A Petal For Your Thoughts | By: Brice Eli Anderson | | Category: Short Story - Love Bookmark and Share

A Petal For Your Thoughts


    Tom Struther lay on the rivers edge.  It was where he wen tto think, to be alone an work things out.  He was propped up on his left elbow while he watched the faint lights from the city across the water.  They reflected dimly off of a gold ring wtih diamonds embedded along the outside that he held between the thumb and index finger of his right hand.  An engagement ring for his girlfriend Tahsa.
    It was not a matter of whetther or not she would say yes that bothered him.  They both had thrown plenty of indirect hints towards the idea.  Not to mention having lived togetehr for five months.  The question he was ponderign was whether or not he was ready for this.  After all, Tasha was not his first long term girlfriend.  That is if eight months could truely be considered very "long term".
    He did not want to end up like his parents and so many other couples, divorced and constantly bickering.  Forced to meet every so often to take shift with the fruits of their labor.  He did not believe in premarital sex and therefore that scenario would never take place without the proposal.
    Simply having a steady relationship at twenty-five was also easier to undo than a marriage.  With a relationship all he would have to do was find the most comfortabe way, for both of them, to declare it over.  With a marriage there was all of the paper work, the lawyers and the judge, and the cost. Hell, dinner would be the biggest expense of ending a relationship.
    He dropped his head a bit upon realization of what he was doing.  Hardly a positive thing had passed through his mind.  He simply felt bad about focusing so diligently on the negative aspects of the future that could be.
    A bright glimmer from the light shining off of one of the diamonds caught his eye as Tom placed the ring into the coat pocket and picked up a nearby flower.  It was lavishly decorated with rings of colorful petals.  He held it up, allowing the lights to fall better upon it for a good examination.
    It appeared a sort of dirty yellow.  Speckled black from top to bottom.  The speckles were well spaced at the top.  Plenty of room between them.  As they came closer to the bottom they grew closer together.  At the base they no longer pulled towards one another.  They melted into each other, becoming a solid black at the bottom.
    Tom peeled a petal of, held it u at his arms extent and then simply opened his fingers allowing it to clumsily drift to the ground.  He watched it for a moment as it settled before retruning his attention to the flower again.
    Repeating the process again Tom peeled off another petal, held it high and then released it.  Once it hit the ground Tom stood up, flwoer in hand and walked to the absolute edge of the water.  Then, creeping water wrapped around the bottoms of his feet, tickling them.
    The petal kicked and scooped in the air as it fell into the water.  Wrinkles traveled a distance from the petal as shallow as the water beneath it.  The actual bending of the water was fairly invisible, but light glinting off of it was brief and definite.
    Tom plucked the final petal of the row and allowed it to travel the same road as the previous one.  It descended with almost a fight.  The petal constantly scooped up and turned around as if it were attempting to climb back up and then upon failure it wold try its luck in a different direction.  Just before it landed it became motionless and dropped straight down landing almost with a visual thud.
    A corner of Toms mouth turned up and his attention again returned to the flower.  Peeling off all of the next row he held the petals in his hand and slid the remainder of the flower in his ear like a pencil.  Taking a single petal from his palm he gently tossed it into the air and whispered, "She loves me."
    Once he saw it touch the ground he threw another one into the air, "She loves me now."
    Then another one, "She loves me."
    And finally the last one, "She loves me...."
    He could not say the last word.  Even as he tried to say it without conviction, without the slightest bit of emotion, his gut still held down unrelenting.  It was as if no matter how much he did not mean it, it would be true.  It would become true.
The finality of the scene was killing him.  Five petals lay in the water determining the future.  A future that he now knew, without a doubt he wanted.  He felt as if going ot propose now would be wrong.  Like he would be sneaking around.  This needed to be fixed in some way so that he could feel right about what he was doing.
    Looking around he saw nothing but flowers, grass and dirt.  There was no way to use another flower, it would be far to fake.  Using a blade of grass would be incredibly obscure.
    The answer occurred to him in an insane grin.  Looking directly behind himself he saw the two petlas he had dropped only minutes ago, lying on the ground.  It felt right, it fels like an answer, the anser he needed.
    Stepping back, he picked one up by its edge, with his finger tips, and gently laid it in the water in the middle of the other four.
    Sitting on his heels where he had previously been standing he admired his creativity, saying "She loves me" in a low whisper to himself.
    The smile he wore carried through the next few seconds whiile he pulled the ring back out and observed it again.  This tie he noticed nothing aside from the sparkel of the diamonds and the warm shine of the gold.

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