I really love succulents.
I was never a big “flower person”. I’m still not. I love nature and I love flowers and greenery and gardens but I don’t know a lot about them. I don’t know the different flowers or what type thrives and which climate. For the longest time I didn’t even have an answer to the question “what’s your favorite flower?” Because the only flowers I could think of were roses and daisies and those weren’t my favorites.
But I’ve finally found my answer to that question and that’s succulents.
I always thought that your favorite flower was a good way to know the kind of person you are.
My mom’s favorite flowers are those bluebonnets that only bloom in the spring. Or summer? I don’t know. But she loves them. Makes us take family pictures in them every year. That’s the kind of person she is. A family person. She likes the flowers that bring you together.
My best friend likes sunflowers. I call her my sunflower. She brightens up every room. Everyone finds her beautiful and everyone knows her name.
I still don’t know if succulents classify as a flower “flower” and if they do I’m sure it’s too broad. I should know a specific type of succulent but the only name I can think of is cacti and it’s not my favorite.
I decided to redecorate my room. I moved my bed from the northeast wall to the west wall. I bought brand new cream striped blankets. I painted the wall as a pale, off white and I printed out some of my favorite photographer’s pictures.
And I decided to hang some succulents from the ceiling.
That’s what I’m doing now. I’m walking through Lowes trying to find the right yarn. It has to be thick enough to hold them but thin enough to braid together and not be too chunky. I found a “DIY” direction sheet online and it has five different diagrams for five different designs. I’m going to do one of each.
I turn down a aisle and my phone starts buzzing. I pull it out of my pocket and roll my eyes at the word ‘Tim’ that flashes across my screen. I hit decline and shove it back in my pocket, pulling my cart to a stop in the middle of the aisle.
I find the yarn and get one roll, throwing it in my basket. Then I roll to the nursery and find the wall of succulents.
I instantly go for a medium-sized, round, spikey one and gently place it in my basket. Then I grab two small soft ones and one with multiple different… legs? Tentacles? They look like tentacles. I’ll call that one Ursula. Then I grab the cacti succulent, the one that everyone knows. It’s smaller than the others, but that’s probably a good thing. Gives it less room to hurt me with. The fifth one takes me longer to find. I need a variety and they all look the same. All the succulents. Finally I choose one that looks like eight thick, pointy leaves have been pulled to the center, creating a curved, spikey bulb. I add it to the others and head to the checkout counter.
“Starting your garden?” The older lady behind the cash register asks.
“These plants are a good place to start. It’s pretty hard to kill them.”
“I’m sure I’ll find a way.” I smile respectfully.
“You have a good collection here. Just watch out for that one,” she points to the spikey one, “it’ll betray you.”
I chuckle at that, a genuinely amused laugh. “He’s a feisty one. I’ll name him Poseidon after the sassiest god.”
“Just be careful. It’s easy to drown a succulent.”
She finishes checking me out and I nod at her as I grab my bags.
“Have a good day, ma’am.”
The heat from the sun causes my forehead to sweat before I’ve even made it back to my truck. Well, my dad’s truck, technically. My car is in the shop so I’m stuck with this monstrosity for a few days.
At least I have a car, right?
I start working on braiding the yarn as soon as I get home.
I get three calls while I’m sitting on the couch.
All from him. Tim.
I feel my eyes burn more at each ring. I reach down and answer the phone, holding it close to my ear, my hand shaking.
“Marie. Oh thank god.”
“Stop calling me, Tim.”
“I miss you, Baby. I’m so sorry.”
“I got succulents.”
“What does that mean?”
“I have something else to take care of now. I don’t need you.”
I hang up the phone and block the number.
An hour later all the pots are hanging in the makeshift holders. I pick up Poseidon and place him in the biggest one.
My finger scrapes against the pricks and I yelp slightly, pulling away my hand to reveal a small drop of blood slide down my finger.
Sometimes your favorite ones hurt you the most.