The Death of a Flower | Teen Ink

The Death of a Flower

November 10, 2015
By emmakate45 SILVER, Avon, Connecticut
emmakate45 SILVER, Avon, Connecticut
6 articles 2 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”― Dr. Seuss

She was my sunflower. A flower that flourishes when facing light. I tried so hard to give her that light, and I’d like to believe it worked. I first noticed her on the 10th of October, while I was sitting in the art studio in my home. I needed an idea for my class, but nothing was coming to me. Through the window that usually provided me inspiration, I noticed her, coursing down the sidewalk, her blonde hair running behind her. An expression that looked a lot like terror filled her face. The bright sun shone upon her face, likely right in her eyes, as she walked. She kept her brisk pace and soon disappeared from my vision. Almost instantly, I started sketching. A sunflower, tall, with bright yellow petals. I stopped sketching almost as soon as I started and found myself searching for her out the window. Sighing, I put away my sketchbook, and hoped I might see my new muse once again.

My studio art teacher announced that we have one month to finish the projects we are working on. For sculptors, that means one sculpture. For painters and drawers like myself, that means 4 pictures. If I could only see that girl one more time I could paint 400 pictures. A girl opened the door then, and my teacher turned to greet her. One of my classmates whispered, “Damn, look at that chick.” Mumbling to myself about the lack of surface in my classmates, I glanced up. It was her. What a cliche. I did my best to keep calm as I took out my sketchpad and the image of the sunflower was brought to my mind again. She sat down next to me, looking uncomfortable with the rubbernecking of my more oafish male classmates. She didn’t say a word that whole class, but she didn’t need to. My inspiration for my 4 pictures would be her. They would be 4 unique flowers, all with aspects of her in them. My sunflower, this week’s project, would have her hair as its petals. My sketch was halfway finished by the end of class. She told me she liked it, very softly. So badly, I wanted to tell her it was based on her, but I couldn’t scare her away. She didn’t seem too eager to let people in, and I selfishly wanted to be the only exception.


Reagan was an enigma. She never smiled, when someone would talk to her, she would say a few words then find an excuse to leave. I began to notice she never wore short sleeves unless she had about 20 bracelets on. I still saw her rushing home every day after school. One day, I was sitting in my studio, looking out the window waiting to spot her, and there she was, running as usual. The difference today was that she continuously looked behind her back as if she was scared of being followed. A pick-up truck barreled down the street and screeched to a halt next to her. I couldn’t hear any real words, but she got into the car after screaming something inaudible to me. The next day, she came into school wearing a scarf and refused to take it off in art class. She was wearing long sleeves today and kept them rolled down. That afternoon, I stood outside my house, and she came running by with flying colors. She tripped over a crack in the sidewalk, and she was on the ground. I raced over to help her, and when I offered her my hand to stand up, she flinched and ducked her head. When she looked up again, she took my offer, and her sweater sleeve traveled up her arm as she stood. She hurriedly pulled it back down, but not before I noticed the cuts. She muttered a thank you and continued her run down the street. My next painting was a white rose. It had beautiful petals, but they wore red stains. Pain in beauty, just like Reagan and her scars.

Three weeks into my art project, she had been wearing scarves and long sleeves every day. Given, it was late October, but she never took her scarf off, nor rolled up her sleeves, even when advised by our art teacher so she could avoid staining them. I’ve heard girls in the hallway talk about how she wears turtleneck workout shirts in gym class, and sweatpants, not shorts. Her running past my house has become even more rapid, and now I am almost certain she’s running from someone or running to something. I decided to follow her one day, walking so she wouldn’t hear or see me in her haste. She raced down my street and I started after her. Following her exact path, I finally made it to her house. It was a ramshackle home, but of medium size. I couldn’t follow her inside so I decided I would go full on stalker mode and look through a window, because really, I had already followed her here, how much creepier could I get?

I peered in through the window and saw Reagan in what appeared to be the kitchen. She hurriedly pulled pots and pans out of drawers and food out of cabinets. A revving engine startled me, as a car pulled into the driveway. I saw her cringe and try desperately to speed up her process. I heard a car door slam, and then the front door of the house. A man stumbled into the kitchen.

“Hello, sir,” Reagan spoke timidly.
“You haven’t made dinner yet?” the man slurred.
“No, I-i got let out of school late so I tried to hurry but I-”
“What the hell! Is school more important than doing what I tell you?” the man was yelling now.
“No sir but I-”

“You haven’t learned from last week, have you, sl*t?” I cringed at the derogatory term.
“What the hell are you wearing, that’s not what you left the house in!” he pointed at her leggings and sweater.

“I had to change for gym class, sir.” Reagan lied, and I could see the tinge of hope in her face, that he might believe her story.

