Journal Entry: Prompt #7

 journalConsider the use of seeds as a metaphor for interpersonal relationships. Write down three instances of someone else giving you “positive” seeds. Then three instances of someone giving you “negative” seeds. Continue by writing about the result of the seeds.

“What’s this?” Lila turned the small seeds over in her hand, admiring the array of speckled colours.

“This one’s a friendship seed, that one’s love, this little one is joy, don’t be fooled by its size though, it’s beautiful when it flowers. Those two over there are,” he indicated the shiny purple and blue ones, “are admiration and support.” The corners of her eyes wrinkled with pleasure as she began planning just where to plant the small collection. There was a place, just bellow the window seat that might be nice, or perhaps she could create a little garden beside the gazebo. She poured the seeds back into their packet and slipped it into her back pocket before leaning forward to kiss Damon’s cheek.

“Thank you.”

It took a whole day to prepare the garden beside the gazebo. Lila wanted to ensure it had everything the seeds would need to grow and she poured all her heart into the little plot. The days spent tending the seeds, watering them, feeding them, were highlights she would reflect on for years to come. The best of those days were spent with Damon by her side, helping to nurture the small garden. On warm summer afternoons they would sit together admiring beauty of the garden, the way friendship had spread out across the ground, forming a sort of mulch carpet throughout the bed. Love had grown tall and strong with fragrant blossoms that filled the night air. Joy had grown into a bush the burst into colourful flowers at random intervals, fading before bursting forth once more. Admiration and support were the most subtle flowers, pocking up all over the place in little bunches of white and yellow. For months their life together seemed magically blessed.

After the funeral, they moved his mother into the downstairs bedroom. She spent her days sulking around the house, complaining about everything, nothing was done they way she would have done it, organised the way she  would have had it. Always the implication that her way was the superior one. One day Lila came home to find her mother-in-law throwing little black seeds into her gazebo garden, she said nothing but a small knot formed in the pit of her stomach. Tension between her and Damon increased over his mothers constant complaining. A week later Lila noticed a new plant growing in the garden, it’s spiky leaves crowding out the lovely little pockets of admiration and support. She pulled the weeds out hurriedly and shoved them into a black plastic bag to kill them off, but there was no sign of the little yellow and and white flowers.

That night her and Damon fought over finances, he felt it was time she give up her foolish dreams and find a real job. Lila slept on the couch in her study, her face slick with tears.

A month later Lila found Damon digging around the edges of their garden.

“What are you doing?” She asked, keeping her voice light while the knot in her stomach grew tighter.

“Trying to keep my mother happy.” He snapped as he slammed the spade into the soil, accidentally cutting half way through the  joy bush. “Shit.” He threw a handful of small black seeds into the hole before kicking the earth back over them. The spot was like a scar on the edge of beautiful garden. Lila noticed the spiky creeper had also returned. She turned away from the sight, her heart heavy.

Lila slept another night, and another in her small office, she and Damon weren’t able to say a single nice thing to each other at the moment it seemed. The only person who seemed even a little happy at the moment was Damon’s mother, who hummed to herself as she reordered the kitchen cupboards.

Time moved slowly for the next few months. Lila found a job that mad her miserable. She left the house at 6am and returned home at 6pm, exhausted and depressed. She had moved back into her bedroom with Damon, but the sheets stayed cold between them. The seeds that Damon had planted for his mother grew into a purple vine that spread out across the garden, unrestrained and untameable. Within weeks of it appearing, friendship had been all but smothered by the larger, darker leaves. Love still stood tall in the centre of the garden, but it’s colour had faded. The knot inside Lila’s stomach had become so tight it began to cause her a great deal of pain. The pain intensified so much that she finally went to see a doctor, they couldn’t find anything wrong with her, and sent her for more tests.

Meanwhile, her mother-in-law took over control of the household, changing everything to suit her tastes and comfort. Lila no longer had the strength to interfere or change things back. She missed so much work they had no choice but to fire her. Damon moved around the house like a ghost, lost in his own life.

It was a wet, miserable grew day, Lila was sitting propped up against pillows staring mournfully out the window towards the gazebo. Her face was drawn and, the skin flaccid. The shadows under her eyes echoed the little garden’s current colour scheme. Lila tried to remember it as it once was, when it had flourished with so much beauty. She had heard from the doctors a few hours before, her latest test results had come back. Her mother-in-law entered the bedroom, shaking a packet of seeds in Lila’s face.

“I’m going to plant these today. They’re called ‘hypochondria’ I’m sure you’ve seen them before.” The older woman hadn’t known Damon was in the wardrobe finding Lila another blanket. He snatched the seeds from his mothers outstretched hand and threw them into the bin beside the bed. It was full of pink and red stained tissues. Lila turned her eyes away from the stunned, angry face of her mother-in-law, just as the sun began to force its way through cracks in the clouds. A stray beam touched down in the garden lighting up love. Lila smiled for the first time in months as the she watched the delicate flower visibly open in the warmth of that touch.

 

Note: all my prompts come from here at present and I really appreciate this resource so check it out.

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More stories by Tracey Ambrose @ traceyambrose.com
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