Norman was born and raised in Riverview. He doesn't remember much about his parents because they died under mysterious circumstances when he was an infant. The local orphanage took him in when he was just two years old. He was sent off to the Academy of Peace and Love when he turned thirteen. While Norman attended school away from Riverview he fell in love with gardening. He had an amazing understanding of the earth and how she worked.
He graduated at the age of Twenty and returned to Riverview with the dream of starting a local plant nursery. He worked long hours at a local flower shop in hopes of saving up money to buy his own shop. One day a customer came in with a large order of tomatoes. Norman started packing several tomatoes in boxes. When the customer arrived to pick up the tomatoes Norman was love-struck. The customer's name was Ruth and she was buying the tomatoes to give to the homeless shelter. Norman loved her kind spirit and her thoughtful gesture. He helped carry the tomatoes to the shelter and talked with Ruth the whole time. He learned that Ruth loved to garden but had nowhere to grow plants. Norman took a chance and asked her if she wanted to co-purchase a small plot of land in the community garden. Ruth was so happy; she waited her whole life for a chance to start gardening for real.
The next day the two went to town hall to fill out some paperwork before owning their own small plot of dirt which would soon become a garden.
"Thank you so much Norman." Ruth said sentimentally.
"It's no problem Ruth." He replied with a smile.
Caught up in the moment Ruth turned and kissed Norman. Although she missed his lips she got his nose. Upon realizing where she landed her cheeks flushed red, Norman's did too.
"Sorry" she whispered.
Norman laughed, "It's okay. I probably couldn't have done any better."
The two played it off and Ruth ran straight for their plot of land across the street.
"Isn't she beautiful?" Ruth asked rhetorically.
"She sure is." Norman replied.
The two spent the rest of the day planting seeds in the small plot of dirt.
Weeks went by as the plot gave birth to new life, and small sprouts covered the garden. Ruth and Norman never really saw each other but left messages to one another in a small mailbox they placed in the garden. Norman was excited because he was going to get an advance on his paycheck so he could rent out a small office near the community garden. He went out to the bank that day when he ran into Ruth outside.
"Ruth, It's been ages!" Norman called out.
"Norman, what are you doing here?" Ruth replied.
"Well, i'm just about to," Norman started to tell her the great news until he saw envelopes in her hand stating, 'Eviction and Final Notice'.
"About to what?" Ruth asked as if nothing was wrong.
"I don't mean to intrude Ruth but, are you having financial trouble?"
Ruth's face turned red as the tomatoes she was buying the day the met,"Oh that's not mine" she said out of breath.
"Oh, i'm sorry I just thought that if you needed some help," he started.
Ruth broke down into tears, "My mother passed away six months ago and I thought I could handle living on my own but, it's so hard! I pay the bills and then I have nothing left over, I've had to eat the plants i'm growing in the garden just to get by."
"Oh Ruth," Norman said "I had no idea."
Ruth was covering her sobs with her hands and he wasn't sure what to do so he did what he thought was best and hugged her.
"Ruth you know, you could bunk with me, you know just until you got back on your feet."
She looked up at him through tears, "R-really you would do that for me?"
"Yes, absolutely. You helped me start my dream and i'm not going to finish it without you."
Ruth smiled and wiped away her tears. "Thank you so much."
The years passed and Ruth never actually moved out. The two had disagreements mostly about the fate of the small plot that was now too small to hold the size of plants they needed to grow but, the always made up. Norman and Ruth were more than just friends but a definitive 'label' was never actually sorted out, all the two knew was that they were meant for each other.
Eventually Norman did propose to Ruth and she agreed to marry him and with the money Norman was going to use to purchase a place of his own the two bought a small house with a big yard.
The first year living by themselves was hard; during the summer months the two would get up at the crack of dawn to harvest fruits and vegetables while the rest of the day was spent weeding and watering.
That summer Norman registered as a self-employed gardener while, Ruth realized she had a knack for fishing. She help supplement the income by spending all day fishing. This of course left Norman to deal with all the gardening by himself. The two had it made but didn't realize that with winter their marriage and livelihood would be tested.