By Nora Lisa Harr
The first flowers that were ever given to me was a bouquet from Shoprite. They were still wrapped up in cheap plastic and had the barcode stuck to their bright pink petals. I was so honored that I pressed them in a book, and savored their smell for months to come.
When that relationship reached its end, I laughed to my friends about the flowers. About the barcode. About the ugly pink shade they were. The fact that he couldn’t even bother to take the plastic off. It was just spiteful, angry talk about my Shoprite flowers.
I threw out what was left of the pressings. I threw out the entire book that held them for so long. To smell them was to betray my healing process, my growing.
Everytime I passed the tiny florist section in the grocery store I thought of him. Then, I would roll my eyes about how pathetic I was. Later that night I would cry about my lack of ‘moving on’.
There were lots of tears, and the cheap mascara stains on my pillowcase took some extra detergent to wash out. Soon, winter and him faded behind me until they were memories: pictures of adolescent heartbreak. Mornings came and went; he didn’t cross my mind.
It was a year later when I bought the flowers in the self-checkout area. The decision was spur-of-the-moment. Maybe a little ridiculous. But they were only four dollars – and I liked the purple better than the pink. During the car ride home I could smell them in the backseat. And it was sweet. And they were beautiful.
About the author:
Nora Lisa Harr lives in the United States and is a sophomore in high school. She is the
founder of her school’s literature magazine, The Gold Journal, and runs a literature club. Her
work has been featured in Disobedient Magazine and she participates in an independent study of fiction with published author, Paulina Pinksy.
Grocery Store Flowers features in Erato Magazine's first issue, Bloom.