Point Of Pride


cash_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif

Scene Title Point of Pride
Synopsis While visiting the Rose Garden, Huruma meets the calm groundskeeper.
Date February 10, 2011

The Corinthian: Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is both that as well as greenhouse, glass walls and rooftop ceiling off this little getaway from whatever weather happens to be uselessly battering at it. When the snow falls, it makes a flurry against the glass, an inverse snow dome, but right now it's clear, with a smoggy, starry night domed beyond. The outside courtyard that lies between its closed doors and the opened ones of the warm and bright hotel interior is empty of people save for those moving back and forth, a temporary and interstitial space.

It's warm in here, and smells of dirt and fragrant flowers, crowded with beds of roses, miniature explosions of colour and thorny stalks alike. Dense Indian Hawthorne hedges below the height of a knee create an artful and polite barrier between flowering displays and the gravel pathways, of which there are six coming together into a star-like pattern. The center of this starburst arrangement holds a small three-tiered fountain, bringing with it the scent and sound of trickling water. There are benches around the edges, wooden slats left naked of paint and new to look at, polished smooth.

Huruma's rounds take up much of her morning- go here, go there, do this, do that- habit makes her detours relatively the same, and necessity keeps them simple. Over the days since she has been tasked with keeping an eye on Delia- whether the girl wants that or not- she has tried to find something to do at the Corinthian when she finishes her early mornings. At first with nobody around, she had an interesting time with the casino; that ended on a bit of a sour note for some reason. Since, she had taken to checking out the bar, or the restaurant. Only so much to explore. Yesterday she finally came around to the Rose Garden- and really- wondered why she hadn't in the first place.

Though roses are not Huruma's first choice of flowers, they are still quite lovely. A day ago she didn't spend too much time in the greenhouse, only long enough to inspect it and tell herself to return when she has more time to sit. Incidentally, this morning has been very unfulfilling, and Huruma finds herself sneaking over more readily than she expected. Perhaps she was looking forward to it too much.

The tall woman sits, lounging on one of the benches at the center of the star pattern, looking onto the fountain that still bubbles in the warmth. For lack of others being up here, the bench she is on is rather taken over by her. A coat and cap in a pile nearby, her position angled from one corner of the bench, legs semi-outstretched. For all intensive purposes she looks rather normal this morning- boots and denim leggings, an ivory blouse, a purple blazer. Anyone that has passed through so far has been sensible enough to keep to themselves; Huruma has been drawn in to whatever she is doing with her cellphone anyway. She sends a text religiously, every ten minutes or so. Whoever she is doing this to is either not getting them, or emitting replies she doesn't like, as her expression has been keening in on displeased for a while.

Despite the name, and the displays of roses, they are not the only flowers in the garden these days. Roses may be of many colors, but they wouldn't be as beautiful without the contrast of other shapes and sizes. Sprigs of lavender, lilacs, even the occassional iris. Anything that could be grown, has been, and one person visits many times a day to see to their upkeep. At this hour, it's the watering that the tall dark skinned woman will get to view.

Half a foot shorter, with pale skin and gray-blue eyes, Deanna Cash still looks rather tall and lanky, from the length of her arms and legs, and the way she bends over to make sure that the water poured gets close to the roots. In the middle of gently watering one of the plants that needs a little less water than others, she glances up and spots someone… unlike most of the usual guests.

Her eyes linger for a time, before she realizes she's still pouring and tsks at herself as she straightens. Until she noticed, her emotional state had been very calm, and very at peace— but it moved toward surprise.

But then Huruma is likely used to people surprised by the sight of her.

"I do not think I have seen you in the garden before," she says outloud, in a crisp and calm voice.

There is the tickle of someone coming into Huruma's field at some point, though she doesn't bother herself with looking up until she knows that the source comes into view. It was a calm and collected sort of person, steady over the minutes in the back of her head. Her intent on the phone does not waver until she lifts her eyes to look, presumably giving up on whatever she was doing.

So that when Cash looks up and spots her, Huruma is glancing back for just a few seconds, before her eyes turn down in the vague hope there will be a message received. Of course, there isn't, and she finally turns the screen down and tucks the phone into the inside of her blazer. All the while, she notes, very carefully, the subtle change in the woman across the corner of the courtyard. It was an unsurprising reaction, however, and she was ready to pay it little attention. But then the woman spoke to her.

"This is only m'second time here." Huruma's voice has its usual smooth, deep presence, and her eyes find themselves observing the young woman nearby more clearly.

"Welcome, then. Flowers only live to be viewed, so it is good that they have new visitors every so often," Cash says in the same calm tones, something a mix of pride and sadness under the surface, as if she is pleased someone is viewing them, but sad at the same time. Despite the complexity of the emotions, her face and voice remains calm and collected.

"I apologize if I am distracting you from important business," she motions with the watering can, before she moves to pour water on one of the more thirsty of the bunch. "But I have a question, if you have a moment."

