Flowers of all colours covered the table, a rainbow of tiny clusters and velvety petals framed by muted branches and pale ribbons. Even if she chose one each of only half the choices on display, the resulting bouquet would be almost too large to pass through the hospital room door.
But everything looked amazing. How could she choose?
Her eyes hovered over the flowers, selecting and rejecting them in turn. All of them reminded her of the many well-meaning bouquets that populated her friend’s room. She wanted something that would stand out.
A matte black pot caught her eye. Leaning in for a better look, she found a green bud rooted in chocolate-dark dirt. It was different.
It was perfect.
“What’s this?” her friend asked when she placed the little pot in his hands.
“Dunno. You’ll need to water it until it flowers. The shopkeeper said it’ll take three months.”
“Three months?” His eyes dimmed. “I don’t have that long.”
She reached over to clap his shoulder. Even through the loose hospital gown, she could easily feel his fragile bones.
“Just do your best.” She grinned. “For your curiosity.”
The smile he made was faint, but like the bud, she hoped it would grow more over the coming months.