A Colorless Rose

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Pincushion

Every time this flower’s name is said, people seem to think fondly of how their grandmother would place pins and needles into a tomato which was likely to have another thing right beside it, with may be a strawberry or a chili pepper. No one knows for sure which one the mysterious object truly is. It may help if someone was daring enough to ask. No one will.

Of course, being part of the honeysuckle family may be helpful to the poor flower that seems to have the name of something that people despise quite nicely. Since it is related to something which little kids eat for its sweet flavor, the flower may gain more supporters.

However, that shouldn’t be a problem, seeing as the purple flower looks rather intricate and very splendid, too. It has tiny little honeysuckle-looking things in the center. Yet, the very outside of it has nice looking, tiny flower petals. The flower’s look is fully complete in itself.

There are many things that could be said about the flower. I could go on and on about how it represents the disparities in the world. I could talk about how it shows the ways in which people who are so very different can combine together to create something beautiful. But doing such a thing would be in vain. It would sound beautiful, but would not be the needed truth.

I was still stuck in this idea that my escape from reality was what created and contributed to the need to escape. It would be foolish for me to want this stranger to think that I was a logical person who has sound reasoning for everything. He didn’t know anything about my life.

He still seemed to be someone to whom I could admit everything and anything that was on my mind. I could tell him anything that was on my mind. I wasn’t afraid to tell him about my life and wanted to tell him all. It was scary to know that the only person I could be comfortable around was someone who knew nothing of me and I knew only a glimpse here and there about.

And there he was, looking at me, seeming to have something to say that would follow up his previous comment. It would not be something good. I wondered where he got off telling me that my life was awful when I didn’t have experiences anywhere near as bad as his ones.

Although, that may have been just the point. He could tell me how it was bad, as he was the one who had worse things to compare it to. If I said that it was awful, I would look like a heartless girl who was also insensitive. He would have just shared with me the worst secret he held and I would then be saying something to him that would make me sound very conceited.

He wouldn’t be one to care too much if I said that, but it still seemed like the wrong thing to say to him. I wanted to be friends with him. There were so many ways that I could mess things up before even starting a real relationship, and so there was no reason to ruin things now. “So, why do you say that it was so terrible? It was really nice, actually. I had a world of my own. In fact, I had as many worlds as books whose spines I could read on my wooden bookcase.”

“At least you had an escape that worked for you.” It became clear to me that he wasn’t talking about the terrors of having an escape. I guess that he had one that wasn’t working for him in any way, shape, or form. He may have even been envious that I had something that worked.

“So then what was your method of pretending the world didn’t exist?”

“I didn’t have one. I just wished upon a lot of shooting stars. Oh, and the snowflakes.”

“At least yours didn’t cause others to think you were crazy. People always saw me with a book in my hand and thought I was absolutely insane. My mother even made me see a therapist once, since she thought I was trying to avoid the world through reading every single book.”

“Yes, but your escape didn’t make people think that you had no friends.”

“That’s exactly what I said just happened. Weren’t you listening to what I had said?”

“I was. It just didn’t seem like that’s what you meant. Mothers freak out all the time.”

“Your method at least made something tangible. Mine was always stuck in my mind.”

“Well, I didn’t have something that ultimately made everything much, much worse. If that had happened, I don’t know where I would be.” In the heated moment, it occurred to me that he and I were fighting over who had it worse. It was a petty fight to have. Besides, the winner would be the winner of a game of loss. Winning at losing doesn’t make either one a winner.

“I gave up books. You didn’t give up snowflakes.” It was such a simple point that it seemed to not have much of an impact. Yet, it was bound to blow up into something more. He was staying very quiet and I hoped that I hadn’t gone too far. But I figured that I hadn’t. Had I, he would have said something. At least I assume he would say something to me. There would be no way for me to fix it if he wasn’t going to tell me that I had done something horribly wrong.

“But do you still have a favorite book that you go to when everything falls apart and you need to be transported back into the world that made everything better? There must be something that, time after time, never fails to be the Band-Aid. Every little kid has one. It doesn’t do anything but distract the kid from the pain. That’s what you want, right? You want a distraction.”

“That’s not how it works. There is a book, but I haven’t looked at it in years.”

