We live by a lovely lush field of green, green grass and all summer it is dotted with daisies. Darling little daisies smiling up at me.
I spent many, many hours in that meadow when I was a child. My home was not a happy one. I would lean up against the old stone wall with a book and the sky and the daisies. That was my world. I have a step sister. During the summer she would come and stay a couple of weeks. At first I was excited by the idea and we did have our moments of fun, but after her smoking in my bedroom went on and on and her total disregard for anyone but herself, I wanted her gone. I would retreat to my meadow all the more.
“You’re weird. Most normal people play Nintendo and watch TV, you don’t even know who Miley Cyrus is or the Jonas Brothers. Weeeeeird!”, she would bark at me.
I never picked the daisies. I never made a daisy chain. Their eager little faces looking up, as though wanting to please, dotting the field like the freckles on my face. I began to regard them as more than just flowers. I would lie on my tummy making sure not to squash any, and examine them up close. Talk to them.
Then one day my step sister jumped over the wall. “Look I know you’re weird and all, but for fricks sake can’t we DO something. I am so bored”.
She sat down next to me, myself aware that she had probably squashed a fair few of my budding friends, but knowing I was weird already, didn’t want to make it worse.
She began to talk about our mum and dad and weren’t they just the worst? Why did they have kids anyway? Why on earth did they get together and where the hell was my real dad? Then she picked a daisy and began plucking the leaves off one by one.
I immediately was thrown back in the most horrendous pain and with every pluck I screamed a small scream. I was feeling real extruciating pain in my arms and legs and a kind of paralysis each time the jab was felt.
“Oh my God, what the frick is wrong with you now? You’re a fricking nutter”, my step sister screamed.
That night in our beds, I was silent until she spoke. “You ARE some kind of weirdo aren’t you?”
I replied, “I don’t know what happened. I think it was because you were hurting the daisy”.
“No way. Oh my God, you’re starting to freak me out.”
The next day in the meadow I went back to the spot where we had sat the day before.
The daisies looked healthy despite her sitting on them. Such resilient little things. So eager. So strong. “I’m sorry”, I said but just as I said it the pain started again. One jabbing pain after the other.. after the other, after the other, till tears were streaming down my face. Then came the laughing. She was on the other side of the wall. Laughing hysterically. “Wait till I call the bloody loony bin, even they won’t believe this”.
I have been in this institution now for 6 months. They have never seen a case like mine before. Thought it was psychosomatic. Another unhappy child creating a fantasy life. They have destroyed many a flower to test me and with every they pluck I get weaker and haven’t eaten for days. I feel like I am wilting and dying, it’s just a matter of time.
One shrink said, “a child is like a plant and needs water and sunshine and love to survive, she did not get that”.
Another suggested I might have been a plant in a previous life.
Right now I feel like a dandelion clock – one puff and I will be gone, and that is ok too.
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