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Blossoms and Pears

Do you bear fruit or boast flowers?

By Robyn ReischPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 3 min read
Blossoms and Pears
Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

Magda Hale spent her childhood reading books under the pear tree that grew in her front yard. She snacked on its verdant fruit straight from the branches. Magda didn't have brothers and sisters, but she felt a warm kinship with this sturdy and generous plant.

They were matching siblings, Magda and her pear tree. Their branches rarely grew blossoms, but boy, did they ever bear fruit! Long drips of green, round and supple at the bottom, hung in multitudes. Eventually, the branch grew too heavy and single pear fell to the ground. It would be followed by another, and another - different, but the same.

Magda's fruits offered themselves in the same pattern. Spelling Bee Champion. Bump. Class President. Thud. National Merit Scholar. Swish, thonk. Magda reliably produced one ripe piece of sustenance after another. The town, her teachers, and especially her parents feasted greedily upon this harvest.

See? Magda said to her pear tree. Look at all this fruit! That's all we need.

Alas, the world demands blossoms.

By Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash

Magda had graduated three weeks ago, the Valedictorian of her high school class. She'd earned a full scholarship to the elite university upstate. Magda couldn't shake the idea, though, that this was not enough. People still didn't smile at her the same way they did for the beautiful girls. 

Those girls didn't even have to be conventionally attractive, Magda noticed with scorn. A bouncy gait, a hearty laugh, a quirky hobby, a dirty joke told with a sly grin, a charming tale about a summer spent in the Italian countryside...

How easily these blossoms fell from fruitless branches! How readily they were picked up! Imagine the luxury, being enough just by virtue of your own beauty and joyfulness. 

Imagine...being enough.

By Ben White on Unsplash

Magda feared her pears would rot away, sedentary on her parents' sloping lawn - all for the want of a single blossom.

The most painful part was Magda's reluctant understanding of it all. She enjoyed watching the tall, soft voiced girls in her neighborhood. She smiled when they skipped along the sidewalk with bouncy steps. Sunshine slipping in and out of shiny hair never failed to catch her eye - no matter how Magda fought it. 

There was a magic in pear blossoms.

There was fruit in the calculus textbook Magda read under the pear tree on that humid summer morning. Her nose was buried in it for hours, emerging only when she heard Amy Liu's car pull up across the street.

Magda could smell the pear blossoms falling in lush trails behind the loud-mufflered yellow monstrosity. Amy was a year older than Magda - a physics major at the elite school Magda herself would attend in the Fall. She played the banjo and spoke fluent Mandarin.

By Minh Pham on Unsplash

Magda had never explicitly crossed paths with her in high school. She had, however, admired Amy's artwork from afar. Amy sketched landscapes with stunning realism. Then, she rendered them in neon brights - a fever dream on paper. They hung proudly in the South Hall of their school. Magda went out of her way to visit the unframed masterpieces between French and Statistics.

Magda couldn't figure out why Amy was walking across the street instead of into her own house. It wasn't until her shadow began to loom over her that Magda thought to wave.

"Mind if I sit by you?" Amy's words were slow and thick, like the raw honey Magda added to her tea. "I have to confess - I've been stealing pears from your tree for ten years or so now. My mom just grows flowers - what's the point of that?"

Magda shook her head. "Useless." She patted the ground next to her.

Amy laughed, loud and off-key, as she sat down. "I've always wondered - what is it you're reading out here?" She narrowed her eyes. "You just seem so mysterious."

By Gursimrat Ganda on Unsplash

Pink spheres fast illuminated Magda's cheeks. A matching pear blossom fell from the tree. 

"Oh, look!" Amy caught it in her palm. "I didn't know this tree grew flowers!"

Neither had Magda.

Short Story

About the Creator

Robyn Reisch

Robyn Reisch spends her days cooking, writing, and raising three gorgeous little hooligans. She is married to the world's greatest man.

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