Of Flowers

Of Flowers
by BJ Crisostomo

MAN:

One day we’ll speak again of flowers. Don’t worry my sweet little princess.

WOMAN:

Yes. Flowers remind me of them, those flowers that I had in my garden.

MAN:

Oh, there are more flowers in the world than those in your garden.

WOMAN:

More?

MAN:

Yes. Definitely yes. Flowers that come in colors not even found in the rainbow. I have one in mind for you—a mix between red and blue but not violet. It’s a color that doesn’t even have a name. A flower that only is for you.

WOMAN:

Tell me more. Drown me in your stories—your voice, as I own it now. Even though I know it will fade, sing to me the myriad of all the flowers of the world.

MAN:

Not now. Not now, my sweet. For the moment, the world owns my voice—and all the stories of the world.

WOMAN:

But you will return of course—you will come with stories of flowers. You will come with songs about the world and finally your voice will be mine—only mine. I will own your voice and all the stories it can tell.

MAN:

Yes. A thousand times yes. But for now, I must go.

WOMAN:

And I will wait—holding your stories close to my heart.

MAN:

Goodbye.

WOMAN:

Goodbye.

(The MAN leaves. A silence fills the stage—so palpable that you feel you’re drowning in tears.)

 

WOMAN:

(Sighs) So now I am alone. Alone. There is a silent pang to that word. It can bring a woman to tears. Worry not; there is a whole world of things open to a woman like me while I wait for him, and his stories of flowers. Why, I can read—surely there are stories about flowers that not even he can tell. Maybe I would plant them myself, again. While I wait. And I’ll tell him stories about flowers.

(The WOMAN leaves as the MAN enters.)

 

MAN:

Flowers are beautiful. They grow from the earth as subtlety as day changes to night. They shine in the bright candor of the sun. They sleep soundly to the lullabies of midnight crickets and midnight owls. We grow them in pots and plots. Cultivating them with care, we soil our hands to tend the beauty of a perfect flower. Yet in all its beauty, they die. They wilt.

(Sighs)

 

This I know only too well. My hand has held the rouge of a rose, the fiery arrogance of a sunflower, the morbid glow of a lily. They all wilted and died as summer became fall, and fall became the harsh bitterness of winter. This I know only too well. And with this knowledge is the pain of foresight. All beautiful things die in time.

(The MAN leaves and the stage is now bare. And let the bareness be starling for a while.)

 

(A BOY enters the stage.)

 

BOY:

There are no more flowers in the world. Only in books can you find them—a shadow of something beautiful that once was but will never be again. I hear stories sometimes from my father and mother, but there are no more flowers in this world.

In the next life I pray to the flowers. Just once, to keep in memory—that vague space where dreams come alive—flowers that lay lingering in the songs of those who come before me.

(The MAN and WOMAN enter the stage.)

 

 

MAN:

Once upon a time, in a world of pigtail hopes and baby blue dreams, there lived a girl who loved flowers.

WOMAN:

She was planting flowers with her bare and shaking hands, her hair tied to a bow in the midday sun.

(The WOMAN smiles and shrugs.)

 

MAN:

She met a man, well traveled and well versed with the world.

(They hold hands.)

 

WOMAN:

He held stories about flowers—stories about flowers she had never heard of.

(They dance.)

 

MAN:

They meet in the midday sun as she was planting flowers with her bare and shaking hands, her hair tied to a bow.

WOMAN:

And he, a man in a tweed jacket, and a hat that covered his eyes, humming a long lost tune.

MAN:

The girl looked up from her happy labor.

(WOMAN looks up.)

WOMAN:

The man stopped to enjoy the spectacular splendor of the garden.

(The MAN stops. They come closer and closer to engage finally in a kiss.)

 

MAN:

“Come,” the girl said. “Rest inside my house.”

WOMAN:

The man went in.

MAN:

And saw the girl’s house filled with potted roses and daffodils.

WOMAN:

“I’ll never leave,” the man said.

(They kiss.)

 

MAN:

But the next morning I did.

WOMAN:

And the night later, he came back.

MAN:

Always they met for the first time.

WOMAN:

The man and his humming.

MAN:

The girl and her flowers.

WOMAN:

Every time he came back, and spoke of flowers.

MAN:

But then I’d leave.

WOMAN:

Always.

(The BOY stands and comes closer to the MAN and WOMAN.)

 

BOY:

The end?

MAN:

No, it never ends.

 

WOMAN:

It never ends—this love that falls.

MAN:

It wilts.

WOMAN:

It blooms.

BOY:

But there are no more flowers in the world.

(MAN and WOMAN look at each other.)

 

 

MAN:

There are still flowers.

WOMAN:

Look for them.

MAN:

(To the BOY) Goodnight.

WOMAN:

(To the BOY) Goodnight.

(The MAN and WOMAN leave.)

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