General Fiction posted November 23, 2021

This work has reached the exceptional level
My house plant is dying and with it my memories of a friend

To Everything There is a Season

by T B Botts

Dying Houseplant Contest Winner 

You're just a houseplant for crying out loud, why does it upset me so to see you go the way of all the earth? I don't even know what kind you are; a coleus? A type of philodendron? I've long since lost the plastic card that came jammed into the dirt next to your stem. The one with instructions on how to care for you, how much to water, full sun or partial, preferred temperature.

You were raised from a seed, nurtured with thousands of your kind in Frank's Greenhouse and Gardens before landing on a supermarket shelf. A dear friend chose you as a gift for me, knowing that I was at a low point in my life and wanting to give me something that would show that she cared, something that would endure, like her friendship. Cut flowers are beautiful, but short lived. You've survived both droughts and floods in your pot, excavations by the cat, and a hoard of ravenous pests that I was sure would overcome you but didn't.

When my friend passed a few years ago, you were all I had left of her. I started talking to you, hoping somehow my words would pass through you to her, that she would be able to see the extra care I gave you, a small token of my love.

You've rested for years on window shelves, tables, and television stands, basking in the light of each new day, sharing a spot in the sun with others of your kind, but never sharing the nurturing I gave to you alone.

Now, like me, your time is growing short. Much like my skin, your leaves are drying up, crinkling, shriveling. When I look at you my mind is flooded with memories of her, the way she could light up a space with her brilliant smile, her wry sense of humor, the easy way she moved through a room. When you're gone, will I lose her forever too? If you're not here, will my memories of her fade like the color of your leaves? That is my fear. Please don't die, I don't want to be alone.

Writing Prompt
A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.

Dying Houseplant
Contest Winner

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