A Colorless Rose

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Chrysanthemum

When I was younger, I fell in love with a flower that was large and had large flowers with many petals on them. There was something about the flower that I loved. I loved it too much. My mom and dad would plant flowers every spring and I would always insist that Chrysanthemums be planted. They would smile at each other and then at me. I didn’t know why they did, but the flower would always be planted in the spring. It was not until later that I found out the flower was a perennial.

Once I found out what it meant, I realized that the same plant was coming back year after year. The idea of something staying forever excited me. Of course, this was not always the truth. Yet, I became convinced that plants could not die. It was silly, but I was young and the sun still always shone.

Years later, when I was in high school, I chose to do yet another plant experiment. I had done one every year and I was surprised that I could keep on coming up with more. There seemed to always be something more to test about a plant. I had done the first experiment with colored dyes on white carnations, which is something everyone always does in elementary school. I found out that darker dyes were better and more effective. The year after, I tested different types of light bulbs on plant growth. I discovered that a black light has an interesting effect on plants, turning them a pale yellow color and stunting their growth. Then, I chose to test salt water’s effect on plant growth. I found out that a lot of salt kills plants.

It was when I was in high school that I became very convinced I wanted to work with plants all day and every day. I was fascinated with plants and couldn’t do anything about it. Then I realized that plants weren’t as interesting as other fields and stopped trying to figure out their inner workings. Yet, to this very day, I will always pass by a garden full of colors and will not stop smiling. I still love flowers.

In my wandering around a town with cute street names, I never stopped enjoying leaving and going as often as I pleased. I always chose the same location to stop at. I always chose the same places to go to and always expected the same results. I always thought that it could not be any simpler.

As it always ended up being, when I was in a field, laying around without a care in the world, the boy who was anything but friendly when meeting me found me. He came on over and sat down next to me. I was beginning to wonder if he would ever meet me anywhere else. I had met him elsewhere.

“So, is this the only place you’ve been able to find here, even after all this time?” He was poking fun at my expense and I wished that I wasn’t enjoying it. However, I couldn’t crack a smile. That would ruin everything that I had been trying so hard to accomplish. “Okay, so I guess you’re not in the mood for a joke right now. That’s fine. I’m sure there’s something more we could talk about.”

I sat there in silence, uncertain of if I wanted to be there. I was already here and I wasn’t in the mood to leave. Not when we had just begun. Yet, I didn’t want to say the wrong thing to him. It was a talent of mine, saying the wrong thing to people. There was something nice about knowing that I could always say the wrong thing, but I wasn’t willing to give it another win. Not right now, anyhow.

“Anyhow, rumor has it that some crazy girl in town has been barging into people’s houses, unannounced and is causing trouble everywhere she goes. You wouldn’t happen to know who this person is, would you?” His eyes twinkled and I was wondering why he asked me when he clearly knew.

“I know just as well as you know.” He was going to reveal how much he knew.

“Why?” It was such a vague question. Coming from him, I wasn’t sure what such a simple phrase truly meant. There was so much that it could mean. “You still there?” Of course I was still there. What a stupid question for him to ask me. “I’ve also heard that the girl who’s going around and barging into houses is rather beautiful. That wouldn’t happen to help you know who it is, would it?” He was trying to flatter me into admitting to him what I had done. However, it wasn’t going to work. At least not yet.

“Tell me more. I’m not sure if you’ve told me quite enough about this mystery girl.” I hoped that he would then tell me more and more about this girl, hopefully even adding in a lot of grand descriptions, all in a wonderful effort to flatter me. I was hopeful that he would charm me. It would be nice.

He laughed a boisterous laugh. It almost seemed out of character for him. It was an infectious laugh and I wanted to laugh along with him. “As far as I’ve heard, she has gorgeous blond hair that falls just to her shoulders. She has piercing green eyes that can make any guy swoon. She wears this mid-thigh length cardigan all the time and she always walks around like a dancer. I hear that she has the most beautiful voice and that anyone would be lucky to hear her speak to him.” He had such a lovely voice.

In my daydreaming about him talking to others about me in such a wonderful manner, I forgot to pay full attention to what he was saying. I also forgot to pretend to be paying attention. “Yeah, she sounds gorgeous,” I said to him, in a voice that was on the verge of becoming sing-song.

