Forget-Me-Not

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write a story where flowers play a central role.... view prompt

162 comments

Fiction Sad

He didn’t come outside yesterday. He didn’t wear his rubber-soled shoes and ridiculously large coat. He didn’t push his feet into the soil, savouring the satisfying squelch. He didn’t pick out the flowers that he liked the most and leave them on my front porch.

The marigolds were crying. Their petals dripped of their loneliness and neglect, wanting his gentle touch and instead having to find it in each other. My hand had lingered in the air next to my doorknob, not finding the courage to go over there and give them some company. I didn’t want the flowers to realize that I wasn’t the person they were hoping I was.

I had touched the jasmine in my hair, the petals almost brown now, after having worn it since the morning before. I didn’t have the heart to take them off, especially since he wasn’t there to give me a fresh bunch.

The first time I met him, he smiled widely at me with the teeth he had left and invited me home. His house smelled like my grandparents’, like wood and tea and a fragrance reminiscent of petrichor. He told me that I looked like his granddaughter and gently pushed the first flower into my hair, a delicate yellow daisy.

That day, I went home and cried until the daisy wilted. He reminded me too much of my grandfather, a man who had loved me more than my parents, a man who always told me I was beautiful even when I didn’t think the same. Maybe my neighbour was my grandfather telling me to move on. Or maybe he was just another lonely old man who had lots to share.

I went over to his place almost every day for a year. After I got employed in a company, I started going over to his place less and less. I told him I had work to do and left with guilt weighing down my heart like the flowers crying in his garden. Soon I stopped going entirely, citing work but not having the stomach to meet him.

Talking to him was not easy, his old yet sharp eyes and sharp mind comprehending everything but not voicing it.

He always knew that I was lying, even though he never said it out loud. He was always happy to catch a glance of me, and always waved, even though I didn’t deserve it, especially when I didn’t deserve it.

When he started seeing less of me, he began leaving flowers on my front porch early in the morning, wobbling across the street and placing them carefully next to the plastic plants that were already there. He did it every day without fail, except for yesterday, of course. Yesterday was different.

He never told me about the cancer. He never told me about the destructive cells festering inside of him. He only told me that I was broken and that was okay, because he was broken too. I never prodded, and neither did he. I never told him about my grandfather, and he never told me about his cancer. Tit for tat.

I planted my first flower under his watchful gaze, and I wore it in my hair when it bloomed. A certain thrill came with having something that I brought to the world. I imagine that is what mothers feel like the day their child is born and they get to hold them for the first time. I wouldn’t know.

I don’t know why I never told him about my repulsion towards having children. I never told him that I was scared that I would mess up the life of the child I would have, that I would be a worse parent than my own parents were to me. I never told him that I had not found any man worthy of spending my life with. I told him nothing of any importance, to be honest.

I wish I had. Today, more than other days, I wish I had told him everything. Maybe then he wouldn’t have left, and I wouldn’t be standing here in front of all of you, giving a eulogy I never thought I would be giving any time soon.

He was caring. More caring than my parents, more caring than my exes, more caring than the friends who come and go. He was always gentle. He treated me as lovingly as he treated his flowers, with as much compassion and kindness as he did everything else.

He was the only true friend I ever had, the only one who I wish had stayed. Because him being there was more of a comfort than I had ever imagined. I had never wanted to rely on someone, but he was worth relying on. He never let me down. It was me who did that. It was me who stopped coming over, me who started avoiding him. It seems right that I suffer for this by not having him in my life anymore.

I don’t believe in God. He did though. So, if there is a God as he said, please hear me out. Please keep him happy for me. Please give him seeds and fresh soil to plant his flowers. Give him enough rain and sun to help him make his garden. Please accept his flowers and talk to him. He would like that. Also, let him meet my grandfather. Maybe they could talk about me together, they could watch over me together, they could be okay together.

I don’t know when I will be okay. I know that it will take some time. I hope you’re listening. I will be okay, I promise. I will become okay because of you; I am sure of it. You will be there for me, even when I can’t see you. I know you’re here right now, wearing your large coat and holding a bouquet of lilies for me.

