Yumi sat crossed-legged on the floor. She had spread out onto the carpet an ugly lime green table cloth that was scratchy and way too polyester to use anywhere that mattered, and was dribbling flower petals on the wrinkled surface. During the day, the sun shone in stripes on the now wilted flowers. They were drying sure enough, but only the smaller ones. The ones with intact heads were only getting crispy on the outside, the middles were still way too soft and moist to be ready for storage. Yumi stretched out her legs and lay on her side to reach the farthest areas to space out the new petals. They did have a smell still, and it was glorious. There was no sun now, only the faint tick from the bulbs in the chandelier above, now set on dim. Then her cell phone rang.
Knowing that she was several rooms over and had to climb a flight of stairs, she gathered that she could never reach the call in time, but ran slightly nevertheless. He had had a good dinner, was traveling now and was just checking in. Yes, she had shared a good meal too, all was well they both agreed. She quietly recalled the night before where they had chatted, and it had progressed, but one could never be too sure. If she had been younger, she’d have missed the nuances, which lately were always there. In her younger days, she’d have known better than to bring up these things, which usually scared away those less refined at this practiced art of overt relationship-making.
But she was wiser now, and only wanted to understand his perspective, whatever that may turn out to eventually be. And could she effectuate it and influence it in the end after all? Was she trying to? No, and she was still sure it would evolve organically, as all rare and priceless veined chocolate diamonds or rose hued quartzes did. Soil containing carbon and graphite attracted by a superimposed magnetic force were diametrically pressed together for over three billion years – where a diamond is the result. Would she ever receive that diamond? Was she actually herself that diamond? Sent to walk above the earth, at once knowing and not knowing her own brilliance?
Keep it light. “Yes, I am good,” she said cheerfully. Okay, we’ll talk tomorrow, as it would be a late night for them both. Last night she had captured her feelings and flung them without a thought towards her guy. He hesitated which was wistful, purposeful and not lost of meaning, then of course said it back. As she rose today, without overthinking it, she tottered and toggled against it, forget it, don’t forget it she wrestled. Stop it, she decided it was enough. There had been a bright sparkler moment, and in her haste to work full billable client hours, had completely forgotten what brought it on – though she realized she was happy again. It had been enough after all, she mused. After several minutes this afternoon of wracked thought, where she was definitely overthinking it, she realized that she could wait, and that was okay. It was a forced realization, next a sobering thought, then a quiet revelation. But just how right it was she would only begin to realize.
It was time to pass off and she began her closing wishes for having a great evening, which was tender but sincere. Luckily she had been focused and listening intently. I love you, Yum, and it was over for now. She returned the sentiment naturally, and then it hit. The legitimate, unmistakable, irrefutable and undeniable breathless flash had propelled her (really them both) to a new dimension, or an alternate reality, one of the two. It felt like the rotation needed to adjust a measured velocity for a scientific experiment, confirming a study result that could never be rejected, not ever.
Yumi rose from the bed. As it was, all calls were required to be taken in bed these days, at least on her end it tended to set the tone. Yumi padded softly on the carpeted landing, and replaced the mobile on the bookcase for charging. She then went back to her petals press room and sat again comfortably on the floor. She reached over carefully for the red petals that she had just a few minutes ago so carefully arranged. She scooped them gently with one hand, and held them up high in the air. One by one, they released softly from between her fingers, to drift in the air lazily concave side up, and zigzagged silently and restfully back to earth.
Learn more about Poppy on the Contributors page.
- Yumi’s Petals, by Poppy Johnson - January 21, 2021
- One-way Ticket to Nairobi, by Poppy Johnson (Translation by MD Wanyagah) - November 5, 2020