The fern was in a pot about the size of a bowling ball, but its leaves reached out into every direction as if trying to escape. I was carrying it down Carnaby Street from my flat. Now it’s just Stacia’s flat.
Maria’s was my favorite coffee shop at the time, and as I passed by it I tried to peek in the windows to see if there were any open seats. An empty table caught my eye, and that, combined with the increasing weight of the fern in my arms, forced me in the door.
It took a second for my eyes to adjust to the dim lighting of the café. As I was blinking in my hazy surroundings, I realized I had been crying. But my arms were heavy and my head even more, so I drug my feet over to the only open seat. I dropped the fern on top of the high table and then dug the heels of my palms into my eyes. The low murmur of the café engulfed me with the sound of quiet chatter and the clinking of cups on saucers.
I opened my eyes to a small pile of potting soil on the table. A fern? That’s what I took? Three years of shared memories, shared expenses, and shared living quarters and all I took was a fern? I pounded the table with my fist. The plant shook with the force and I noticed some of the its disorderly branches had spilled over onto the table next to mine. I followed their reach to see a young woman with soft brown eyes that were washing over me apologetically. Quickly I swept the ferns off of her table, hoping she hadn’t noticed my lack of consideration, knowing she had.
“I’m so sorry,” I said as I brushed off the fallen leaves that now littered her table.
“It’s quite alright,” she said, meeting my eyes.
“No, it’s not,” I replied, “How could I be so careless?” My eyes fell back onto the table in front of me.
“It’s fine, really. It’s just a plant,” she said, her hand reaching over to touch the tabletop.
“I mustn’t be so indiscreet, “ I interrupted her.
“Just a few fallen leaves.”
“It’s falling apart.”
“Now look,” she said, her hand left the table and motioned toward the window to the right of us. “It’s just reaching for the sunshine.”
And with that, I raised my head from its stupor and looked toward where she pointed at the window. It was true; the sun was shining in on us quite radiantly.