You grab some of the flowers and put them in your saddlebag carefully as Leafy watches with amusement.
"You're going to show her you care," she says with unveiled happiness.
"Well, yeah," you reply, having finally found your senses again, "She's my special somepony."
"I hope one day that I too can have a special somepony. One who cares, like you."
The comment makes your ears burn a bit, but it makes you smile. If this pony who just met you can tell how much you care….
"Right, that's enough I think," you say as you shut your saddlebag, "Let's get to town."
Leafy nods as the two of you set off in the direction you're pretty sure town is in.
You find your way to town without any issue. If anything the day seems perfect. The sun is out, but it's not too hot. A cool cross breeze blows. Ponies play and go about their business all throughout the town as Leafy looks about in wonder. You can tell from her expression that she's holding back a lot of questions. Audibly, at least. Your brain is abuzz with a hundred simple questions that you're pretty sure you know the answers to. You have to briefly remind her to calm down. You'll show her around and explain more after she's met Sweetie.
As you walk through town you look out for any posters with your face on them, or any kind of reference to what day it is. There's nothing of the sort, oddly enough. Perhaps nobody in town is looking for you quite yet. Maybe they didn't notice your absence. Or maybe it's the same day that you left on.
You and Leafy reach the boutique. You knock on the door, waiting for a response as Leafy smiles at you.
The door opens, a surprised looking Rarity greeting the two of you.
"Well hello, Puff! What a pleasant surprise! And you brought a friend. Quite a young one at that. Is she someone you knew from school?"
"Uh, no, not quite," you say bashfully, "But, uh, I was wondering if Sweetie was here?"
Rarity waves a hoof at you, "Oh, Puff. You know she's working at the school today! She won't have a day off until next Monday!"
"Next Monday?" you ask, "But she told me she could meet me for lunch today."
Rarity frowns slightly.
"I assure you she works today. I have her schedule on the fridge. Please, come in and I'll show you."
You and Leafy enter the boutique, Leafy standing and staring in open mouthed wonder at the workspace around her as you follow Rarity to the kitchen to look over Sweetie's schedule.
"Here you are," Rarity says, pointing at the calendar and pointing at today's date, and then next Monday. Next Monday is marked "Ask Puff to lunch" in big red letters and circled several times.
"As I said; She's free next Monday. Though you could catch her after work later this week, or a whole day later this week if Miss Cheerilee has enough chaperons for the field trip she's been planning."
….Something about this is oddly familiar.