Once upon a time, there was a flower.
It was tiny and delicate, with a hundred golden petals. The fuzzy green stem was filled with milk, and the leaves were broad and barb-shaped.
Overnight, a miracle happened. The flower had shedded its yellow plumage for a silver-lined ball of fluff. And to each bit of fuzz, a small, caramel-colored seed was attached. One day, a gust of wind came along and blew off all the seeds, leaving only a bare head.
This might have been the end of the story, except each seed sprouted into a new flower. Someone, smart and observative, and perhaps not totally committed to fact, saw the miracle of how a single, tiny, delicate, golden flower was able to sprout so plentifully, facing hard rocks and giant plants, and decided to make a wish. Luckily for us, this person’s wish was so very selfless. They wished that anyone who wished on one of these ‘miracle flowers’ would have their wish come true.
So now, even today despite all the hate and filth, if you can see the beauty and the miracle of these tiny golden flowers, you can make a wish, and it will come true.
However, many people believe that the wish flowers are weeds. Ugly, nasty, horrible weeds. They kill them with poisons and chemicals, or rip them from the ground and leave them to die. These people’s wishes wouldn’t come true, if the thought ever crossed their minds to make a wish.
These people are NOT bad people. Not all of them, anyway. They have just been told different things, and believed them.
And in a way, they’re right. These flowers can infiltrate a yard in days. They use nutrients other plants may need, and once the seeds blow away, all that is left is a bare, bald seed head. They steal water from nicer plants, draining a resource necessary for all living things. They decrease curb appeal, lowering the value of houses that have done nothing wrong.
Lisa trudged into her apartment building. Everything seemed awful at the moment. Work had been horrible, the garden had weeds, and she was losing a lot of weight. Again. In fact, the only thing that was right in her world was that her roommate was Eva, her best friend. The two girls shared almost everything with each other. Once she reached her apartment and unlocked the door, Lisa called out, “There’s dandelions in our garden patch. Do you know where we could get weed killer?”
Eva poked her head out from the kitchen. Her thick raven hair was dusted in flour, and her pink skirt was perpetually covered in stains, but it suited her nonetheless. “Um, yeah. But why would you need weed killer? Dandelions are so pretty.”
“Well, they’re going to take everything from the lettuce and roses.”
“Are you hungry?” Eva asked, ducking back into the kitchen. “I just made raisin bread.”
“Don’t change the subject, Eva! The dandelions need to go.”
Eva heaved a dramatic sigh, but came out to face Lisa. “Fine. But you need to eat more. I haven’t seen you eat lunch for weeks. You’re getting skinny again.”
“Eva…” Lisa warned.
“Come on, Lisa, we have to keep the dandelions!” Eva pleaded. Lisa rolled her eyes.
“I hate them! They’re ugly and invasive, and everyone else hates them too. Besides, it’s just four.”
“I think they matter.”
“You think everything matters, Eva! Like that old, ratty blanket you keep. Jeez, that thing’s ugly.”
Eva took a step back, spreading her arms to unconsciously protect her blanket. “I love my Blanket. You know perfectly well why.”
“Yeah, yeah, abusive scumbag parent, yadda, yadda, nice random girl, blah, blah, blah.” Lisa rolled her eyes again. “I get the blanket thing, I guess. But seriously, why must you ‘save the dandelions’? Did they get you through a hard time too?”
“Well, maybe they did.”
“Ugh, you are so ridiculous. You haven’t even seen the weeds. They’re wimpy. Maybe they’d be better off if I killed them.”
Eva frowed and crossed her arms. “They’re dandelions. And maybe I am ridiculous, but them being wimpy gives me all the more reason to save them, as you said. But you shouldn’t be so mean. What would Natalie say?”
Lisa quivered at the mention of their dead roommate’s name. Natalie had given Eva her blanket when she was super little, and had taken Lisa in when she didn’t have money for rent. She had always been a guiding light for them, but when she died…
“Shut up! Natalie isn’t here anymore!” Lisa said angrily. Her fists and teeth clenched, and her stomach tightened. She was ready for a fight.
“But nothing! I’m sick and tired of you pretending everything matters. The stupid dandelions in the stupid community garden don’t matter.”
“Dandelions aren’t stupid. And neither is the garden. They do matter. I love dandelions. They’re so pretty and magical.”
“THEY AREN’T MAGIC!!” Lisa screamed. Her voice went up an octave. Eva put her hands out, offering a hug. She stood her ground, even when Lisa raised her hand to hit her. Eva flinched but managed to stand her ground. Lisa needed something tangible to react to her rage.
Lisa lunged forward towards Eva. Her arm came up, and she slammed it down onto the coffee table, sending a mug on the other side flying. When it slammed into the wall and shattered into a million pieces, Eva flinched. However, she just sighed before walking over to pick up the pieces.
“Lisa, are you okay?” Eva kneeled down, and gingerly picked up the glass shards, being careful not to cut herself. “If you’re really that upset about the dandelions, you can get rid of them. I still think they’re really pretty. You know, the other day I saw someone staring at them.”
“At what? Our hideous garden with your hideous dandelions and my hideous lettuce that no one in their right mind would eat?”
“You know, there’s been research --not a lot, mind you-- that dandelions might be the cure for cancer.”
“Really?” Lisa lowered her arm. She turned away from Eva. She didn’t want to face her best friend right now. Eva stood back up, her skirt rustling as she pulled it out as a make-shift bag for the mug’s pieces.
“Yeah. And they’re way important to bees. Dandelions are pretty much bee fast food restaurants.”
Lisa smiled, but still didn’t turn to look at Eva. “Maybe you’re right.”
“Of course I’m right. I’m your best friend.” Eva’s footsteps got nearer, but Lisa stubbornly kept her back towards Eva. An arm wrapped around Lisa, and Lisa gave up.
“Thank you, Eva. Thank you for convincing me I’m not a hideous weed.”
“Oh, Lisa! You’re not a weed. You’re a beautiful flower. Now come on, I have an idea.” Eva gave Lisa a quick squeeze. “We should make a wish. After all, dandelions are also the wishing flowers.”