“Bull!” he was screaming at the top of his lungs, and it became obvious to me that he was very drunk. “You wanted all of those guys to be all over you so you don’t have to be stuck with me, isn’t that right?”
“No!” Reagan was crying now, and I needed to do something. I couldn’t witness this and not help her. I pulled out my phone, and as I did so, I heard a harsh smack and looked in to see Reagan fall to the ground. She wailed, and slid back into a corner, shielding her face.

“You never listen, do you?” he screamed at her again and raised his hand above his head. It came down, and I bit my hand to keep from yelling at him to stop.

“Please! Please stop, sir!” Reagan whimpered. I dialed the police. I told them what was going on, and they said they would send somebody over. When I heard the sirens, I ran into the woods behind her house. I could still hear her father yelling.

“Did you call them? You better not have called them or I swear I’ll kill you,” he screeched.

I couldn’t hear Reagan’s response, but I am sure he didn’t believe it. The police pulled up and knocked on the door. I knew the police could save her. He would go to prison, and Reagan would be okay. I couldn’t hear their exchange, but when I heard a car drive away, I was concerned. I looked out from behind a tree and saw the police car pull away. I breathed in relief, but quickly drew in a harsh breath once I heard him again.
“What was that little stunt?” he was still there with her. Why was he still there with her?

“You think calling them is gonna help you this time? Just like it did so much good in the other places we’ve lived,” he accused her, “Well don’t try anything else, or I will really kill you.”

I heard the door slam, and the car screech out of the driveway. I ran up to the house and looked through the window. She was sitting there, sobbing. She stood and walked to the sink, picking up an object. When she brought it to her wrists, I knew what it was. I couldn’t bear to watch her hurt herself. I needed to get her out of that house, but I needed to get away from it first.

    The next day she came into school with an ankle length, long sleeve dress on, with a high neckline. Her father’s “dress code.” I could see bruises, and she looked more destroyed than I have ever seen her. I started sketching a hyacinth. It was a blue and purple flower. It had her bruises on its petals. She didn’t speak the rest of the week, and I knew I shouldn’t try to talk to her. Sometimes I saw a single tear drop onto her canvas, but she would wipe it away and pretend it didn’t happen. When the next week came, Reagan had immense bags and dark circles underneath her eyes, and bruises on her cheeks, poorly hidden by makeup. Working up the courage, I approached her after class, cautiously so I didn’t scare her. “Reagan?” she turned and tried to smile at me but couldn’t muster it.

“Hey Miles.” she said, emotionless.
“Are you okay? I’ve noticed your bruises and everything, and I thought I should ask.”

“I’m fine,” she lied to my face. “I haven’t been getting much sleep is all.”

“You’re sure? Because if you need anything I’m here.” I asked, desperately trying to get her to tell me the truth.

“I am positive.” she said firmly.

“O-okay.” I stuttered, disappointed. As I walked away, I thought I heard her mutter,

“Sleep won’t be a problem for long, anyways,” but when I turned back around to ask, she was gone.
Reagan ran home again this afternoon. I went to sleep, not knowing what I’d paint for my fourth piece. There was too much of her to cover in only four paintings. Sirens woke me in the night. Out my window, I saw three police cars speed down the road in the direction of Reagan’s house. Hope filled my mind, maybe her father would be taken away now. I left my parents a note saying I was going somewhere and ran down the road. When I arrived at her house, the cars were surrounding the house, and two men, probably Reagan's neighbors, were standing in the driveway. I ran to them.

“Excuse me, sirs, but I heard sirens and was wondering what is going on?”

“Tragic story, actually. A girl committed suicide by jumping out of her window.” one of them answered me, and I nodded slowly, processing the information. My mind was clouded. Girl. Jumped out her window. Suicide. Reagan killed herself. She was dead. My muse was so tortured and abused that she felt death was the only way out. I fell to my knees, screaming. “No! No! She isn’t dead, tell me it’s not her! No! It isn’t true, she’s inside, asleep like she should be!” One of them shook his head at me. Dropping to my side, I curled into a ball and started rocking as I sobbed. My muse, my light was gone. I couldn’t help her, no matter how I tried. My final painting was a shriveled up flower, covered by a light dusting of snow. The flower was dead, killed by the winter. Winter brings death to nature’s flower, but come spring, it is given new life. Just as it did to nature’s flower, winter brought death to Reagan. But unlike nature’s flowers, Reagan will never be given another chance. We never get a new spring. When our winter comes, it is eternal.

The author's comments:

My inspiration for this piece was the sight of flowers starting to die at the beginning of fall. I thought about fall is like life, and winter brings death. 

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