I knock on Sandra’s front door and notice the peephole at eye level. It’s been two years. I wonder if she still has that black-haired pug. I knock again, listening. Did I get the date wrong? Some would say that’s a rhetorical question.
Next to the door is a giant azalea with a green fringe of weeds growing along the lip of a blue ceramic pot. The potting soil is fresh, soft, and loamy. My fingers start to curl. I reach down and easily pull a handful of weeds out by their roots. I was a gardener in a previous life. Whenever I see a weed in a pot or planted bed, I feel the urge to pull. Can’t help it.
I forget all about Sandra and our date, more like a meeting, possibly a reconciliation; forget all about how she threw me under the bus and told everyone in the complex I was a controlling jerk. I go to work on her azalea pot, yanking out grassy weeds, pulling out clover, and then accidentally, I take out a red double rose Touch-Me-Not, her favorite, growing amongst some rogue oxalis. Accidents happen when weeding – collateral damage if you will.
So, I’m thinking about what I’m gonna do with this Touch-Me-Not, where am I gonna stash it, when the door opens. Sandra is holding a new dog, a white poodle, and her eyes go to my dirty hand holding the red flower I just killed.