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If I Had a Flower

I've always loved Tennyson's quote, "If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever." I waited impatiently to find someone for whom I felt that way.

Then I met Nathaniel. He was the most wonderful man I've ever known. We were soon making plans for a future together.

Until the flowers came. A single flower each time I thought of Nathaniel. And they snowballed. Every time I thought of him, a flower bloomed. Every time I saw a flower, I thought of him. It became a vicious cycle. I haven't seen Nathaniel in a month. I haven't seen anyone. Or anything but flowers. They still bloom when I think of Nathaniel, and I believe I may indeed walk in my garden forever. I didn't realize I'd be alone in that garden.


I am Lucy's best friend. Her parents say I'm imaginary, but she knows I'm real enough. We would do everything together. But sometimes she would listen to the doctors and ignore me, and she would go play with other friends. I had enough of being ignored, so I broke her favourite toy. She was angry at me for a while, but she learned to play with me again.

Then Lucy started growing up. Her toys went in a box and she didn't care if I broke them anymore. She put on makeup and went out, leaving me alone in the dark.

I'm watching her now. "Shh," she says as she leads the boy into her room. "My parents are sleeping." I see Lucy standing in her lingerie, showing the elegant curves of the woman she's become, while I remain a shadowy child. The boy is a scrawny blond creature. He fumbles over her bra, nervously removes his pants, and awkwardly crawls on top of her. I watch their naked bodies embrace. They pull apart a few minutes later. Lucy excuses herself to take a shower.

The sweaty boy doesn't see me as he lies back in bed. He doesn't notice me getting closer. Lucy has grown up so much. But I haven't. When I'm ignored for too long I still break her favourite toy.


I sat gobsmacked and terrified watching the TV, as I saw the lottery numbers were read out. One by one matching the set of numbers I'd written in my dream diary.

I didn't win, because I didn't enter.

To believe they were real would have given credence to the second entry in the book and I didn't want to believe that, but now I had no choice.

I sat in the chair gripping the small handgun in my sweaty hands, staring at the front door, waiting for my wife to return from work.


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