The pollen floated on her lips for moments afterwards, leaving a strange texture and strange flavor. Her heart pounded, she was dizzy. Was this happiness? Is this what happy people feel like? It’s a wonder they don’t collapse everywhere, with their happy hearts pumping away so quickly. The flower was red, and yellow. It had many petals, many chances for acceptance or rejection. Many landing places. The stem had not yet realized that it was severed from the plant, the flower was full of life. Happy life. She kissed it again, just to re-taste the pollen. To re-taste that vertigo inducing feeling, to re-experience the speeding of her sedentary heart.
The wind stirred her hair. She didn’t move, absorbed as she was in this flower.
The mystery of how the flower came to her is not what mattered. She didn’t know who left it, or why. Not that she cared. It was the mere gesture, the knowledge that someone knew her, cared for her. Vitality upon her doorstep, to greet her when she ran outside to pick up the newspaper. Her whole life hinged on that moment, and whether for better or for worse is to be decided later.
All that mattered to her was that she is not invisible.
She slowly lifted her head, and lowered the flower. Her face seemed to lighten, her posture changed, even the way she talked was altered.
She looked all around her, as if she didn’t know where she was. She did, she just hadn’t really seen it before. Not like this.
She looked to her left, to her neighbors doorstep. They were a family; a mom, dad, and three small giggling children.
She looked to her right, to the sagging house with the peeling paint. A lonely old man lived there, had lived there for many years. He used to have a wife that accompanied him, but she must have died a few years ago. She didn’t know, hadn’t really cared up to that point.
She stepped off her stoop, and walked over to the house of the old man, carrying the flower loosely at her side.
She walked up his stairs, crossed his porch, and came to his door. She bent, and set the flower down on the mat. She glanced at the knocker, but didn’t use it. Let him find it on his own, that will do him good. Perhaps relieve some of his loneliness.
Then she turned her back, and walked away.