The Planter Box

The Planter Box by Evilynne

For the Flash Fiction Carnival April Topic-Elements

Angie stood over her kitchen table and dug into the fragrant, cool potting soil that filled her gaily painted planter box. It was soothing, dark and full of fertile promise. Beside the box stood a small flat of assorted plants, waiting to be transplanted into their new home. The marigolds, petunias and bachelor buttons were just small green sprouts right now but would soon burst into bright and cheerful colors.

She had bought the flowers to brighten up her spartan accommodations. After all, it was still an apartment, not yet a home. The place was small, with bare walls and the floor was still cluttered with half filled boxes holding odds and ends of her old life. It looked unsettled and lonely, like she was.

Lonely- even thinking about the word affected her. Unbidden, tears began to form and fell in heavy drops onto the dirt below her. Damn it! She had promised herself that she was done crying over her divorce, but it was a promise she couldn’t seem to keep.

Angry at herself, she pulled off her gardening gloves and sat down. Reaching for a towel she held it to her face and began to cry in earnest. Her shoulders shook with the force of her emotions as she set her elbows on the table and sobbed inconsolably as she gave in to her grief.

Leaving Sean had been the right thing to do, but that didn’t make doing it any easier. Finding him in their bed with her friend, Terri, had been the last straw and had left her consumed with anger. She had wrapped herself in that emotion and worn it like a suit of armor, protecting herself from the pain that resulted from ripping him completely and utterly out of her life.

When the divorce was final she had removed that outer layer of shielding and was overwhelmed by the emotions she had kept tightly under wraps: betrayal, bitterness and rejection. They had all been difficult to deal with in their own way. They had torn through her psyche like a storm, leaving a tattered and frayed soul in their wake. All that had been left was an oppressive sadness that left her empty, vacant and hollowed out inside.

Despite her inner turmoil, Angie was struggling to rebuild her life. The planter box was a personal symbol of her fresh start. It was meant to show hope and a belief that things would get better. And yet here she was, crying, again, when she should be focusing on the promises of the future, not the pains of the past. She needed to act, to do something that would make her feel more in control of her own destiny. She took a deep breath and forced herself to get back to work.

Putting on the gloves again purposefully, she stood and reached for one of the delicate seedlings on the table and shook it free from its plastic container. Through her tear filled eyes the tiny green plant in her palm looked as fragile as she felt. With her free hand she made a space in the welcoming soil and placed her tender charge gently inside before covering its roots and tamping the soil down around them carefully. Teardrops fell onto its leaves, making them glisten in the early morning sun.

One by one she tucked each plant into its new home and watered them with her sorrows. Soon the container held a fledgling forest of new life that promised to bloom once its roots became more secure. In a few weeks there would be gorgeous hues of yellow, pink, and purple blossoms to contrast with the deep greens of the leaves and brown of the soil.
All they needed was some time before they would be able to stand tall and show off their inner strength and beauty.

She hoped the same could be said of her.

4 Replies to “The Planter Box”

  1. Ohhh, this was wonderful, E. Beautiful. Sad, but inspiring, too. A planter box is a wonderful idea–I love it, actually.

    I wish I’d been here earlier to comment. This is a true gem. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Wow, E. Just wow. That was lovely. I loved your vivid word usage and the metaphor and symbolism of the whole thing. I don’t know what it would feel like to have to do that, but you nailed it just as I imagine it would feel. A deeply moving piece. Terrific job, and thank you!

  3. I LOVE the contrast you’ve got going — the bright colors of the planter the expectation that the plants will also bring cheer while the apartment and Angie’s mood are so dark and desolate.

    Nicely done!

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