a sunflower too late.

I walked to the flower shop two blocks away to buy some flowers for my mother. She would always bring home flowers. Although it was inevitable they die after a few days, their time in our home brought me excitement and her, something beautiful to admire.

Which colour, which kind shall I choose, I thought as my vision flooded with bouquets of allure when I opened the tiny, rickety door of Fleurs. I let the name roll through my thoughts, sparking familiar past conquests.  It was titled with a sign in rusting metal letters, the product of its age and history.

“Welcome!” the man behind the counter bellowed. He was always mysteriously cheerful, although I suppose constantly being surrounded by such beauty had to have some kind of effect. I replied with a less gleeful, “Hello!”

It had been a long time since I had visited my mom. This gift has to be perfect, something that will remind her of our greatest memories, show my love; an apology. My eyes glanced over flower bouquets of vigorous colours and my nose followed while being indulged with mother nature’s greatest fragrances. Although the room was small, it was nothing short of marvelous. My eyes settled on a small arrangement of pink, almost white peonies. A great contrast to the screaming hues of the shop, I was suddenly brought back to a faint memory, alike the colour of the flowers that lay in front of me.

It was the morning of my ninth birthday. I woke up to my mother’s smiling face as she exclaimed, “Happy birthday Clara!” I remember being ecstatic for the party to come. My mom had prepared a sparkly dress adorned with lace and flowers for me to wear. It was the same colour of baby pink.

“Here darling, let me help you put this on. You’ll be a princess,” she said. I giggled with excitement as the day started out with great happiness. Little did my mom or I know, however, that my friends would laugh and ridicule the dress just a few hours later.

“What are you wearing Clara? You look so stupid, one girl said while others followed with laughter.” Their laughter became faint as I rushed upstairs. The dress had become stained with tears and through a foggy vision, I saw my mom rush to my side.

“Clara darling, don’t listen to them. They-”

“I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” I shrieked. My tiny hands pushed her out of my room and she didn’t push back. I remember feeling my mom’s tears brush my skin, but I didn’t care. As I had just bawled with such fury, I hated her.

“Do you wish to purchase this madame?” said the man behind the counter. I was jolted back to reality.

“I think I’ll keep looking,” I replied. The next flowers which were to catch my eyes were these gorgeous blue hydrangeas. Their colour reminded me of her eyes when they were full with emotion; when on the verge of happiness, sadness, and often anger. Our last encounter had brought on this precise colour, and was the reason why I was buying her flowers today. Suddenly, in the corner of my eye, I saw a single sunflower. It’s perfect, I thought. I walked over,  picked it up, and smiled to myself. It would be my apology, a request for forgiveness. The flower held a medley of the golden flecks in her skin, the simple grace of her beauty, and the happiness with which I yearned could replace my many memories with her.

“It’s perfect,” I thought again, this time out loud.

“Wonderful, that will be five dollars please,” the man said with the same smile. “Oh, and would you like to add a message?”

I paused in thought and told him, “I love you mom. Rest in peace.”

the beautiful woman in the picture is my momma by the way. I dedicate this tiny story to her as I don’t want her to go a day without knowing I love her. Look your loved ones in the eyes and tell them you love them damnit! xx Wendy


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