Trillium Nivale by Skilyr Ford

     Stamens, carpel, sepals, and petals: the four general parts to every flowering plant. While the stamens and the carpel are involved in the reproduction of the flower, the sepals protect the flower bud before it opens, and the petals, diverse in size, shape, and color, often attract a certain pollinator. These flowering plants are an exceptionally large and successful group of plants, with about two hundred and forty thousand known species. They live in all sorts of habitats, from the desert to fresh water, from torrid tropics to the frigid north.
     Looking at a flowering plant now, all I can see are its petals, and unsatisfied with its color, I begin to search for another with a specific hue. I continue searching through the green leafs until alas! I have found it, the most perfect flower with the deepest shade of red known to mankind. Now satisfied, I begin to walk away, when something catches my eye. I move my head in the other direction, trying to find what it was that caught my eye, walking closer to the tree a few feet away I stop, and stare. What is it? Is it a flower? In front of my eyes is the most strange looking flower I have ever seen, with what looks like no petals at all, but as I walk closer, I see that the plant is adorned with the corolla, so small that I almost missed it. Its green and blue color, so different to what I have seen, is what caught my eye. I begin to reach out, but looking back down at the flower in my hand already, I know it is not as beautiful in comparison, but more so, strange to the point where I cannot even identify it. Turning my head, I walk away and begin making my way back to my grandfather. I did not mention the flower because although strange, all I could focus on was the beautiful red present that I was about to give to my mother, and soon, it was completely forgotten.
     Living in Riverside with my grandfather and my mother seemed so long ago, along with the feelings of simplicity and contentedness. One aspect that seemed so simple was going to elementary school, where I came across so many new faces and backgrounds, petals and more petals. Except, the majority of the school was composed of a single background, like a field of Snow Trilliums, one that I had not begun to identify with yet at that point. Maybe I had not begun to identify with the majority of my school because as far as anyone was concerned, I simply didn’t look the part. And if I didn’t look the part, then surely I was unlike them, and thus didn’t deserve to be included? I was often left out, and as I can remember such instances so clearly, I begin to wonder if those thoughts still resonate so strongly within me, and more so I wonder if they will ever leave.
     One morning, the sky was a clear, icy blue adorned with windswept clouds, coupled with a soft but biting breeze that ruffled the hood of my jacket on my back. I was standing with a group on the concrete playground, and I could still see wet patches on the ground from the rainfall the previous night. Up ahead to my right was the whole swing set with mulch and two slides that seemed to be the universally acceptable playground set up for small children, and next to it were more swings and a sandbox. To my left was the field, or at least what was left of it, and straight ahead were the basketball courts that gave a clear view of the measly fence wrapped around our school. I wonder if someone could just jump over it an –
     My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Jaime, who was bent over laughing. It wasn’t just Jaime laughing, although she was laughing the hardest. Included in this, unbeknownst to me, joke was Tatiana, Jasmine, Adam, Daniel, and … Robert. They were all laughing, the boys more so chuckling, and yet I was unaware of what they were saying, once again. I asked, “What? What is it?” to which Jaime just waved me off and wiped off her tears. Were they laughing at me? By now they had calmed down, and so Jaime launched back into another story, yet still I could not understand what she was saying. There were a few laughs here and there, and yet I could not distinguish any key palabras that would help me interpret what she was saying. As this happened often, I quickly returned to my reverie, although this time my thoughts were less pleasant. I began to wonder again if they were laughing at me, but surely they would not do so with me being right next to them? And yet, why else would they keep me around, if not to make them laugh and ask them questions? Maybe it made them feel better, to have someone continuously hooked onto the seemingly foreign words that came out of their mouths. And yet, all I wanted to know was what were they saying? And how come I could not understand them?
     After sometime, they began to walk away, and I was left by the side of the field, hopelessly looking after them. I began to walk towards the grass when I saw a flower not too far away, with a soft rosy hue in the middle, and towards the outside of the petals the color turned into a light pink with brown accents. It was surrounded by a patch of flowers that all looked the same, although some had no brown accents, while others were more pink, and others were a deeper red. They were all beautiful, that was clear enough, but they all looked the same. Walking farther, I came across something blooming on a tree, and walking closer, the flower or plant began to look familiar, and something triggered my memory. Squinting my eyes, I looked closer at the blue-green color, and the petals that had grown oh-so large.
It was beautiful.
     “Wow! That is so pretty!” a voice exclaimed behind me in awe.
     “I know,” I mumbled back. Once again caught out of my reverie, I continued to stare at it for a few moments, knowing I would not be alone with it anymore, until I turned around and saw a girl—what was her name again?–looking at a beautiful flower. It was not the same one I was looking at. She grabbed it in obvious excitement, oohing and ahhing at its soft rosy color, and walked away in astonishment, not even glancing back to say goodbye, or even to glance at the flower that captured my eyes, as it should have everyone else’s. Did she not see this most strangely exquisite flower? Or was she unaware of its beauty? Maybe she had seen it, but, as it was different from all the other flowers around, has just not recognized its unfamiliar beauty. Whatever the case, I was happy to see this flower, albeit alone, conquer everything around her and blossom into a mature form of beauty. No matter what the Jaimes and the Jasmines and the Jessicas have to say, I know she will find herself one day.
     And so will I.

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