“But you still have it. I don’t care if you have or haven’t read it, but I care that you still have it, even if it doesn’t mean anything to you anymore. I still have the first one I ever made.”

“Where do you keep it? Is it in a box, under your bed?”

“I wish I could say I was that thrilled with the first snowflake I ever created.”

“I wish I could say I was that thrilled with the first book I ever read to get away.”

“You keep on talking about it all as though it was something terrible and you can never talk about it, not even once. I had a real issue. You were just too entitled and so, at the first sight of not having everything handed your way, you jump back and then it becomes some sort of sob story for you, all about how someone with a silver spoon in her mouth had to fend for herself.”

He would never understand from where I came. He thought that I had everything figured out and everything else given to me. There was nothing I had that I hadn’t worked for. I wasn’t one of those rags to riches stories, but I also wasn’t one of those stories about getting everything she wished for and then pretending as though I had worked for it all myself. There was no use in lying about such trivial matters. It would be much easier if I could tell him everything.

Yet, I had just told myself how I could tell him everything. Apparently such thoughts are simpler in thought than in practice. I really believed that he was someone I could tell things to, but this ended up false. He was kind enough but was also not someone to get into fights with.

Even though I could say words of harsher value, he knew how to get me, and others too, I concluded, to stop their train of thought. It was a dangerous skill he had. I wished that I could have such a skill. But I did not want to have that skill, for it was too dangerous of a skill to have and to know I could abuse at any moment. It could be by mistake, but I would never be certain.

“Hey, girl, are you okay there? You seem to have zoned out or something.” He seemed to be caring, but I was lost in my thoughts, which unfortunately consumed me all over and through.

I wanted to respond to him, but there was dryness in my throat that would not come out, no matter how actively I willed it to stop. He was telling me about how there was a start to all of the madness, and I couldn’t stop thinking about that first book I read that took me away.

“So,” he turned towards me as he began what was sure to be a long speech. I could live with an incredibly long speech. I was not willing to talk to anyone right now. I was lost in my thoughts and daydreams, all of which were terrifying and scared me. I did not want to become part of thoughts that I thought I had gotten rid of. He didn’t understand what it was like.

“Anyhow,” this was sure to begin his long tale, “I was there, at home. It was a three story home adorned with many windows. There was so much light on the inside. If the people inside were truly bright and cheery people, then the story may be much better. But, as you know, even if not perfectly well, the people who lived there were not bright, sunny people. They had a well-lit house but were the very same type of people who were talented secret keepers. This is also something that I’m sure you understand by now. There were large trees in the front yard.”

There was something funny about how his story was beginning. I thought that he would not begin with such a long description, but it was much better than having something completely boring that I wouldn’t want to listen to. His voice was enchanting enough to listen to, which made it so that he could be reading the yellow pages and I would still eagerly listen to his words.

“The trees in the front yard were evergreens. They would not lose their needles, even though it would be the dead of winter and all other plant life would be dead. They held on tightly, even when nothing else would.” He looked at me and I wondered if he was about to enter into the sad tale of woe. I was ready to hear him talk more of this story of his childhood.

“It was a lot easier to think the trees were waiting for spring than to look at them and feel bad for them because they had to watch their friends die as they were alive. They were standing alone in what used to be a crowded room. Everyone else was dropping like flies.”

“So then what happened when winter was in its peak?” I asked him, wondering if a tale about how snow connects to all of his would come up. I assumed that it would and hoped that I would now discover the root of his obsession with creating and making snowflakes.

“The snow fell down beautifully. You know how it is, with the silver snow coming down on something that is not always the most beautiful to see and witness. The snow covered the dark ground and turned the gray ground into awful mush. However, the evergreens simply got covered by a white blanket that gleamed when hit by rays of sun. They were all alone on the grass, but happily stole the show. They were the stars of the show and they sure knew it.”

“So that’s why you chose snowflakes? Because it was always something beautiful on top of something that had a depressing story behind it. That’s why you love them so much.”

His eyes had a shine to them. “I guess so. But can you blame me for it?”

“Of course not. Who wouldn’t pick the thing of delight in a dreary story?”

“That’s what I’m saying.” He seemed more upbeat than he was when telling me the story of how he got to love snowflakes. Yet, the story seemed to be lacking the actual story part.

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