The crocus, its velvety violet petals curling toward the sky, gleaming.
Kneeling next to it, the boy, pale-faced and dark-haired, with eyes so blue they look violet.
Amidst the snow, bathed in moonlight, both are beautiful.
I stand a few feet away, not daring to move. It seems like a crime to disrupt them. The boy, probably my age – fourteen – is simply gazing at the crocus, mesmerized. He hasn’t shown any sign of seeing me. 
I’m burning to know what’s caused that smile on his face.
Exhaling, I take a step towards the flower and the boy. He looks up.
“I saw the bud become a flower,” he says. His voice is like . . . melting ice.
He stands.
We stare at each other.
What?” I finally whisper.
Then he dashes, smiling.
“What – wait!” I call, then run after him.
I’m fast, but so is he. I quicken my pace, my shoes sinking into the deep snow. I’m not exactly sure why I’m so curious to catch up to him. I think it’s the magical aura around him, something that speaks of eternity and yet the opposite.
Panting now, I try to catch up, but I’m not fast enough. I slow down as he disappears into the distance, my breaths making white puffs in the air. The running has brought the sting of tears to my eyes.
I stare at where I last saw him, then sigh.
Dismal, I trudge back to the crocus. When I reach it, I dig it out, along with its roots, and take it home.
There, I plant it in our yard. Patting the dirt, I stand up, clasp my hands.
It doesn’t look half as beautiful as it did before. It looks dull and out of place.
Almost crying, but not really sure why, I dig the crocus out again, and walk back to where it was before. It’s a long, hard walk.
I reach the spot where it was before, and replant it. Now the crocus is . . . alive. Magical. Eternal yet so mortal.
I return home. Lying in bed, I cry, smiling.
    5 2 votes
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    2 years ago

    Hello Tejal. I read this story for the first time in January or February of 2020, when it was shortlisted in Two things stand out from that first reading – the fact that you were in Middle School when you wrote it, and the fact that I cried when I read it. Such sensitivity and superb writing from someone so young made me know that there was indeed hope for the… Read more »

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    2 years ago

    Tejal, this is really quite beautiful to read. Very stirring and heartfelt. I agree with Juma, for someone of your age, this is an incredible piece of writing and I very much look forward to reading more of your work.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    2 years ago

    Hi Tejal, I was totally moved while reading your story. And I learned many things from it, like: keeping and taking care of a flower is like taking care of someone you love – even though you gave everything, you do everything but if both of you are not meant to be, it doesn’t work and the more you push, the more you hurt each other so the best way is to… Read more »

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Tejal Doshi
    10 months ago

    It’s okay, Tejal. You’re most welcome.

    Katerina Bizirtsaki
    Katerina Bizirtsaki(@katerina-bizirtsaki)
    2 years ago

    Such a beautiful story. I loved how the description painted a clear picture that fit the plot. Congratulations, Tejal!

    10 months ago

    This is truly a beautiful story, Tejal. Are you still writing? I would love to hear more from a writer as sensitive and talented as you.

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