I hope you like the flowers I picked out for you, I placed them at your grave. I took them from your garden, from the patch you had left for me. I knew that you would take care of the flowers I had grown a year ago. The forget-me-nots that I have given you will never wilt. I will replace them every day if they do because I will never forget you.

March 25, 2021 16:04

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162 comments

Kristin Neubauer
14:28 Mar 29, 2021

What a lovely and poignant story. I was absorbed from beginning to end. Partially because of your beautiful writing - though sad and wistful, it also felt lyrical and the voice was full of emotion, but not sentimentality. Partially because of the perfect way you set up the story at the beginning and let it unfold little by little as we learned more of the narrator's neighbor. This was beautiful. I finally have a new story out and would love it if you have a moment to take a look - no pressure though!

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Writer Maniac
14:45 Mar 29, 2021

Aww thank you so much for your sweet comment, it really made my day! I'll be sure to check out your story when I get the chance :)

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Riya 🌺
17:16 Apr 09, 2021

If it's not too much to ask, would you mind reading one of my stories and leaving some feedback?

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Writer Maniac
17:21 Apr 09, 2021

Which one? I will try to read it in the next few days, I have a few other stories to read as well :)

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Riya 🌺
17:24 Apr 09, 2021

I only have three. You can just choose, thank you!

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12:43 Mar 26, 2021

This story is really unique. The way you used forget-me-nots in the story was so great! I like how the story was a eulogy. And this story is just, wow! It’s so good!

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Writer Maniac
12:46 Mar 26, 2021

Thank you so much for the comment! I would love some feedback on 'Black and White' :)

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12:48 Mar 26, 2021

Of course! I’ll read it whenever I get the chance! :)

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R. B. Leyland
09:26 Mar 28, 2021

I love this. Really hits home with someone I've lost, who I've actually used the prompts to write my own short story (kind of a memory but I think it worked). You honestly captured exactly how I feel seeing certain flowers and remembering him, so really well done! Also true how we don't make enough time for our elders, usually using work or some other excuse

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Writer Maniac
11:34 Mar 28, 2021

Aww thank you so much, I'm so glad it resonated with you! This is the thing about writing, it touches someone in another corner of the world in their own personal way. They are looking out for you still and they're proud of you, never forget that 💖. Thanks for reading the story!

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R. B. Leyland
11:41 Mar 28, 2021

It really did. Great work! Thank you ❤ would love your feedback on my similar story (Ode to Ted). It's my first non fiction and about myself so kind of unsure how I've done.

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Writer Maniac
11:51 Mar 28, 2021

I'll be sure to check it out soon :) I'm sure you have paid tribute to him in the best way you could.

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Upvotey Girl ✨
18:12 Mar 26, 2021

Okay, just upvoted you 60+ points as a request of someone on my story!

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Writer Maniac
02:32 Mar 27, 2021

Aww thank you, mind telling me who that sweetheart was?

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Upvotey Girl ✨
02:56 Mar 27, 2021

Oh wait nevermind lol. I think you told me you were being downvoted so I upvoted you.

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Upvotey Girl ✨
02:56 Mar 27, 2021

Oh wait nevermind lol. I think you told me you were being downvoted so I upvoted you. XD

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Kanika G
02:00 Mar 28, 2021

It is a beautiful and moving story. Really apt for the prompt. A very unusual angle for a relationship where flowers play a central role, which makes it unique. I enjoyed reading the sweet story. Well done!

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Writer Maniac
02:50 Mar 28, 2021

Thank you so much, I'm really glad you liked it!

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Shea West
21:32 Mar 26, 2021

I took a break for a bit, and hadn't read any stories for a month or so. But then I came to this in my activity feed. Wow, my friend! I can tell how much your writing has changed since just then. I find that there are times when I read and I want to feel nothing, but to just read and there are times when I want to read and feel all of the things. I miss my grandfathers terribly, and this gave me a big ole dose of the sads. Well done. So tender and rich all at once.

