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He Loves Me Not

Confessions Written on Flower Petals

Photo by Anna Utochkina

If someone wrote journal entries about you, would you want to read them? Or is that the equivalent to picking the petals off of daisies? When you’re young, they teach you the concept of “He loves me/ He loves me not.” A beautiful passing time to teach kids how to either fall in love or move on. But wasn’t the flower already beautiful before we removed its petals?

I was never a huge fan of real life flowers. I’m allergic to most of them. So I could never get too close. But maybe that’s the beauty of it. You have to distance yourself from something almost everyone loves. Yet even though art is supposed to be from your own perspective. No one understands why you drew a still life as if you were in a different room than the flowers and other objects.

It was 4AM. I was in a bed floating on top of all the “he loves me not” petals. He probably slept on a bed of rose bushes. The “he loves me” petals are locked away in a journal from a psychiatric facility. I’m glad I know now that since those petals are no longer attached to the flower, they will brown and wither. Him and I will never become “us” because at a young age we were taught to appreciate the flower and not the seed.

We eat sunflower and pumpkin seeds. We paint sunflowers on canvases. We carve pumpkins and make scary faces. We use daisies and roses to make flower crowns. But never do we visit a pumpkin patch unless we are able to take a nice plump one home with us. We can’t watch the seeds grow when they are in the ground. So we wait for a Japanese cherry blossom tree to be fully grown. Him and I will never be “us” because we will only want each other when we have bloomed.

They say if you speak positively to your plants, it’ll help them grow. But I use my tears to water the flowers and they seem to be doing just fine. To be honest, I like the fake flowers from the dollar store. And I cannot stand the taste of tea. So I take the flowers, cut off the stems, and use the rest to decorate the tops of teacups. Do I want a love with a flower I’m allergic to? Or something fake but the beauty never fades?

What if I put yellow acrylic paint on my skin? Just enough so you can barely see the scars on my wrists. Maybe it’s not so black and white. Maybe there’s more than love and not love. I mean you don’t have to play the game with just daisies. But who thought it was best to teach kids that love is a game?

I’ve taken all of this time to grow and all I cared about was the outcome. Maybe when I go, you can sell my body to the company that makes corpses into trees. I’ll have a second chance to be something other than me.

But I need someone to water me and care for me as I grow. Not someone who only wants me to look good in a photo. And I don’t know if I’ll ever find that because at such a young age, they teach you the complete opposite. I can’t wait around for you to be ready just like how you were so impatient while I was doing laundry. Instead of blue sticky notes, I’ll leave a beautiful flower on your clothes. And on the petals, in black sharpie marker, read, “I wish I loved you not.” 

Rachel Ann
Rachel Ann

I am here to share my story and hope to pick up some passengers on my journey to self-love. Let’s make this world an incredible place to live in by starting to take care of our mental health. 

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