Once upon a time there was a flower named Jean. This flower was lovely. Of course, being lovely is subjective. There were other pretty flowers around. Some were even in full bloom. They were beautiful as well. To some humans, perhaps even to most, they were more beautiful than Jean because she was not in full bloom. Also, she had taken a beating from heavy raindrops in terrible and thunderous storms. She had some wrinkles on her petals from long periods under the sun without any water.
She hadn’t even reached her full potential just yet really.
But to a certain boy, she was still very, very pretty, and he liked the rough way about her in her soft blue hues.
He had just been walking by the garden that grew along the sidewalk on his way to work.
He saw the flower and stopped. He looked at it. Then he continued on his way to work.
And then a few more days passed and the boy stopped and sat on a bench on the sidewalk just next to where the flower grew and talked to Jean.
He said, “I walked by the other day. I thought you were really pretty. You are really pretty…And I have been wanting to tell you that ever since I saw you.”
And he leaned down and sniffed her fragrance.
She smelled as pretty as she looked. Her petals were so soft, and the way they peeled out towards him was so sweet.
She smelled him. A human boy. She had smelled others before who walked along the sidewalk of her garden. He smelled different. And she liked it. She closed her eyes, letting his nose tickle her.
The boy wrapped his fingers around her stem. She felt his hand beginning to tug harder around her. She thought that this would be the moment. She would be plucked from the earth. Maybe he would wear her happily on top of his ear, next to that mysterious mind of his. She thought about her leaves and stem tangling in his long and wild hair. She smiled. Maybe he would buy a nice vase and fill it with water and then set in next to a sunny window until she withered away for good. She couldn’t wait to fill his room with a floral scent and add color to a most likely blandly decorated bedroom. Maybe he would place her between pages, close her up in a favorite novel of his. Then she would dry up, and whenever he opened a book that she bookmarked, he would smell her and think of the time he had first sat and talked with her in the garden. It sounded romantic, dying in the midst of a story. Perhaps he would only twirl her in his fingers until he had to use his hands for regular day-to-day things that people used their hands for like work, teeth-brushing, texting, or consuming food.
The tugging suddenly stopped. Jean stopped daydreaming of the future and looked around confused. He had not plucked her from the earth. The boy had left her in the soil. He stood up from the bench. She looked up. He looked down.
“I can’t take you with me,” he said.
“But why not?”
“But what of it?”
“You’re a sweet smelling flower. You belong in someone’s garden.”
“I don’t want to grow in someone’s garden.”
“You deserve to grow.”
“You deserve a flower.”
The boy rubbed one of Jean’s petals softly. Then he turned and walked away.
Jean wanted to call out to him, but she knew better than that.
The next day, a boy named Michael walked along a sidewalk. He had been dreaming about a girl named Abbie. He loved her, but he was not quite sure if she returned those feelings. It was a dreary way to be, doubtful about someone you cared about… He needed some reassurance. But how would he get it? Just as he asked himself this question, he saw a beautiful flower growing in the garden alongside the sidewalk. Well, actually it wasn’t very beautiful to Michael. After all, beauty is subjective. The petals were quite wrinkly. It seemed strangely wilted by the elements of the Earth. It looked as if it hadn’t even bloomed yet, really… But it would do the trick, Michael thought. He bent over, reached down, and plucked the flower from its roots. And then he continued walking along the sidewalk letting Jean’s petals fall to the concrete as he mumbled aloud: “She loves me...She loves me not...She loves me… She loves me not…”