“Say, Riri-chan, when’s your birthday?”
I gave her a certain date in June. But of course, it was still more than a month away.
“Can’t celebrate that, then… too bad.”
She forced out a giggle, seeming not so disappointed.
I felt a little bit peeved. Her attitude, especially how she accepted so easily that there won’t be a celebration, rubbed me all the wrong ways. And here I was, about to ask her what she would do if the world wasn’t coming to an end. But then again, there was no point in asking. After all, I knew for sure at this point that she wouldn’t be celebrating my birthday.
“It doesn’t mean anything anyway. Just another day out of three-hundred and sixty-five, or six.”
“C’mon, shouldn’t it be a day where you’re extra happy?”
“It’s just a normal day.”
“Hmm… here, I’ll give you this.”
Saying that, she proceeded to pick a yellow gerbera from the vase on the table, and then presented it to me.
I had bought it on impulse from a florist that I had visited by chance, instantly drawn by its vivid color.
“You don’t know what it’s called?”
“I do, but… I mean, this is just the thing I bought.”
“All things come and go.”
“Again, it’s something I bought myself.”
Yune, unfazed by my rebuttals, kept on holding the plant out to me. She also cracked a smile, seeming quite proud of herself, as if she was doing something nice.
I couldn’t help but be annoyed time and time again by this woman’s antics. Although she was older than me, she didn’t give off that impression at all. I thought I might win against her when it came to academics, even. Besides, she was the strange one to begin with. I never understood why she had thought it would be a good idea to pick up an axe and head over to someone’s house.
What an eccentric woman. If not for our specific circumstances, we surely would never have gotten to know each other and be spending time together now.
“This was mine to begin with, so don’t you get any ideas.”
Since she probably wouldn’t pipe down otherwise, I accepted it from her.
This yellow gerbera had caught my attention at first sight; that was why I had bought it. I liked the look of its clustered capitulum and eye-catching color.
I fiddled with the plant in my hand.
“In advance, I mean. We won’t be able to celebrate then, but at least I can congratulate you now.”
She forced out another giggle.
I put the plant back into its vase. There was no meaning to it; the gerbera had just gone trough Yune’s hand back into its original place. I didn’t receive anything.
The plant’s stem bent down slightly, perhaps under the weight of its capitulum.
That exchange took place a little over a month ago.
I wanted to make a dried flower out of that gerbera.
Although I had left it to dry in an area with good circulation, its capitulum ended up crumpled, its florets withered and fallen. Its bright yellow had completely faded away.
Since it’s no longer good for display, I decide to bury it in the backyard.
I thought I could have kept it forever by drying it, too… I wonder what went wrong?
Looking at the run-down, unattended lawn, I feel the want to plant something. Flowers would be nice. Right, how about gerberas? Yellow, pink, white, orange… I imagine those colorful florets of theirs filling up the lawn.
I wonder if I can properly tend to them, even with how dead this lawn is. I’ve got to water them with care… Now I’m starting to get into it, searching for information on my phone.
From what I’m seeing, they don’t seem too difficult to tend. Suitable for warm climates, grow best in areas with morning sun and afternoon shade…
Their appearance gives off an ambiance of happiness and joy.
And in Japanese floriography, I believe they symbolize hope.