Huruma is rather skilled at not letting people know that she is literally reading them; her eyes on the willowy woman stir only slightly as she does so, ears metaphorically perked. It is a peculiar thing to accidentally stumble upon a person that can have mixed feelings under the surface, yet keep the face impassive and showing virtually nothing. "You are not."

Huruma leans back against the bench, ankles crossing, the toes of her boots pinning back. "I have too many moments, it seems like. Lately." Huruma sighs, just a bit, all through her nose. "Provided it is nothing too personal, I think that I can answer something."

For a moment, the emotions coming off the young woman give the impression of a smile, though it doesn't actually grace her full lips. Deanna Cash doesn't often smile, though sometimes one doesn't need to. "Do you have a favorite?" is the question that she asks, before gesturing around to the flowers.

"Not necessarily of those we have. We do not have the variety of a botanical garden, or even a very good flower market, but I like to try and find out if a favored flower of one of our visitors is missing, so that it may be added, if possible."
"I am not bound t'be around forever…" Huruma begins, being a smidge obstinate. Thankfully she realizes this and cuts herself short. "But. Mmm." She hasn't often had this asked of her. Such a stupidly simple thing- what is your favorite flower? To never have been asked makes her pause, scorning herself for being so out of touch.

"Gladiolus." Huruma finally answers after a few more moments, her mind wandering continents away to fields and hillocks dotted with the crimson flowers and spiny green leaves.

"Gladiolus, name derived from the latin word for sword, symbolizing strength and moral integrity," Cash says quietly, as she glances toward the section that contains some of the irises that grow. None of them are gladiolus, but it could be she's deciding where they would manage best, should she order some.

"The species from higher altitudes of Africa or Europe would probably survive best here, if I can get ahold of some." And it sounds, and feels, as if she may try to. "That particular flower fits you, though, ma'am." At the use of 'ma'am' she even gives a small nod of her head, like a partial bow.

Huruma laughs to herself after 'moral integrity'. She likes to think so lately, but not so much from before. She looks impressed by the woman's ability to rattle off something like that, however, dipping her head in return. "African plants are hardier than many give them credit for. I appreciate your knowing that." Maybe there is some self-inserting when it comes to this fact, but Huruma isn't that self-absorbed. …Not at the moment.

"In th'late summer I see them in almost every suburban garden, in flowerbeds… they seem t'do well enough anywhere." If the spring is wet enough and the summer warm enough.

"The winters that this city seems to have lately calls for sturdier species," Cash says with that hint of a smile, though this time it actually shows, for a brief moment. "Many of the flowers I have ordered come from South American or African species. You should visit again in a week or two, if you remain in the area— You will likely see at least one variety of your favorite flower."

Even if it's too early in the season for them. The greenhouse does it's job fooling the plants in believeing it's an endless spring.

"I don'know how long I will be around here. Potentially a while- it really depends on my- ah- job." Huruma squints for a second, mentally finding an appropriate word for what it is that she is doing here at all. A job. Yeah. Sure, that works. "But if I am still nearby, I think that I will check for it…" Which itself implies that she may come around in between, who really knows? Could be.

"D'you take care of this garden on your own?"

If nothing else the garden is a nice, warm place to relax and admire the plants that don't grow in the city outside easily. Cash shakes her head at the question, even before she attempts to speak to explain. Her English is crisp, with hints of a mild, unidentifiable accent, she seems quite fluent in forming the words she wants.

"Not alone, no, though I do spend most of my time here, at the moment." Finally setting down her emptied watering can, she touches her cover-all work clothes, or perhaps something hidden under them between her breasts, and adds, "My name is Cash."

Huruma has encountered a great many accents, but there are even those people that she has trouble pinning. Cash, as she introduces herself, is one of them. She watches the young woman's hands as they move, but only because her movements are otherwise very slight. "Huruma."

"It is pleasant t'meet someone so subdued, among people so… not."

For a moment, there's a laugh. It's subdued, as the taller woman observed, but there. Cash actually seems amused for a moment as well, or as amused as she's seemed since they started talking. Amused, but also sad. It doesn't overpower the calm, though. "There are very few people who find that a virtue. In the past, people have taken great pride in causing me to… be the opposite."

The hand drops away, leaving a small crinkle in the outfit that hints toward something under her clothes, and a simple necklace is visible around her neck. "It was nice to meet you, Huruma. I hope you return to enjoy the garden as long as you are in the area. The flowers are even more subdued than me, most of the time."

Huruma lets a short laugh of her own out. "Being forceful when you are not meant t'be is an overrated thing." Her hand lifts to draw fingers across her jaw, legs unfolding to pull her into a stand. Sitting down, nobody ever seems as tall as they are, and suddenly she finds herself scanning the air downward towards the young lady. She watches a moment, before bending at the waist to pull up her coat and cap.

"There is a force in itself in being what comes naturally." She smiles. "And it is a point of pride." And that's all she has to say about that.

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