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Writer Maniac
02:30 Mar 27, 2021

Aww thank you so much, I really appreciate the compliment! I'm glad it resonated with you personally, thanks for reading :)

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01:08 Mar 26, 2021

I love how you tied forget-me-nots into your story. They have multiple purposes—and that’s pretty cool. Also this story. Woah. WoAh. It was so heartfelt and sweet, I loved every minute of it. I hope it gets shortlisted, if not wins. It’s powerful and I think more people need to read it!

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Writer Maniac
02:38 Mar 26, 2021

Aww thank you so much for your sweet comment, it really means a lot to me! I would love to get some feedback on 'Not Worth It' because I feel like that's a story that a lot of people need to read because of the important message that I mean to spread :)

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11:54 Mar 26, 2021

Ok! I’ll go and read that when I get a chance :)

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Cassandra Durnin
21:31 Mar 25, 2021

Wow. The emotion in this is amazing. It isn't quite... raw, but it's not sugar-coated either. It feels like quicksand, if that makes sense. It's soft, and sweet, but it also pulls you into grief and regret. I like that. Great job!

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Writer Maniac
02:39 Mar 26, 2021

Thank you so much, I'm so glad you liked it! I tried something different for the story, so I'm glad it's getting such good feedback, thanks again :)

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13:48 Apr 02, 2021

This is such a unique take on the prompt. Using flowers in an eulogy for an elderly friend was not what I expected. But it was still amazing. Your writing is beautiful and incredible (and don't you ever forget it), and you managed to twist your words into a sad and emotional story. I loved this story so much. Great job.

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Writer Maniac
14:33 Apr 02, 2021

Aww thank you so much, I'm really glad you liked it, and thank you for the compliment :)

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14:35 Apr 02, 2021

Np :) Would you mind checking out my new story?

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Writer Maniac
14:54 Apr 02, 2021

I'm actually in the middle of tests right now, so I'll check it out in the coming week :)

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14:56 Apr 02, 2021

Ok! :)

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Holly Fister
17:49 Apr 01, 2021

The fact that this was a eulogy made it feel even more heart wrenching. A beautiful, melancholy tale of love.

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Writer Maniac
17:51 Apr 01, 2021

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it!

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Holly Fister
17:54 Apr 01, 2021

You’re welcome!

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12:16 Apr 01, 2021

Beautiful and sad. It's amazing how you made flowers such a huge part in the story. The story felt so real and not like someone just wrote it. It made me realize that someone you love could die at any time and you shouldn't waste time and stuff. I don't know if that makes sense. I hope that the main character gets a happy ending though. 🙃

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Writer Maniac
14:56 Apr 01, 2021

Aww thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it! Yes, it does give that message that you should spend time with someone you care about as much as you can because you never know whether you will get more. Thanks for reading!

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15:47 Apr 01, 2021

;)

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15:47 Apr 01, 2021

;)

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Pippin Took
11:59 Apr 01, 2021

Hello Writer Maniac! It's Pippin here! I read the story that you asked me to and I really liked it. I liked the way we didn't know he was dead until mid story and we didn't know it was a eulogy till the end. It was really good and sad and touching. You have excellent skill as a writer, and I really believe you could get something published. Would you mind reading one of my stories? It's called "The Fourth Race Pt. 1" it's actually part of a series and that's the first one. Thanks!

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Writer Maniac
12:14 Apr 01, 2021

Aww thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate it! I am actually in the middle of tests right now, and I have a few people's stories to read, so I might be a bit late. I'll read it though, whenever I get the time :)

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Pippin Took
13:19 Apr 01, 2021

That's okay!

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Traci Neal
23:28 Mar 29, 2021

This story was absolutely beautiful from beginning to end. So touching. So inspiring and heartfelt. Thank you so much for sharing this vivid, captivating story with us all.

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Writer Maniac
02:19 Mar 30, 2021

Aww thank you so much, I'm really glad it touched you!

