Mini Story: Flowers


I gripped the straps of my backpack tightly, my knuckles white from the strain. My eyes focused out over the hallways, foot tapping too fast against the cold cement. Brown wisps of wavey hair covered my face, obscuring my vision. I tried and failed to blow them out of my eyes. I sighed.

Again.

Attempting to straighten my shoulders under the heavy weight of the books on my back, I marched into the fray. Kids of all shapes and sizes strutted past me, laughing, glaring, holding hands, mock fighting. I reached down and turned up the music playing into my earbuds and tried to drown out the myriad of voices crowding the cramped space. My eyes darted over each person, noting appearances and changes without thought. My cheeks felt heavy.

Bells rang. Math. I hate calculus. My teacher handed me back my test. A-. Thank God. I sigh a prayer of relief and press the cold tips of my fingers to my cheeks. English. At least there's time to read. I draw all over the margins. History. I listened in the back of the class, quietly. My neighbor tried to talk to me about her cat. I nodded, didn't respond, smiled weakly. Why am I always so tired?

My agenda started to fill up and I felt the weight of more sand getting dumped into my lungs as I contemplated all the assignments I had to do within the next eight hours. The ache of dread was dull and copper colored, stress so deep and so stale, like moldy, musty attic air you forget you're breathing because it's been there so long. I laid my head down on my cool desk and tried to imagine fields of flowers where I didn't have to solve logarithms for a letter on a piece of folded paper. It's harder than it sounds.

Lunch came and I knew there were people half-waiting for me but I didn't much feel like talking to them. So I sat on a sunny curb hidden behind an oak tree and drew daisies in my notebook. My bootlace was untied and I didn't bother tying it. My phone buzzed.

where you at?

sitting near the english classrooms. 

can I come?

if you want

I didn't mind so much.

Tall boy with long piano fingers and blond hair arrives a few minutes later and squats down next to me. His black jeans are ripped and scuffed, and a trail of dark blue paint is smeared over the left pocket. I tap the toe of his Vans sneakers with my boot and he taps mine back.

"Hey." He looks at my tired eyes and freckled cheeks carefully. He doesn't smile much, just examines me thoughtfully.
"You tired?"
I nod.
"Hiding?"
"I didn't feel like talking."
He quirks up the left corner of his mouth. Readjusts himself so he's leaning back against the curb with me. "Even me?"
I roll my eyes. "Mmm."
He laughs and puts an arm around my shoulder. I let him pull me into his chest, let my head be tired and let myself rest against him for a moment. I inhaled his comforting smell, like cranberries on a summer day, tart but sweet and so alive. So awake. I wished I felt as awake as he smelled.

He let go and I leaned back. "How's the sadness?"
I shrugged. "Average." One thing I liked about Oliver was that he never labeled me as depressed or called my endless despair state depression. Just sadness. Sadness sounded like something normal. Something that just was. It didn't make me sound alien or strange. It just made me sound like I felt. Sad.

He nodded and pointed to my graphite flowers. "Nice." He tugged a huge black spiral bound sketchbook out of his backpack and set it on his legs, fishing around in the front zipper pocket for his charcoal pencil. He stuck the pencil between his teeth and started flipping pages. I tried to lean over and see but he turned and blocked my view with his shoulder. I laughed, surprising myself with the sound, like confetti in grey room, and tugged on his arm. He didn't budge, of course. I wasn't all that strong.

He turned back to face me, taking the pencil out of his mouth and twirling it in his fingers. He pointed with his left hand. There was a skull ring on his middle finger and his thumb was painted black with nail polish. "Like that?"

A dragon sat, perched gracefully on a stone, scales glistening in some unseen light source of the corner of the page.

"Lovely. Wow, that shading is perfect. How long?"

"Few class periods. Started it yesterday." He shook his shaggy bangs out of his face. Tapped my book with his long pinky. "Your turn."
"There's nothing good. Nothing but more flowers."
"I love flowers."
"You must be bored of them by now."
"I could never get bored of your flowers."

I sighed and flipped to a page where I had drawn exactly fifty lilies of the valley, all tightly bunched in a corner. A receipt from the local comic book store was taped inside, along with a real, pressed lily.

"Beautiful."
"Nah. It's just doodles. All I ever draw are doodles. Nothing ever is polished or looks finished or professional."

He cocked his head.
"So?"
"So...that's dumb. You can't be an artist drawing doodles in a lined notebook forever."
He shrugged. "Yeah you can. You're doing it. You're just as much an artist as Michelangelo."
"No."
"Yes. You just have your own style. Give yourself credit for it. It's what you like and what you want to express and it's wonderful."

I looked down and plucked at a blade of grass growing in the sidewalk. I pulled it up, roots and all, and tucked it into the breast-pocket of his black button up.
He bowed. "Thank you." He readjusted it so it wouldn't fall out.

"Save it?" He asked.
I nodded.
"Alright, I'll bring it back in a week. Pressed and laminated."
"Thanks."
"Anytime."

xx

inspired by the sad ghost club 

10 comments :

  1. ohh I love this! I think my favourite thing about the story is how Oliver says there's not just one way to be an artist, that every person has their own style when it comes to creating :) You're very talented Vivian x

    Sara / Sara’s Chapters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you. I know I love that, I would have to wholeheartedly agree with Oliver :)

      Delete
  2. I loved reading this. It;s real and emotional and realistic and beautiful. Awesome post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much <3 <3 so glad you enjoyed!

      Delete
  3. This is such a good story, Is it real or fiction? Like Sara I like how Oliver was talking about that there is more than one way to be an artist etc..

    x TG
    targetgirlonline.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you <3 It is fiction, but none of my writing is without some shadows of reality :) Glad you enjoyed that as well, thanks for your sweet comment, they make my day!

      Delete
  4. I love how you weave depression into the story without making it too obvious and cliche, at the same time adding in the unique friendship the two people in the story share. Looking forward to more in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Zelus! I find that stories that deal with personal struggles such as mental illness tastefully and less bluntly tend to be the ones that do the experience the most justice and respect. I hope I represented it delicately. And yes their friendship is really cute haha ((low-key shipping my own characters too hard help)). Glad you enjoyed, I look forward to writing more for you! :)

      Delete
  5. This is pretty much my day too, but I'm alone most of the time and I don't talk to anybody :D

    x Nicole ᵔᴥᵔ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, I'm so sorry to hear that <3 I am thinking of you. It's ok to be lonely sometimes, remember that this too shall pass, and keep drawing flowers in your notebook <3 <3

      Delete