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Wildflower

He came to say good-bye, before he went away. Rang my doorbell three times, ding ding ding. He never was very patient. He had a bouquet of flowers when I opened the door. A real nice one, from a florist. He knew how I loved wildflowers. There are none in Manhattan, so these were the next best thing, I guess. They were so bright, so cheerful, and the plastic wrap made this sharp crinkle-pop sound when I took them from his arms, and suddenly I hated them, hated him. Hated them for being so happy, so beautiful, so perfectly romantic. And hated him for leaving.

He took me by the hand, the one not holding the flowers, and lead me down my porch steps. His old white Volkswagen sat in my driveway, and I realized I had grown so used to it parked right there that the space would seem hopelessly empty without it. Everything would seem so hopelessly empty.

He took the bouquet from me and set it on his dented trunk, wrapped his arms around me. I didn’t cry, I was done crying. I think my clear eyes must have taken him by surprise, but he didn’t once hesitate, he wasn’t that type, just kissed me long and hard, a forever kind of kiss, in a sad way. It wasn’t one of those kisses that make you happy happy happy until you think you’re gonna puff up like a balloon and float away, this kiss felt more like an anchor, something heavy and inescapable pulling me down to the bottom of the ocean. But that was just what I wanted, to be alone in the dark, too deep for anyone to ever find me.

We didn’t say anything else, not even goodbye. He just kissed me, again and again and again, before turning and opening up the door of his car. I heard the engine start, and I wanted to scream, I needed to scream, but somehow I held it all in and just stood there, motionless, and watched him drive off.

I had forgotten the bouquet, perched on his trunk, and by some miracle it didn’t fall off, even as his little car turned a corner and drove out of sight.

I don’t like wildflowers anymore.



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