To The One Who Got Away
Remember the orchid you bought me for my birthday?
Well, I killed it.
Not on purpose. As a matter of fact, I tried everything I could to keep it alive.
Just like I did with our relationship.
I watered that orchid, but then it started to shed its petals.
So I stopped watering it for a little while.
I let it soak up sun and fresh air, but then its broad leaves started to yellow.
So I left it in the shade of my bookshelf.
I stopped smoking cigarettes inside. I rotated its pot.
But it continued to wither.
I looked up how to tend to this plant, how to help it thrive indoors.
Maybe I didn't research enough.
I babied it, but it didn't perk up, so I gave it some space.
I stopped touching it, instead I talked to it.
But still that birthday gift perished.
The death of that orchid made me realize that, sometimes, the more you try to care for something, the more likely it is to extinguish itself to escape the oppression of someone's concern.
Just like we did.
I've thought about what I've wanted to tell you for three years now, but I can't say that I've figured it out yet.
Yet here I am, trying.
You think I would have learned to give up by now, but here I am persisting.
Since you gave me that orchid, I've tried to nurture other plants--most of them heartier than the one you gifted me.
I was too preoccupied trying to keep that one alive that the rest have either perished or thrived---thrived because I gave them up to someone else's care.
But I think I'm finally learning.
A few days ago, I upturned that special pot you nestled the orchid into last September.
For months its drying skeleton sat perched atop a stack of books--a constant reminder of my perceived failure: my failure of us, my failure of that once beautiful blooming organism.
In doing so, I discovered roots bound and rotted. How long they had suffered that way is hard to tell.
In doing so, I finally discovered that I may not have been to blame.
Maybe it was bought that way--flawed and destined for an early death by design.
Maybe you nor I had anything to do with our ceasing to be.
Maybe we just had to cease.
Regardless, I carry our history in my heart, but it's starting to weigh less with every moment that passes.
I carry it with me as I carefully water and rotate the growing bulb I planted in a freshly prepared pot. I carry it with me so I know how to keep thriving. So I know what to do and what not to do, and how often.
I'll love you long after that orchid's marrow rots into the ground.
And afterwards, I'll still be grateful that, at one point in our discourse, you saw the beauty of that exotic plant fit to share with me.
Yours In Bloom,