A relatively old flash fiction piece I polished. Warning for mentions of blood.
What a lovely thing you are.
I imagine those words escaping my mouth, rooting from the deepest crooks within me. Steeped in thick, burning fantasy. Those words, for him only. I'd lay down on my bed, on a summer day, with the sun falling onto my sheets. He would lay next to me, smiling, with the sun gentle on his cheeks. But when I look ahead, to the walls of my room, and to my bed sheets, the empty space on the other side of the bed looks back at me, gaping a hollowness instead of his warmth. He is a man of few words. His voice is faint. His presence sways with the wind, like that of a ghost. He comes and goes, and you would only realise after he was gone. Sometimes our eyes would meet when we run into each other. He would snap his gaze away, guarding his secrets behind his star-lined eyes. But it was too late. I was washed away by his stormy waves, sweeping me off the shores. He loves the garden. He loves watching the flowers and speaking to the cacti. He loves the geraniums, the monstera and the little ivies. He probably didn't know I was there, the first time he went to the campus garden. He's oblivious. Carefree and sparkling with cheer. He spoke to the plants, and I watched from the bench. And that was the first time I saw it: a peek under his shirt, used to wipe off his sweat. His stomach was littered with white gardenias, growing from under his skin.
But he wasn't bleeding.
We all have them. Flowers that bloom from our truths and wounds. I too have them, my small buds of apricot blossoms. They grow from my core, pulling at the skin of my chest and broad back, the buds dainty and in full colour. But it's strange. I am not in pain.
The second time I caught a glimpse of his flowers, they were small bushes of gardenias in full bloom, with traces of red, pulling at his skin. He looked around the empty locker room, only to meet my eyes. And that was the start of a slow understanding that he is as human as I am. We both are, with the strange flowers that grow from the core of our bodies. The way he talks and laughs, all of it is so human and so real. How his eyes glimmer in my presence, and how his hair shimmers under the sun; all of it is so lovely.
The third time: his back, chest and stomach were blanketed under clusters of camellias, with traces of blood.
But even then, he is lovely.
He is lovely, in the way the flowers blossom in the face of the sun; in the way gentle sea winds whisper; in the way the warm soil settles under our feet.
The universe pulled us closer; I learned to cherish him, in parts and as a whole, with all his faults and imperfections and all his little cracks and flaws. But the universe also tore us apart and I learned that flowers bloom from our scars and they leave you dried out of your essence. Because the joy of his presence was the start of my hardest goodbye. Moments with him felt infinite. When his warmth was no longer the part of my present, the world turned darker.
And so here I am, under my sheets on yet another summer day, with the other side of the bed empty. The ceiling stares back at me and my flowers, sweet briars blooming from within my skin. The edges of my universe grew smaller when he left. I would utter these words, if only he were here.