A House Plant Indeed

Submitted into Contest #143 in response to: Start or end your story with a person buying a house plant. ... view prompt

6 comments

Contemporary Drama Speculative

 A house plant indeed. 

Christina wandered the aisles of Nordstrom’s Department Store. It was cold outside, and the warmth of the store felt good. Everything she needed was in the store. She began in the linen section. She ran her hands over the highest thread count sheets. She closed her eyes into old memories of her favorite gold-colored sheets. Her mind filled with loving embraces, lazy weekends spent in bed, long conversations as her head rested on her expensive favorite pillow. These new sheets in a new bright hue would fit her needs. She smiled and placed them in her shopping cart. “What about matching towels?” She slowly pushed her cart over to a large offering of towels. Oh, she loved the towel sheets and scanned the towels for that size. She could use four new towels that would fit in her towel warming cupboard by her walk-in shower. Christina loved the bathroom she had designed when building her family home. She had labor intensively picked out every detail of her luxurious bathroom. The stately floor tiles with warming options built in. His and her sink areas gave ample room for the couples many beauty products, not to mention Christina’s makeup table with her comfortable cushioned winged back chair. Her husband indulged in his own products. Christina always loved trying the latest and greatest products that promised a youthful result. She was a natural beauty but believed the innovative marketing claims of the latest creams. “Oh, exciting gold flakes in my body cream,” she had once said while shopping with her good friend and neighbor, Susan Bamford. 

They were both lucky to have found friendship in their affluent neighborhood. They were often at each other’s homes. Every birthday, holiday, and most Fridays they spent with each other. It was fortunate that their husband had also become fast friends.  

It was a short walk around the block to each other’s homes. Susan had helped Christina to get a job in her company. Christina had never in her life worked a job with a salary that high before. Not that she needed to work, her husband was a phenomenally successful doctor; but when he made rumblings that it would be nice if she worked outside of the home to help acclimate them to their new upscale neighborhood move, she was happy to oblige. Besides, she thought it would bring her and Susan even closer. 

She settled on a matching soft hue for her new towels and placed them in her shopping cart. New coffee cups were next on the list. She slowly rolled her cart over to the kitchen section. Christina browsed methodically over the vast amount of kitchen gadgets. Her coffee station sunroom was one of the favorite places in her house. She looked forward to getting out of bed each morning and watching the sunrise with her favorite mug of coffee. She looked at mugs but quickly became distracted with the idea of new plates and bowls. 

Christina glanced at her watch before remembering she needed a new battery. “I need to stop by a jeweler,” she said to herself. By Christina’s estimation she had been in the store two hours so far. She wondered if they had a book section. Her favorite bookstore had closed two years ago, it made her sad. She had loved hanging out there and perusing the vast collections they sold. 

She set out in search of books, up and down the aisles, as she pushed her cart. Again, her thoughts wandered, distracted she looked over other products. She spent two hours looking through the large bin of Blu-ray and DVD movies. Christina was a habitual movie collector. She had designed her twenty feet by thirty feet media room with a floor to ceiling shelving unit, complete with a platform rolling ladder. She always had room for more movies. Most Fridays the Bamford’s would end up in that room with her and her husband after dinner, to watch a movie together. The Friday nights they were not there, they would be over in Bamford’s game room laughing and visiting over a friendly card game. 

A new nightgown would be just thing to go with her new sheets. She spun her shopping cart around with a new purpose and headed over to browse the selections. Her favorite type of sleepwear was silk with a thin fleece lining. She scanned the large offering, knowing just what she was looking for, but to no avail.

Christina caught sight of the changing sky outside of the large glass entrance doors. It was going to be dark soon. She needed to get a move on. She was so pleased with all her finds. She did one more sweep around the store. A medium size bin at the end of an aisle offered little hanging potted plants. They were so ridiculous, a loud laugh escaped from her, as she moved in to get a closer look. She held the intricate macrame plant holder up in front of her face, to view the little white ceramic pot, complete with a little plastic fern inside. The pot was smaller than her hand. She smiled. She looked beyond it to see if she had chosen the best one out of the bin. “.69 cents” the bin sign said. “What a perfect little house plant,” she thought. She carried it in her hand and pushed the shopping cart over to the wall to rest. Heading to the front of the store she found a checkout lane and set her new house plant down. The employee asked her if she would like a bag for her purchase and Christina nodded, “yes.” She snapped open her change purse she had retrieved from her Birkin bag. After handing him exact change, she clutched the small brown shopping bag and reached for her car keys with the other hand. Pleased as punch she headed for the door. 

The parking lot only had about three dozen cars left, she quickly assessed. She looked around as she walked to her vehicle parked under a large light. She triggered her fob to unlock her car door. Once she settled her Birkin bag in the passenger seat and she was comfortably behind the steering wheel, she opened the small shopping bag to reveal her new purchase. The smile left her face and a tear escaped from her eye and rolled down her cheek. She reached up and hung her new house plant from her rearview mirror. “Home sweet home,” she said as her one tear turned into more.  

April 27, 2022 01:23

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6 comments

Kathleen Fine
01:08 May 06, 2022

Hi Clara, Great story-I had to reread it because I think I missed why she was crying at the end?

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Clara Halstead
02:25 May 06, 2022

Thank you Kathleen. I was trying out the Iceberg Theory.

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Kathleen Fine
11:00 May 06, 2022

Ok that’s what I was wondering so it worked! I was trying to figure out if something happened with the neighbor or if she became homeless in her car or if it was all a facade!

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Clara Halstead
14:21 May 07, 2022

Thank you Kathleen! I'm of the "chose your own adventure" mindset. I do like to leave it open for the reader. The first person I read this to came up with outcomes similar to yours. Thank you so much for reading my story.

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Ruth Reyes
11:51 May 06, 2022

Great story! I’m a fan of open endings since it allows the reader to continue the story on their own.

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Clara Halstead
13:53 May 07, 2022

Thank you!

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