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Short story: ‘Deeply Rooted’

Elva Lopez is an online student  living in Odessa, Texas.

Elva Lopez is an online student living in Odessa, Texas.

Elva Lopez, UTPB Online Student

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They couldn’t ever seem to get on the same page and she knew she’d had enough. His lack of consistency, among other things, was tormenting. It reminded her of days like yesterday that smelled like rain but the clouds refused to water her dead roots, or at the very least, shield her from the burning of his sun so that she didn’t die a little more every time he glared at her. If only he could just make up his mind. The fact that it was raining tonight was a blessing. She didn’t mind crying in the rain because at least no one can see the tears that flow down her face if the rain pours harder. But tomorrow would be a new day. A sun that sets always rises.

She wakes up, and just like dead leaves cover the ground when they can’t hold onto the trees anymore, she sees imprints of dried up heartache on her pillow. When she got out of bed she saw him sitting on the opposite side of the room in a chair, a hurricane of regret in his eyes. He did his best to try and convince her that this time would be different and that he would hang the moon and stars in their place for her this time, but the more he tried to remind her of the good times in their past, the more determined she was to create a new future. The fog of confusion was rubbed away as she wiped the sleep from her eyes and listened to him plead. What he took as drought and famine in her eyes was really just a woman finally coming to terms with the changing season ahead. He always thought she’d come back because he thought he had convinced her that she didn’t have what it took to fly without him. Did he really think he was powerful enough to convince a butterfly to go back into its cocoon after fighting hard enough to feel the wind under her wings? He would never give her the credit she deserved for learning to fly on her own but that didn’t matter now. One day he would understand that even the sun has to make an effort to meet the sky every day.

This morning her seven-year-old sunflower woke her up with kisses and repeated her daily ritual of letting love flood the entire house with her sweet smile and contagious laughter. It’s been three long years now and the past seemed more like some distant recollection of a tale she read in a book instead of something she once survived somewhere. It wasn’t easy, don’t let her fool you, she just promised herself that when she finally climbed out of the rubble of what she felt was failure she was not going to be bitter and she was going to choose not to allow herself to believe that all storms were the same. She knew one of the most important lessons she would pass down was what to do when the wind knocks you down and blows you in directions you never knew existed and she was determined to be a better teacher than the world would ever be. At some point the entire world got the impression that flowers were fragile; they’re not. Yes they are planted beneath rigid rocks and cold dirt but they still rise when watered and fed properly. And boy did she rise. She’s deeply rooted now. Today she stands on the rock provided to her by something so much bigger than she is. That doesn’t mean that she won’t lose a petal or two if the wind blows hard enough. It just means that she is confident enough in the beauty she evokes from within that even the sweetest of breezes won’t serve their purpose if she’s not swaying in them.

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Short story: ‘Deeply Rooted’