The Day of the Houseplants

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“It’s over,” he said.

She was frozen in shock. She had been expecting some news about his family, or gossip from work. Instead he had taken a verbal knife to her heart.

“You love your plants more than me,” he said, then he looked away. “And, I’ve met someone else.”

Rage leapt up within her. The late nights at work, the extended work trip in the South of France, it was all coming back to her. She reached out her hand to the nearest leaf.

“That’s a funny way to say you’ve been cheating on me,” she said, and as she did she felt the rage dissipate.

That was one of the reasons why she had the plants. They had a calming effect on her. 

“It’s not like that,” he said. “I just…”

“I need to water my plants,” she said as she walked towards the door. “I don’t want to see you here when I get back.”

He stood alone in the room and sighed. He turned to leave, but he tripped and fell hard to the floor. A vine was hooked around his ankle. He tried to unhook his leg, but it got more and more entangled. He held still for a moment. Shock and confusion dawned on his face. It was the plant. The vine was moving, and twisting itself around his leg. He pulled his leg, more vigorously this time, but it was no use. He looked around trying to figure out a way to escape it. As he did, he noticed that more of the plants were moving towards him. A huge plant with broad leaves was heading straight towards his face. Before he could cry out for help, it wrapped itself tight around his mouth. For a little while, his muffled screams could be heard in the midst of the silently working plants. All of the plants in the room were reaching towards him, wrapping him, until he was invisible in a green cocoon, dotted with pink, purple and yellow blooms. Eventually, he was silent too.

A golden light fell across the room, and the plants began returning to their pots, and their sedentary forms. No trace of the man who had dropped the bombshell just minutes earlier. She walked back into the room, watering-can in hand.

“He’s gone then,” she said as she looked around, her voice tinged with both sadness and relief. “I guess that just leaves us.”

As was her custom, she made a clockwise round, watering each of the plants according to their individual needs. 

“My dear green confidants,” she said with a tender smile. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

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