Funeral Flowers

Flowers were not to be doused in fragrance but to whisper lyrics into the wind. Her name was Lily, but it had waned like a star lost to the arrival of day. She did not dance anymore. She no longer existed, she yearned. Love, lust, ache: they settled in her soul and everything else lacked breath. Petals were shrinking, roots withering, stems weeping, and she had run out of tears. One name had taken her mind hostage. Rain. Her heart cried for him, but he had stapled it shut.

 Rain was warm like sunshine. Rain was soft like summer days. Rain was a dream sown from illusion and threaded with glittering mirrors.

A realisation had changed the way she thought about things. Things had become very empty. She was losing her colour and the filter that distorted her vision had cleared. She now recognised she existed as a canvas, dependent on approval to colour her in and pump paint into her like blood. She stared without seeing at a fragility she did not understand.  There was a dandelion in place of her reflection, the prettiest weed but a weed, nonetheless. Fixed, glass eyes and a mouth sown upwards to suggest a whisper of happiness. Her hair was bleached with blood: his favourite colour was red. Her lips were pumped with chemicals. Her nose had been sculpted with clay. If the sun ever held a grudge against her, her plastic would melt. All these attempts to pluck herself away, but her petals always grew back, frayed as ever.

Rain exists in variations, but Lily had not known this. All Lily saw was a possibility of being recognised without a funeral hearse and coffin. That sense of permanence and lasting comfort was the feeling he gave her. He once said he loved her.

It was hard to imagine he had ever loved her at all. Surely, love was not just a word exploited by poets to portray such a hopeless feeling. They depicted it as incessant flames, which could not be tamed by anyone, even those experiencing it.  Poets believed it was a feeling worth dying for. Rain believed so. But he had refused to call her his. Why was he obsessed with potted plants and bouquets? She only had so many crayons. Lily had changed for him so much that her name was beginning to alter. What was wrong with her? Everything.

But it did not matter. Rain was going to love her, her façades and all. She had not been trying enough. So, to prove her love, she stole a piece of the moon for him. Then, she spoke to an angel and begged her to forgive his sins. He was misunderstood. If she could paint the ocean in exchange for his love, she would.

Finally, Lily plucked her heart out and placed it around his neck. He kept her in his pocket, shifting through shadow to avoid friendly faces. Their love was a secret, he had said, external forces would only damage its unblemished nature. It was theirs.

 There exists an unbalanced harmony between droplets of rain and flowers. Flowers depend on rain, but storms drown and strip. He was always stuck. Lily was more than her petals and a pretty stem and his failure to see this had shattered her insides. He became stormier and Rain’s name felt unsuited to this variation. When she found herself backed against the wall, trying to hide in the grass, she wondered how this could be. He was the most perfect force in the world.

 He would ask for forgiveness, whisper sweet nothings to her and she was at her knees once more. Lily reflected on the times he would hold her together like broken fragments of china and kiss her, but never once could she call Rain hers. Why was she not allowed to feel love?

Lily looked at all the roses and dissected her flaws. She was going to be perfect for him.

She was a flower, and he treated her like his favourite weed. He said he loved her character, how different she was, how she treated him. If only she was prettier, she could call him mine. Love songs were deceptive; she was not the only flower in the world to him.

She did not look the same, anymore. He washed her away. And his favourite flowers were still red.



Image: by Валерия Крячко from Pixabay

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