“You didn’t listen to a word I said, did you?” he asked me, more curious than annoyed. I felt bad about it. He seemed a little botherd that he went to the trouble to describe me and I couldn’t be bothered even a little bit to listen to him. I don’t know why people try. Many times, it never works.

“Well, I heard you begin to describe the girl and then I kind of stopped listening.”

“So you admit that I’m not all that interesting to listen to.”

“That’s not even close to anything that I was saying. Do you even listen?”

“I do. Do you?” That jab hurt, but I knew that it was coming. I walked into it.

“Of course I do. Why would you think that I don’t?” I knew why he thought that I wasn’t listening to him, but I really wanted to hear him say it. It would be much simpler that way. But he was much too nice to say anything to me bluntly. Yet, a small piece of me believed that he would frankly state something.

“Never mind.” He looked at me, although I wasn’t facing him. “Anyhow, would you happen to know who the person who was barging into the house is?” An innocent enough question, but it was still enough to make me not like him anymore than I already was. He had gotten himself into this.

“Yeah.” He held his gaze at me and wasn’t saying anything. I suppose that was something much better, anyway. There wasn’t any risk of him saying the wrong thing to me. I think he thought he made me mad or something along those lines. It was kind of strange. He wasn’t someone who would do that. And even if he could, which he couldn’t, he would know for sure that he did. There would be something much simpler if he actually had done something. Of course, he hadn’t done anything. It was a little agitating. I wanted him to have bothered me enough to where it made sense for me to ignore him.

“I didn’t do anything, did I?” He looked a little concerned. I didn’t think much of it, on account of that there was no use in me thinking that he was genuinely concerned about it. “So,” he said, playfully hitting my arm, “why would you do such a thing?” I had a choice to play dumb or know what he was talking about, and neither one was particularly better than the other. I was going to lose either way.

Since it was a slippery slope regardless of what I did, I decided to play dumb. He had already dubbed me a dumb blonde once and so I figured there was no harm in living up to it. “Why did I do what?” It was with that comment that I decided to look at him. He was rolling his eyes at me.

“Break into a house. It doesn’t seem like something that you would do.”

“That’s because I didn’t break into a house.”

“What are you talking about? Everyone knows that someone broke into a house.”

“And who exactly would that be?” I hoped that he would mention Mason.

“I heard from someone that you destroyed Steven’s room.”

“Who told you that?” I was shocked that someone would say that.

“Some guy with tattered clothing and messed up hair was telling everyone about it.”

“And how would he know? Did he break into the house, too?”

“He happens to live in the house. He walked into the house and saw the room destroyed. So now, will you tell me what compelled you to break into a stranger’s house?”

“Did he tell you anything about how the room was torn apart?”

“Well, he told me that there were papers everywhere.”

“What about the hundreds of snowflakes he cut out and threw about?”

“What are you talking about? Steven never made any snowflakes.”

“Not Steven’s snowflakes. The guy who told you about the room. His snowflakes.”

“Again, what are you talking about? You think he’d destroy valuable artwork?”

“Are you friends with this stranger and is this why you’re defending him?”

“Well, considering I had just met him when he told me about the room, I’m going to have to go with that, no, he and I are not close friends. Sorry if that bursts your bubble or something.”

“So you’ve never met Mason before then? I doubt that.”

“Wait. Was that Mason Gray? I’ve only heard stories about him.”

“Yes. That was that Mason. I guess everyone who knows Steven is a legend.”

“Well, Mason happens to have a much better story than many people I have met.”

“When I talked to him, he sure seemed to have a terrible backstory to his life.”

“So that’s what you meant by the snowflakes, isn’t it?”

“Of course. He happens to love snowflakes with a burning passion.”

“I know that he does. He made them all the time in grade school.”

“So you’ve known him for years before. How far do you go back?”

“Not as far as most people. But it’s around a solid decade, which is nice, I guess.”

“That’s a long time to have known someone.”

“Anyhow, what compelled you to tear apart a stranger’s bedroom?”

“Same thing that compels anyone else.”

“Curiosity of the unknown?”

“A need for the mystery to become the reality.”

“That makes no sense.”

“Neither does destroying an organized room.”

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