Not about a Daisy
When you are in the rain and all seems lost, look around at what the rain does.
Green blades lightly poked up, weaving their way to my skin. A warm glow pressed on my face. I opened my eyes. A vibrant, blue sky, dusted with clouds like cotton candy greeted me. Scents of clean and sweet pollen that melted together into a scent only captured by the best flowers. I could see my toes wiggle in front of me. I sat up. I, Charlotte Rhoden, was surrounded by an endless field of daisies. I started walking and the soft feeling of flower petals tickled my bare feet. This place was perfect. I plucked one of the daisies . The soft lines of my dress matched the simplicity of the petals. I expected the daisy to be perfect. It should have been round, every petal in the right spot, all the same size. But it wasn’t. It was flawed. Imperfect. I wiggled my fingers through a big gap where petals should have been. The daisy was thriving except for that part.
I kept walking. Over rolling hills, through fields, everything filled with these imperfect flowers. The warm sun beat down on me but it wasn’t uncomfortable, it felt right. The daisies were content in the sun too. Then something changed. There was a boy, who seemed to be quite upset about something, standing in the middle of one of the daisy fields.
Daisies can’t help who they are planted next to.
I felt myself drawn toward him. I couldn’t help myself, there was just something about him. ”Hey..” as I walked over to him, I realized he was not just upset. He was angry, violently ripping all the beautiful, puzzling daisies out of the earth flinging soil through the air. The leaves were calling for help and hanging on to their long stalks for dear life. “I’m Charlotte.” I said.
He stopped abruptly and his eyes caught mine. “Hi?” He said, questioning my existence.
He stared at me for a while before replying, “I’m sorry I just didn’t think there was anyone else in this hell.” His eyes burnt holes through me. I must have given him a look of what the hell is wrong with you, because he answered, “You want to know what’s wrong Charlotte? This field is filled with daisies. Flowers as far as the eye can see! I wanna get out of here, but is there no way out?!” Questions piled up in my mind, Why do you want to leave so bad? I mean this place is perfect isn’t it, perfect weather, perfect temperature, big blue sky, puffy clouds...
He continued,“It’s a sick reminder that I’m never going to be good enough! All the flowers in this field are flawed. They all have petals missing. I’m what makes them imperfect! I’m the darkness in this field! The petals will never grow back because now the daisy is damaged...because of me.”
“How do you know you are what makes them imperfect? How do you know what the daisies were like before? You will never understand that all of us are imperfect, yes some people have it way worse than others, but that doesn't mean that you have to be the darkness in the frickin daisies. I’ve had a tough life, I don’t know what it was like…” I paused, “but I know it was tough! I know that even though life is brutal we don’t have to fall into the darkness. These imperfect daisies stay white, pure, and stand tall, unafraid of what’s to come. The world already has enough worry. So yes, we all have imperfections but that doesn’t mean you are the cause of it. And that doesn’t mean the real cause of it is evil.” With that I turned away and proceeded to get as far away from him as possible.
Maybe imperfection is the perfection in the daisies, even though they are imperfect they are happy. That’s what makes them beautiful.
“Wait!” I could hear his hurried footsteps muffled by the daisies but I didn’t look back. His gentle grip grasped my bicep and I was forced to look at him. I was trapped in his eyes, captured in a mad, green sea. Stunned, unable to think or move. Then I remembered I was still trying to get away from him.
“What do you want?” I exclaimed.
“I’m sorry” he said, I could tell that he meant it. But so far he hadn’t earned my sympathy. “And my name is Malik.”
“Well Malik, what makes you think that I want to talk to you?”
“Well maybe you don’t want to be alone in this place.” He was genuinely concerned for me but I didn’t care.
“I’d rather be alone than with you”, I stated. And this time he didn’t follow me. The truth was I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing, and I really did want somebody with me. But I needed to blow off steam and just think. There was something normal about being alone.
The daisies need each other in the storm. They cannot deal with the pain alone.
After I had gotten a good distance away, I just laid down and surrounded myself with the flowers. My smooth, red hair fell over the daisies and filled in all the gaps. I watched the clouds and imagined I had someone next to me. I felt so alone. Like there was no one who understood what I was going through. Maybe Malik did.
Suddenly the perfect sky turned grey. It was becoming cluttered with big messes of storm clouds. There was no protection from the storm that was about to hit. I rushed around frantically looking for someplace, something, someone, to protect me. The daisies stared into the clouds not showing any sign of fear or worry. I could barely see through the hair that was flying in my face. There was nothing around that made me want to look forward to a future in this place. What would I do if the storm clouds never left, or if it got worse? How would I ever get home to enjoy who I am...was? What if I was dead? What if this place was heaven or... hell? Malik had called it hell. Where was Malik? The wind was picking up as I started to look for him. “Malik! Where are you?” Frantically running through the fields I screamed again. “Malik!” I tried to keep searching but the storm was taking a toll on me. It seemed to test you, push you to your breaking point. The clouds were laughing at me. They said, “Look at this poor, pathetic girl. She doesn’t stand a chance out here.” I’d show them. They didn’t know who they were messing with.
The sun builds the strength of the daisy to take on the storm without fear.
“Charlotte!” I could barely hear it, but I knew it was Malik, “Charlotte!”
“Malik!” The wind was so strong now that it was practically knocking me over. I know I had been mad at him but I needed him with me. I just did, there was something about his desperate negativity. I could tell he didn’t want to be negative, but he didn’t want to fill himself with false hopes. Something made me feel like he had fully trusted and dreamed once. Malik still wanted to, but every time he would grasp for it, reality would slap him in the face. He had fallen just a little too deep into his hole. I could see him on the next hill.
He started running towards me. “Charlotte!” All my thoughts and fears overwhelmed me. Malik was now sprinting at me. The wind was whipping me, burning my skin and suddenly I couldn’t hold myself up anymore. I was falling into the daisies. As soon as my skin touched the petals everything went black.
In those last few moments before everything was dark I saw Malik lunge forward to catch me. His rough hands had gently grazed my neck. And what I’ll never forget is the way he looked at me. His eyes were no longer green like the angry sea. They matched the storm, a swirling deep blue. His face was wiped of anger, hatred and fear. Malik’s only thoughts had been about me.
I don’t know why I was ever there. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know anything except that life is full of fear and confusion. Maybe that’s how the daisies feel going into a storm, and the storm hurts them but they could not live without it. Just like they could not live without the sun. But that storm takes a petal, a petal that will always make them different, imperfect. Some have it worse than others. Those daisies just have to remember to embrace the sun.