A Flowering Thought

It looked like a full flowering blossom on the Magnolia tree

was within touching distance to Kathy as she looked out the window by the kitchen table. Each petal cupped lovingly toward the next forming a sturdy bloom. She stretched out her hand to touch the

closest flower but was startled when her fingers collided with the glass. The window had been firmly shut. She pulled her hand back

embarrassed she hadn’t noticed just as Andrew strode in to make his morning cup of coffee. She quickly pushed the pocket knife she’d He bent over to

been using to cut up her apple under the placemat.

kiss her on the head as he passed and paused noticing the cut up apple. All the kitchen knives had disappeared after Kathy’s last attempt to use a sharp object. She was only meaning to loosen the

paint around the windows so she could get some fresh air. Her hand had slipped and she ended up stabbing her opposite wrist. It didn’t

matter how many times she replayed the accident in her mind, it never seemed to make much sense. So much so that even Kathy started doubting her version of the incident. Later, the bathrooms were

emptied of razors and sharp objects and the garden shed was cleared out as well. “I found a pocket knife in the garden.” She explained. “I

really think I can cut my fruit without causing any bodily harm.” She laughed trying to make light of the situation but still moved her hand under the placement to give him the knife which he in turn slipped into his pocket. Thankfully, he didn’t make a big deal of it and instead went on to explain his day to her and what patients he would be seeing in

A Flowering Thought

his home office this morning and what other people would be coming

in and out of the house as the day required. Andrew was a psychologist and had been working out of their home for over a year now. He was adamant about keeping Kathy involved and informed and They often started the day with a

under his thumb if you asked her.

detailed explanation on how his day was going to affect hers. But today, by the time he got around to that ritual, Kathy had stopped listening. She saw Mr. Cunningham, the gardener, at the far end of the garden pruning the boxed shaped hedges that lined the fountain. She made a note to go see him whenever she could get away. “And I’ll be going into the hospital for a short meeting this morning but should be back soon.” Andrew continued. “Joan will be coming here shortly after I leave.” “I thought I might do a bit of gardening this morning.” Kathy mused mostly to herself. “Well, she’ll check in with you later.” He said. “She has plenty of administrative work to do, but you should know that she will be there if you need her.” Kathy smiled up at him. He lifted her chin slightly and leaned over to brush her lips gently with his. “I’ll look forward to hearing about your attempt at gardening over dinner.” He chuckled and straightened up swallowing his last drop of coffee. He rinsed his cup in the sink and put it in the dishwasher as he made his way out of the kitchen. The smile faded from Kathy’s lips. She fought the urge to throw a coffee cup at him as he left. She hated it when he was

A Flowering Thought

condescending which was most of the time. He encouraged her to try

new things that he felt would help her self esteem as he put it using carefully worded psycho-babble. But, gardening was her idea therefore, he disapproved. Maybe, he was threatened by the idea she could actually nurture something to life. She felt gardening was a

noble profession unlike psychology which brought about pure contempt in Kathy. Gardens, like minds, could be planned and plucked leaving

not much to chance – or as she preferred, could be nurtured and left somewhat wild. And that’s where they differed; Andrew favoured a

controlled garden and a controlled mind. Kathy often visited Mr. Cunningham during the day when she could sneak out without Joan seeing her. Andrew had hired Joan to

act as his loyal subject and she would report back on any of Kathy’s activities. In contrast, Kathy had hired Mr. Cunningham. He knew

how to mind his own business and he had done wonders for the hedges and even had added the most beautiful fish to the now functioning fountain. He worked so silently that Kathy could watch him for

hours without speaking but occasionally, she would interrupt with questions: life. Originally from Mexico, he still held on to a very thick accent adding to what Kathy thought was a wise demeanour. He was sometimes about gardening or even sometimes just about

fascinating to listen to because he had a funny little habit of answering most things with a gardening metaphor. asked him what he thought about marriage. Yesterday, she

He replied after giving

it some thought, “Love is a flower that turns into a fruit at marriage.” She guessed that meant marriage was a good thing.

A Flowering Thought

Whether or not she was right on this interpretation she couldn’t say

but she was much too embarrassed to let on that she didn’t always understand the significance of the metaphor. Kathy wasn’t so sure her marriage had turned into a fruit. She remembered when she first met Andrew. She was new at University and

he was a psychology professor conducting a series of experiments with volunteers. Though she couldn’t be convinced the experiments

were at all important, Kathy was convinced as he gazed unrelentingly into her eyes during the studies that he was someone who took her breath away. He made it clear, as he slowly moved his hands down her back at every opportunity, that he was no longer interested in the experiments either. They were married a year later and had a relatively peaceful first week of being husband and wife. That ended after the window

incident and Andrew started whispering behind Kathy’s back about her being ”easily distracted”, “ slightly erratic” and his ever popular word “manic”. He loved throwing that one around. If Kathy were

honest, she would have to admit that he was leading up to her diagnosis from the moment they met. Kathy believed that was what

intrigued him about her and it infuriated her to be just another patient to him. With those thoughts in her head, Kathy grabbed her red oversized sweater and slipped out the back door. She slinked along the line of trees and made her way toward the fountain where Mr. Cunningham was working.

A Flowering Thought

“You look as fresh as a daisy!” Mr. Cunningham yelled out.

Kathy glanced around nervously, hoping he wouldn’t attract attention. “Well then, we are just two peas in a pod.” She said continuing on with the metaphors. Just then Joan’s car came up the drive. Kathy stepped behind

a hedge so she wouldn’t be seen and Mr. Cunningham just watched the car pass. Still staring at the back of the car, Mr. Cunningham commented; “First rule in gardening is that the bigger you let a weed grow, the harder it is to uproot – nip it in the bud I always say.” Kathy stared at him thoughtfully. “I am a rose among thorns.” She said thoughtfully. “Well, every rose has its thorns.” He followed up. “And, a rose by any other name is still a rose.” “I know a bad seed when I see it.” She said in a metaphoric fervour now as a spray of spittle spurted from her lips. “You reap what you sow!” she shouted now to no one in particular as she marched over to the garden shed to look for the necessary supplies for weeding. Andrew had cleared most things out but she was able to find a partial box of herbicide and a small garden fork. She poured the

contents from the box in her sweater pockets, slipped the fork in her waistband and made her way back to the hedges. Andrew’s car was

pulling up and she hurriedly pushed her way into the bushes where she was hidden from view.

A Flowering Thought




Andrew drove up into the garage carefully. As he came in through the back door he yelled out Kathy’s name. Not hearing a reply, he called out to Joan, “Joan?” he asked. Kathy?” “I thought she was in the kitchen.” Joan answered from the office and they both walked to the empty kitchen together. He stood there looking out the window thoughtfully. His gaze went to the unkempt hedges and the dried up fountain now covered in a green slime. “We really must hire a gardener.” He sighed. “Those hedges by the fountain haven’t been tended to in years.” “Have you seen

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