The first time I saw Mignon, she was nestled in a bright red tulip, sound asleep. Her tumbled black curls glistening with dew, her gossamer wings folded neatly behind her back, she was the jeweled center of the March garden. I was enraptured, barely breathing. She opened her green-gold eyes, and the two of us were caught in a wordless moment of communication. Then somewhere a dog barked, children shouted and I was momentarily distracted. When I looked back she was gone.
April came, and with it, warmer days. I searched any flower that could hide a sleeping fairy, but to no avail. I longed to see her again – that tiny, magical creature so obviously from another world. Loneliness wrapped me in its grey fog, so that I barely noticed the new statue in the garden. An angelic little girl, in pale marble, holding a gardenia. I vaguely wondered where the statue had come from. I came here every day, but had never seen it before. “Hello sir,” whispered a voice that was light and musical, like bells. I turned in amazement and watched the statue step down from its perch and reach out to me. “A flower for you.” Again, our eyes locked. How did she grow from a tiny fairy, no bigger than my thumb, to a little girl? I blinked, and found myself alone in the garden.
May found me wandering through the roses in a daze. I could not forget those green-gold eyes, the deep communication in a single glance. My tears caused me to stumble, but a gloved hand kept me from falling, as her eyes captured mine once more. I touched her face, her hair. I slowly removed the white gloves and held her two hands up to my own face.
“Yes, I’m real,” she laughed. “I’m in your world now.” But when I touched her still-raw shoulder blades, she winced. Those familiar eyes, now the eyes of a woman, held pain, a flicker of fear, and a dawning hope.
“The choice was easy,” she lied, and I pretended to believe her.