The Escape

Bella stood in front of tables covered in potted plants in bloom. She wanted something tall and fiery to plant in the big yellow pot she’d gotten at a garage sale last week. What was so hard about a lush red or a sunny orange flower? It seemed that today’s specialty was blue-colored blooms. They wouldn’t do.

As she stood, cursing the color wheel, the season, and whoever was in charge of ordering plants, she began to hear a persistent voice, a young man whose voice was set to theatrical projection levels, talking about the customers and their general lack of knowledge.

“That’s three people today I’ve given the milkweed spiel to and three yards that will have a bunch of monarchs this year. But honestly, I can’t believe how many people don’t know what “deciduous” means!

The man he was talking to continued to water plants. Despite the lack of encouragement, theater boy continued.

“That little girl sure was smart as a whip. She must be studying plants. Too bad she’s a Giants fan. Maybe she’s just wearing all the Giant’s stuff because she’s working in the yard and doesn’t want to get her A’s stuff dirty. That must be it!”

He turned to Bella and asked, “Do you need any help today?”

She imagined what he would say about her after she left, especially as she was wearing her Red Sox hat. She contemplated asking him what “deciduous” meant for fun.

“No thank you,” was the best she could manage, drifting toward the next aisle to look at thoughtful garden Buddhas, silent as they were.

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