, and it makes your insides feel mushy
Walking in the Wind is a bonus song on Made in the A.M. It doesn’t fit easily into the One Direction canon; it’s not swaggering or fit for a stadium. There are no rivals, no romantic interests, no ships. This is One Direction doing Paul Simon. This is One Direction sitting back, taking a breath, settling into a story.
From the opening, stepping guitar, Walking in the Wind is unhurried. A week ago you said to me, do you believe I’ll never be too far. The song is an exchange between one who’s lost someone, and the one who’s been lost. The fact that we can sit right here and say goodbye, means we’ve already won. The latter remembers their time together, and the former insists: it isn’t over, you’ll find me, there’s still more to come. We had some good times, didn’t we? We had some good tricks up our sleeve. The one who lost sings. And the other responds: But it’s not the end. I’ll see your face again.
Walking in the Wind isn’t a sharp song. It’s imprecise. But it points at a singer trying to interrogate the loss, trying to understand the promise and the inevitable breaking of that promise. The song examines, rather than argue. It doesn’t defend against the present or future absence. There is no armor, no mechanism. Simply truth. The song looks back on what once existed, and recognizes it as a faded medium: a Polaroid.
But that’s okay! The song insists. It’s catchy and chill. The melody picks up and sweeps forward. They sing, insistently: You will find me, in places that we’ve never been. For all that the song is about, the music is upbeat and optimistic. It’s okay, it will be okay. We’re sure of it.
Harry Styles, a co-writer on Walking in the Wind, said of another song he wrote, Olivia, that “it doesn’t have to be so literal.” Olivia doesn’t have to be a person, he insisted. It could be a place. “Sometimes I think it’s cool to take an emotion and personify it.”
I think the same thought applies to Walking in the Wind.
The song is about loss, yes, but not necessarily one loss, one absence. As adults, we become inured to small deaths. The numbers we lose, the friendships that fall away, the moments we forget. All small, nearly imperceptible endings in our daily lives. So many, that soon we stop counting. We’re taught that every door closing will open another, and we whisper this to ourselves, enough so that we forget to notice if another door does open, or if the first door simply stays closed.
We come to understand these endings by containing them within a story. We accept a break up because a best friend says, “Sometimes, relationships take so many parts of you, that by the end, you’re left with nothing,” and you decide to think about the break up as you would a survival story, rather than the more pedestrian “we stopped liking each other.” A move becomes a step forward, rather than a step away; a fight becomes a miscommunication.
Walking in the Wind is trying to decide which story to tell. The one of the absence, or the one of the future reconciliation. This song is about loss. But it’s also about the stories we tell about those losses, and the ways we claim them.
Yesterday I went out to celebrate the birthday of a friend. But as we raised our glasses up to make a toast, I realized you were missing.
Stories rename themselves as we go. Their edges shift. Their definitions change. The way we experience them in the moment is different from the way we experience them in retrospect, and this is what Walking in the Wind hinges on. It’s optimistic, still, in that moment of reckoning. The song insists: you will find me. What has happened, has happened. But more is to come.
This isn’t a song about mourning. It’s about the story that comes from the mess. It’s not an ending, or even a punctuation mark. It’s a semi-colon. Unresolved.
We may not know if it’s okay. We may not know for awhile.
We had some good times, didn’t we? We wore our hearts out on our sleeve.