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And If You Were A Flower

by Eve Warui 6 months ago in Short Story · updated 6 months ago

The Season For Marigolds

And If You Were A Flower
Photo by J K on Unsplash

“And if you were a flower, you would undoubtedly be my marigold” - these words ring between my ears as I sit there thinking how far I have travelled from that moment, existing now only as a string of words insouciantly floating through my mind from time to time, making short, nostalgic appearances. I have come to believe that every person experiences a season that, regardless of the presence of grand gestures or abundance of adrenalin-filled memories, will live with them long after the flowers have wilted and the rocks have been turned over and back. In my case it was a warm summer five years back when I stumbled across the cobblestoned path to Harry.

Harry. In a word - audacious, but with the softness and free-flowing nature of a flower gracefully swaying along to a light breeze. I was young when we met which may be an odd way to describe it seeing as we were the same age in years, but not yet in worldliness. His every step so cultivated, each word chosen with an army of sophistication to back it up. In retrospect I allow myself to relish in the juxtaposition of our first encounter taking place amidst the chaos of a drunken night out with my college friends. Harry quickly and epically entered my life and held a short but distinctive residency to which no one has inhabited since.

On our first interaction outside the bustling fringes of the local nightclub, we made our gaily way around the city, frolicking through the endless alleys, then conversing over hearty ethiopian food about christmas lights and our dads’ hobbies and Danish philosophers ideas on the strengths and cracks in our society, and we ate and we talked and we laughed and soon it was dark. I finally accepted defeat as I glanced down at my watch that I had willfully neglected all day at fear of knowing the time would inevitably come where I would need to get in a taxi and spend the seemingly endless ride home thinking and reminiscing on the way that he’d spoken with the same involvement and interest he’d offered while listening. Or the way he had courteously welcomed me to take an unencumbered glance into his life, as he too peeked into mine in return. Unbeknownst to me, this had been the wonderful and pivotal commencement of my season.

The following month was decorated with scenes from exciting nights shared with friends eating, dancing and playing our chosen greatest-hits list to sunrise, intertwined with enlightening walks through tribal villages, learning new dialects and lifestyles, and chats on the phone about everything and sometimes nothing altogether. A whirlwind of stolen moments that to any onlooking eye seemed in all senses of the word, quite regular. Though to me, they evoked a burgeon. An opening to a part of myself I hadn't met yet, like the anthesis of a rosebud, opening to let in the sunlight it needed, to grow out of its sheltered space. But one thing remained tugging at the back, unignorable corners of my mind, with each day passing I could feel the growing appreciation and care that had blossomed for Harry, it had all been so galvanizing to my life and if that's all I got, I was whole-heartedly contented. However, our words had never curated a definition of what our time together had inferred - I would find myself occasionally wondering if I too occupied the space in his life that he did in mine, knowing that our beautiful adventures together had a looming time-stamp that was slowly approaching its conclusion, I knew this flower would soon reach its dormancy.

A few weeks later we sat flipping through the pages of an airport-lounge gardening magazine and awaited the inexorable voice announcing that the time had come to depart.

“I really love marigolds”

Harry unexpectedly said as he stared down at the picture of a vibrant cluster of the colourful flowers surrounding a small countryside cottage,

“more than I thought I would...they make every day that much brighter, happier...golden”

he paused -

“and if my life was a garden I would choose to fill it with marigolds”.

There was a weight in his voice and I could feel his words begin to paint a picture in my mind of what a beautiful garden that would be. My thoughts were quickly broken by the bellowing sound of goodbye being announced by a lady informing us that boarding had begun. We stood up and walked to the gate, unable to grasp a firm hold on my feelings. I kept my mind racing through what I should say and how I should express how wonderful the last month had been when I felt Harry’s hand calmly slip into mine and gently give it a squeeze. He hugged me and kissed me and as I looked up at him for the last time in what was bound to be a long time, he stared down into my eyes with a reassuring smile on his face and spoke the warm words I was destined to remember for seasons to come -

“and if you were a flower, you would undoubtedly be my marigold”.

Short Story

Eve Warui

Read next: I Won't Let Go

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