You stared slack-jawed at the broken stalks of sunflowers that lay underneath your wrecked bicycle. This was bad. Very, very bad.
Forget about how your bike was utterly useless now and how blood was trickling down your cheek and arm. You knew whose house this was, and if you were caught here surrounded by the ruined flowers, you'd be more than a bit bloodied and bruised.
The flowers which you'd just killed belonged to the one and only Ivan Braginski.
"Dearest mother and father in heaven above, please save me." you said into the sky. Never mind that both of your parents were both alive and able-bodied, you were too worried for your life to care.
You scrambled to your feet and picked up your bike, momentarily examining the crooked front wheel before attempting to make a quick escape.
"Where are you thinking that you are going?" sounded an eerily calm voice
Any thoughts you had about running away dissolved at the sight of Ivan.
"N-nowhere. Just to... come and apologize... "
Well these were your last moments. You took one last look at the outside world before shuffling inside toward your demise.
You followed the large man through the house and into his kitchen where he motioned for you to sit. He began to clean and dress your wounds while humming and smiling to himself. It was very offsetting but you sat through his care-taking.
When he finished he told you that you'd be coming over every day until his sunflowers were fixed. Anger pulsated in your heart. They were just flowers, after all. But the thought of what he might do to you if you refused kept you quiet and compliant throughout his talking.
Once you left, refusing the offer of a ride for dragging your bike all the way home, you had no plans of returning to his home. Ivan must have sensed that you might avoid work, for the next morning he was at your door, waiting to take you.
You had hoped that as soon as Ivan had set you to work, he'd retreat into his house. But he apparently had plans to help you. While you worked silently and and far away from the Russian as possible, he seemed to be completely oblivious to your discomfort, chatting away cheerily and humming between stints of talking.
For someone so terrifying, his happy attitude seemed wildly out of place. All the rumours you'd heard about him had said he was scary, heartless, and cruel. Not one had mentioned how often he smiled. True, even his smiles had an aura of darkness around them at times but they were, for the most part, genuine.
Over the weeks spent fixing the garden bed and planting new Sunflowers, you learned more about Ivan and became progressively less fearful of him.
It turned out that he did have a reason to love Sunflowers and for the frightening air that surrounded him. He began to be a person in your eyes, not just a monster.
Ivan loved making people smile. Evil people don't like bringing happiness to others. Ivan was a loving being. You saw that now. The rumours about him now began to anger you.
The first you ever spoke to him was about the rumours. He looked ecstatic to find you no longer feared him. Your days of gardening after that were filled with conversation and smiles.
Rumours started up as people began to notice all the time you were spending with Ivan. Most suspected that he had somehow threatened you into keeping him company. No one believed that you enjoyed being with him and now believed he had brainwashed you as well.
It irritated you that people would be so quick to judge. But, then again, you did the same thing.
When the time came that the last flower was planted, your heart fell. Now you had no excuse to visit every day...
"So I guess I'm done then..." you said sadly, a frown upon your face.
"Da... Unless you will be helping me with the backyard?"
You lit up with a smile, "I'd love to, Ivan"