American Romance

Ooh, another cactus. I love cacti. They are the best house plant in my opinion. The short ones are my favorite. Flowering ones are also pretty good. I grabbed the cacti and headed to check out. My husband and I liked to joke that our house was more like a greenhouse than a place for people to live. I was definitely a plant person. My husband is much more into fish. He has an aquarium of three little gold fishies. There's Goldie, Blue, and Opal. My plants do not have names, but I do come up with different designs for all of the plants. Recently, I designed a new little pot.

Every time I went shopping and there was a garden center I looked to see if there was a cute little plant. Boy, I loved to plant things. I loved the feeling of something growing. Being alive. Bringing something into the world. I would never be able to have children, as I am now forty, my husband 41. We both wanted children, but adopting was not in our near future, and I could not bear children anymore. But it was fine. Between having my twenty, now that I bought this one, twenty-one plants in the house alone, and his three fish, we had our hands full.

My husband did not like to plant or water things. In fact, he was the opposite of me. But I did not like cleaning aquariums or feeding things. So, we were even. But if necessary, we would do the others' chores for them to govern each other's things. We found that being respectful of the other person's living item was better than despising it completely. I found some joy in feeding his fish, and he said that watering my plants was actually soothing in a way. I am very protective over my plants though. He is only slightly more protective over his fish which was fine. As long as he was happy then I would be happy.

My husband and I have been married for ten years now. We just kept putting off having children to get more settled with life. Paying off student debt and stuff. Then time passed and before we knew it, I could no longer have children. And even if I did try, the baby might have birth defects or they might not be as healthy as they would have been if I were younger. So we decided to just be happy with life the way it is. Proceed with fish and plants. We could be parents to them, no doubt. So, we lived in what we like to call, the greenhouse. Which was like a home for plants more than humans in my husband's opinion.

My husband before we got married had five fish. A couple died a few months soon after we got married. My husband told me that he liked fish because they were so very calming. He told me that the best way he knew to deal with stress, anxiety, or depression was through fish. He told me that for some reason they made him calm and were able to make him slow down his thoughts or his brain overloading. I knew that he needed a moment after work or after shopping when he would hug me hello and go to see his fish immediately. I knew when he was in the kitchen looking at his fish, feeding them, or cleaning their aquarium to stay away for a good few minutes.

I mutually understood. I always struggled with stress and anxiety as well. Plants grew and were living. Something for me to take care of while pushing out my stressful thoughts or when I am about to have a panic attack. It at least delays it or makes the panic attack easier to deal with. My husband comes into the room if I've been around the same plant for a while but for the majority of the time, he just lets me be in there by myself and enjoy taking care of my plants as I decompress some stress or blow off some steam. It's like a mutual understanding that the other knows and is willing to respect the other's boundary.

My husband has terrible allergies to pollen. so even though I really do love the little flowering plants, I have none. I just have a lot of ferns and cactuses. But flowering ones are not something that we own. I have bad allergies too, but he has them worse. At night, his eyes are red, like he's been crying forever. The bags underneath his eyes are purple and make him look like he stayed up all night. They were so itchy. If he pulled his eyelid down, they would be blood red like his eyes instead of the nice pink color he was supposed to have. I felt rather sorry for him.

My nose would be really runny and I would have a lot of phlegm We go through a lot of tissues in the spring. And eye drops. We have found that ice helps my husband and regular allergy medicine helps me. It's that time of year when my husband tells me more often than usual that our house is a home for people, not plants. Then I shoot back at him that his fish are supposed to live in a pond, not our home either. Then I apologize and so does he. Now, we do love each other very much. And we don't really have bad fights. But sometimes we have disagreements.

And like all normal couples do. But it is fine. We love each other so much. And if we had to give up our thing to have each other we would because we really do love each other. I would go to any length for my husband. And I know he would do the same for me. We may not have been married forever, and we may not be geniuses, but we knew that we love each other and all we needed was each other. There may be rare moments where we disagree, but we know that we love each other. He is my soul mate and I know that in the end those little disagreements mean nothing in the big picture.

April 23, 2022 16:31

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RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

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