This short story will be in two parts over the next two days.
It was Christmas time, and I had just relocated to Orange County, Florida. I visited a large outdoor shopping area and was immediately drawn in by its festivities. The pleasant faces filled the spaces, and children’s laughter punctuated the hustle and bustle while vendors were busy making their displays. It enriched my senses. Not wanting to be a frivolous spender, I decided to be financially responsible and not get carried away with my surroundings.
Let’s just call it the hypnotic effects of the season; I sashayed into a nursery nearby. Upon immediately entering, I was struck by the splendor of colors of red, lavender, orange, green, yellow, and an array of flowers that left me spellbound and intoxicated by their fragrance. I knew I was in trouble, and without thinking, I became immersed in the overwhelming experience. I couldn’t help feeling like this was a harmony between God and nature. “The magnificence of nature’s parade,” I whispered, after repositioning my stare from the faces of strangers looking at me with a smile to the poinsettias and mums. The mums were milky-white and housed in green harvest pots, which stood two feet tall. From afar, the formation of the mums resembled a gigantic flower, each petal embracing the next as if to say, “we’re equal by design, kissed by nature, but created by love!” Their lush green leaves cushioned the flowers above them, whose petals overlapped, creating a sharp contrast with a glossy, intense green.
I placed one on either side of the glass sliding doors on arriving home. However, as time went by, I forgot to water them. It was not long after the petals that once stood with a welcoming gesture were now laying around their pots on the floor like scattered confetti while their earth-brown leaves spread amongst them crumbled. Their life source soon became a cluster of dried twigs projecting in mid-air like old antennas, brown as the soil they seemed buried. Looking at them, I reflected on their former beauty, and my stomach turned. I became shaken to the core. It was in that moment an awakening that occurred reminiscent of relationships, loss through Neglect. Continue…