Untitled by Kaytlyn Spates

Gentle, battle-hardened hands brushed against soft warm-like skin. 

“You shouldn’t worry so much. It’s not good for you.” 

The only reply the other got was a sigh. He looked away, unable to look her in the eyes, lacing his fingers with hers.  

“I’m trying to.” 

 Small, choked sobs slipped past his quivering lips. They wrapped their arms around one another as she pulled the blond-haired boy closer to her. Whispering soft nothings into his ear to calm him, drawing her thumbs under his eyes to wipe away fat, salty tears from his heterochromic eyes.  

“It’s so hard being something you’re not. They look at me like I’m a god, but I’m just not, I’m unable to live up to such expectations.” 

She hushed his word dribble, rubbing his tear-stained cheeks with the sleeve of her dress. Distress mingled with fear as he looked at her, his cheeks were red and puffy from crying for so long. 

Gently pulling tangles from his scalp, she divided them into sections. Weaving the golden hair into braids humming a soft lullaby, his small sniffles and sobs quieted down to nothing more than whimpers.  

“There is no need to cry Nilla, you’re wasting your energy.” 

He did not utter a sound, only nodded his head in a form of agreement, though he did not agree with it completely. She got up from the bed, leaving the mattress eased up from under her leaving him alone, His body felt heavy; his face burned. The silence was deafening. Slipping from the soft, warm covers. He let his feet touch the cold floor. Cringing at the feeling, he made his way out of the dark bedroom and into the sunlit halls. The brightness was overwhelming, and thoughts of going back plagued his mind. Pushing forward, he made his way through the long-sunbathed hallways. His skin soaked up the light, leaving him slightly refreshed as he came to a halt in front of a doorway. The massive arch is decorated in gold and white sculpted golden bloom orchids and white lilies were embedded in the white marble.  

Grass cushioned his bare feet walking into the garden, the flower beds were overgrown with weeds and littered with lifeless flowers. Gentle battle worn hands worked weeds from soil thinking about the past will not change it. So, he worked on cleaning decaying plants and replacing old soil with new fresh Fertile dirt.  

Healing takes time. For better or worse, emotions are like flowers. If left alone, they over grow or decay. But with proper care, it heals and is kept clean. Pristine flowers replaced old ones. Brittle petals nourished to strong leaves of colorful hues, soggy stems harden with time and grow thick with age. Sun kissed earth feeds the flowers, keeping them alive with the help of the man. Footsteps alerted his attention to the figure in the archway where she stood. Time changes people. It’s a curse as well as a blessing and nothing stays the same, and yet in a way, he still loves her. 

She approached, his wrists deep in the soil. He can turn to meet her gaze, but greets her with a friendly hello. There was no reply, no follow up conversation. The simple five letter word was enough to let her know that her presence was known. She wanted to yell at him, tell him he shouldn’t be here and yet those bitter words stained her lips as she kept quiet. Observing his work, the once rotted sanctuary was blooming with all kinds of life. Diverse in size and color, the air danced with the fragrance of orchid and lily, rose, poppy, sunflower. The whole garden was in bloom, and there he was, in the middle of it, delicately taking care of the once forgotten place that the two held special. 

Crouching down, she rolled up her dress’s sleeves, pushing her hands into the big yellow bag of soil, taking out a handful or so, helping him plant small little bulbs into the soft ground. Maybe it wasn’t so bad, and it could be fixed just like the garden. 

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