It was the second week of spring. Grace was sitting under a huge cherry blossom tree looking meaninglessly at the blooming flowers in front of her. The flowers seemed to be happily bathing sunlight, dancing to the rhythm of the faint breeze. A cherry flower fell onto her head, rolled down her face and onto her palm. Grace looked down at the flower and then up the tree as if she was expecting the tree to say something. That's when Grace noticed Felix who was standing by the front door of the college talking to another boy, she didn't recognize.
Grace wondered with whom Felix was expecting to go to the college's spring festival, maybe with Olivia. Olivia was the most beautiful and the most popular girl in the college. Olivia's crush on Felix was a famous secret, and everyone believed that they would be a great couple together. Now the other boy had left, and Felix looked at Grace. When his eyes met Grace's, she blushed and looked down at the flower on her palm.
She remembered a bedtime-story her mother used to tell her about a flower with seven, rainbow-colored petals that granted seven wishes; one for each petal. Only if she could find a flower that granted wishes, she could have wished to go to the spring festival with Felix. Grace looked at the flower as if she was expecting it to turn into a wish-granting flower magically.
She didn't notice that Felix had come close to her and was standing beside her until he said, "you seem to like that flower a lot." She looked up, two twinkling bright eyes that resembled two stars in the night sky were looking down at her and the owner of those eyes had the most beautiful smile she had ever seen. She felt her cheeks warming up. She wanted to say something but was at a loss for words from the sight.
It was Felix who spoke, "On my way here from home, I found an extraordinary flower. You might like it. I can give it to you, but only if you give me yours." Puzzled Grace looked at him, but she didn't want to disappoint him, it might be her chance. So she gave him the flower that laid upon her palm. He smiled and took the flower. Then, he produced a flower from his pocket and gave it to her. Grace looked at the flower carefully. It seemed to be freshly picked up. To her surprise, the flower looked exactly the same as the one in the story. It had seven rainbow-colored petals. She looked at Felix, but he was gone.
Was it a flower that granted wishes? There was only one way to find out; she had to make a wish and see if it comes true. But what was she going to wish? To go to the spring festival with Felix? No. She thought to first try with something else. Grace tore the purple-colored petal, threw it in the air, and said, "I wish to have a cat." Nothing happened. Maybe she was wrong, it was just a common flower.
It was when she came back home and opened her bag that the real surprise happened. A round, fluffy face with big eyes was looking at her from inside her bag. It was a ginger kitten. The wish had come true!
The next morning when she had just finished her breakfast, she got quite an idea to test the flower again. She slowly crept to her room, picked up the flower, tore off the indigo petal, threw it in the air, and said, "May a chocolate cake appears on the dining table." Then she went back to the dining room again. To her greatest surprise, laid on the table was a dainty cake. Not a chocolate cake though, but a marble cake. Maybe she had really wanted a marble cake. She enjoyed tasting the delicious cake and went back to her room.
It felt strange to own a flower that granted wishes. She could ask for anything she wanted, anything at all! Even to go to the spring festival with Felix. Grace looked at the flower and touched the blue-colored petal. Even before she could realize what she was doing, she had torn the petal, thrown it in the air, and said, "I wish to go to the spring festival with Felix." What has she done? You can't force someone to choose you. Grace quickly tore the green one, threw it in the air, and said, "I wish I hadn't wished it."
When she arrived at the college, she heard rumors about Olivia crying in the washroom because Felix rejected to go to the spring festival with her. Was that because of the wish she made? But she had done a counter wish. Maybe it didn't work since she had done it half-heartedly. Grace went to a corner and when nobody was looking, hurriedly tore the red-colored petal, threw it in the air, and whispered, "I wish I hadn't wished to go to the spring festival with Felix." But that changed nothing, Felix was sure that he didn't want to be Olivia's partner for the spring festival and Olivia didn't even attend the classes. Grace felt sorry for Olivia, she felt as if she was responsible for Olivia's pain, she couldn't even face Felix. How could she be so selfish?
During the interval, Grace went out from the college's building hoping to go to her usual spot, where all of this started. The whole morning was a waste. She couldn't concentrate on the lectures. She took the flower from her pocket and looked at it. now the flower had only two petals left, the orange one and the yellow one. This time she should use them for something more worthy. Grace was just about to put the flower back into her pocket, when her eyes caught sight of someone familiar, Vinnie. Even though Grace and Vinnie took different classes, they were really good friends. Vinnie was a kind-hearted boy who always listened to the others, but he couldn't walk without the help of clutches.
You see, things have a way of repeating themselves. Grace tore the orange petal, threw it in the air, and said, "May Vinnie be healed and be able to walk like a normal person." But to her greatest despair, nothing happened. Grace wondered what was wrong with the flower, the magic doesn't seem to work now. Holding the single petaled flower Grace went near Vinnie and sat beside him.
"How is Toby?" asked Vinnie.
"The kitten you found in your bag."
"But how did you know?"
"Don't you remember you asked for one?"
"Does that mean... but I thought... oh my... then what about that cake?" she wanted to ask but words didn't come out of her mouth.
"Are you alright Grace? What's there on your hand? Is that a rainbow flower?"
"Do you know about them?"
"Oh, yes. I have heard about them."
"Are they magical?"
"Oh, no. Not magical, but they are rare. You see, each petal has a seed attached to it, but if you plant them, the probability of getting a rainbow flower is very low, you'll probably get a flower of the same color as the petal. Why not plant it? If you are lucky enough you'll get a rainbow flower by next year. Even if you don't, yellow is not a bad color, it's the color of happiness, hope, and spontaneity. If you plant hope, you'll get to harvest it."
Grace looked at the yellow petal, Vinnie was right, if you plant hope, you'll surely get to harvest it and sometimes all you need is to just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best. On the other hand, it was the spring, the season of hope and new beginnings. She carefully put the flower inside her pocket so that she could go home and plant it.
"I'm going to the library, want to come with me?" asked Vinnie, he now stood up and was looking down at Grace, smiling. Grace smiled back and followed him. Hope begins when you have a good friend by your side.
They didn't notice that someone was watching them. Felix looked at Grace and then down at the flower on his palm. The cherry flower Grace gave him laid there, "you are the most beautiful flower I have ever seen," he said, but Grace was too far to hear him.