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Traci Neal
01:10 Mar 31, 2021

You're very welcome. Yes. It really did touch me.

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20:20 Mar 29, 2021

What a beautiful and touching work of art! I will definitely “forget-me-not” this story! 😁

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Writer Maniac
02:18 Mar 30, 2021

Ah, I see what you did there! Thanks for reading!

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Ashley 💜
08:19 Mar 29, 2021

The description is just so vivid and amazing, you really bring the story and flowers to life. I'm astounded, congrats!

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Writer Maniac
08:20 Mar 29, 2021

Aww thank you so much, I really appreciate it! Could you please leave some feedback on 'Not Worth It'? Thanks :)

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Ashley 💜
08:22 Mar 29, 2021

of course! Would you mind checking out my first ever submission 'Numb'? hehe srry

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Writer Maniac
08:53 Mar 29, 2021

I'll check it out soon :)

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Ashley 💜
08:55 Mar 29, 2021

thanks :)

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Ashley 💜
08:24 Mar 29, 2021

There is just a teeny problem, I can't find it, would you mind giving me a link for it?

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Writer Maniac
08:53 Mar 29, 2021

Sure, here you go: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/74/submissions/47533/

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Veda Vivek💎
23:24 Mar 28, 2021

That is so sad yet so good. You have a way with words, and I would cry if I wasn't surrounded by people :) I love this so much. It is amazing, a masterpiece. It really tugged at my heartstrings. I feel so bad for the guy. If only nice people didn't die. What a world that would be. He seems so nice. You know a story is good when someone is thinking about how innocent and sweet one of the characters are :) This is one of the best stories I have read. GREAT JOB!! 😀👍

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Writer Maniac
01:58 Mar 29, 2021

Aww thank you so much, your comment really made my day! I'm really glad you liked it, and thought that the guy was as wonderful as I had intended him to be. I would love your feedback on 'Not Worth It', a story that I'm really proud of. Thanks again for reading!

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Veda Vivek💎
02:15 Mar 29, 2021

Can you give me the link to that story? I would love to read it :)

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Writer Maniac
02:45 Mar 29, 2021

Sure, here you go: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/74/submissions/47533/

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Veda Vivek💎
01:38 Mar 30, 2021

I will be sure to read it very soon :)

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Tera King
10:46 Mar 26, 2021

Your prose flows effortlessly from paragraph to paragraph and hits the heartstrings well. Good job

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Writer Maniac
11:23 Mar 26, 2021

Could you also like the story?

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Writer Maniac
11:18 Mar 26, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I would love your feedback on 'Smile Again' :)

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Izzie Chan
03:25 Mar 26, 2021

Wow, this story hit hard. It’s bittersweet and depicts grief and regret flawlessly. It is sweet how the old man left flowers on her porch every morning, doing something kind for her even when she stopped visiting him. Knowing the story is a eulogy makes it even more powerful. This story was amazing! You’re a wonderful writer :)

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Writer Maniac
04:22 Mar 26, 2021

Aww thank you so much, I'm so glad you liked the story!

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Izzie Chan
03:06 Apr 06, 2021

No problem! :)

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Phoenix Langston
02:13 Mar 26, 2021

The eulogy format of this story is what made it so sad, yet so good. Everything was expressed perfectly: the main character's vulnerability, regret, and guilt, and the old man's sheer goodness. It was really bittersweet how he consistently left flowers on her front porch even after she stopped seeing him -- until he couldn't anymore. And the last two sentences about the forget-me-not flowers are so poetic! I can't criticize this beauty at all. You are truly blessed with talent!

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Writer Maniac
02:35 Mar 26, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I wanted to write a story about forget-me-nots and my first try wasn't so great. So I scrapped the whole thing and made a whole new story yesterday. I'm glad it worked out, thanks for reading!

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Phoenix Langston
02:41 Mar 26, 2021

It worked out amazingly well! And no problem!

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Maraika!!! 😎
19:32 Mar 25, 2021

#StopDownvotingNow

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