I bought a plant today. I sat it right there in her spot. The sun beamed down on the lavender chair near the window, and the television. The sun always shined on her, even when it was dark. This plant reminded me of her. Earthy, sturdy, beautiful, and firm. The opposite of me. I envied her, even though she loved me. How could she love me? How? That is what I would ask myself. Over and over and over again, each day I saw her face. Her smile was bright, teeth were perfect, and the world loved her. The world never noticed me, so how could she? When we were in high school, she would smile and wave at me. The next moment, someone was kicking me down and calling me a nerd. She was popular, and I was a punching bag.
How dare she play with my heart, and accept my proposal to marry? “This can’t be real,” I remember thinking to myself on our wedding day. “This isn’t happening.” I looked at her, and she smiled like she was the happiest woman on earth. That’s when I knew it was all a lie. A woman like this couldn’t possibly love me. She wanted to play with my heart like all of the others. From the wedding day moving forward, I plotted. I plotted to hurt her before she hurt me. She thought I couldn’t see it, but I did. I was pity to her.
When I was sick, she would check me for a fever, bring me orange juice, and turn on my favorite tv show. I would wait until she left to check the juice for poison and the room for cameras. I don't know why I felt at any minute a video of me would surface on the internet and I would be the laughing stock of the world: just like I was in high school. I mean, she wasn’t doing anything wrong to me, and that was the problem. No one has ever been nice to me, liked me, or even loved me. Not even my parents. The love she gave me was uncommon. Just like the plant that I bought this morning. It was rare, like her. It was rare for a woman to look in my direction, unless she wanted help with her science homework, or for me to pick up a book she dropped in mud. I was scum, and my dreamy wife was light. That light hurt. I couldn’t take it hurting me anymore.
I think I'm gonna make breakfast for me and the plant, just how she likes it. Me in my black apron that says “Daddy’s Cookin”, my muscles showing through the pockets, and my spatula that she gave me for Christmas. I hate her. She was so lovely. I never liked cooking until I married her. She made me feel wanted, like I meant something. That wasn’t normal. Was it? Anyway, let me finish flipping these pancakes, just right. She liked them golden brown, on both sides. A perfectionist, she was. And I was just sloppy. Once again, the complete opposite of her.
As I grab the plates and walk over to the plant, I could feel it staring at me, just like she used to. The green leaves sat there, with no movement. As she did when she was waiting for me to serve her. I also inquired what was on her mind as I delivered her breakfast. What could be going through her head knowing she married the slum from high school? Her happiness never gave me an answer. And I hated it. How could she possibly love me? Can this plant survive here? I won't water it, or nurture it. It’ll just be here. Looking beautiful, until it dies, or is killed, like her.
I sat down by the plant, like I used to sit by her when she was here. I turned on the television, looked down at my plate and proceeded to cut the pancakes into sections. I listen closely for the plant to smack, or squirmer but it doesn’t. I know it’s watching me. Probably thinking, “what am I doing here?” Correct, what are you doing here? As I took bites of food, I decided to touch the plant's roots. They were cold. Like her body was in that chair. The roots never moved, it acted as if it was afraid of me. Why would anything or anyone be afraid of me? I am the victim. I have always been. I was a victim in that marriage. I was a lame kid that got picked by a beauty, and everybody asked why. I know her dad hated me and was disgusted at me, I know he wanted me dead. But I made a decision that she would die before me, for playing with my heart. Why did she marry me? Why? It didn’t have to end like this. This plant wouldn't be here replacing her if she just didn’t, love me.
I remember going to that back room at the wedding reception to talk to her dad. He put his arm on my shoulder and said, “you know son, you really won with this one. She is special, she is kind, but most of all she is my baby. If you do anything to hurt her, I will hurt you.”
I just remember staring at his lips and watching his white beard move: wondering, is this really happening?
I stepped out of the room to see all of her family members dancing and singing. This was her crowd, this was her show. I didn’t have a family, and she wanted to make one with me. How dare she play with my heart like this? How dare she choose me? Out of all the men in the world? Me?! Me?!
As I get up and go to the kitchen to scrape the leftover pancakes in the trash: I looked over my shoulder and saw the plant move. I know I saw it turn or wave a tiny bit, I can’t be delusional, it's impossible for me to be. The plant has been listening and watching this entire time. Just like her. It is sneaky and secretly hates me, just like her. The beauty of it haunts me, it must go, it must die. Just like her.