The seed had been planted in April, deep in the darkest part of my being, lying there quietly in its hard impenetrable husk. It barely bothered me at all, and I only thought of it briefly when I was alone and wondered whether it would grow.
By June, however, a tiny shoot poked above the surface, like a hand raised in class, a gentle reminder of its existence. It rose stealthily in its defiance of gravity.
I ignored it, but it grew like a weed, stronger and quicker than I had ever imagined possible.
In my mind, the medusa tendril would only turn my technicolor life to stone if I looked at it straight on, so, for now, it remained in my peripheral. I acted like others couldn’t see that it was affecting me, but they all saw through my facade and began to wonder if I would tell them before it was too late.
In August, I began to blossom and could no longer hide my fears.
I had to recognise that the tiny seed had now become what it had been designed to be; a plant that would soon bear fruit. I struggled to conceal it now, making excuses for my appearance and lateness to work, bailing on friends and spending more time on my own, wondering about this thing we had made, we had created together. I felt like I had nowhere to turn, that I would have to raise you by myself, but then I was approached by those who loved me who told me it was fine, that little tiny plants with beautiful precious flowers make you feel a love like nothing else in this world.
They make you wonder about how life begins.
In December I was bulging, bursting at the seams, ripe and ready. I lay and waited for the women with blue gloves and white coats to bring me to harvest, waiting and waiting to see what I’d grown with everything that I was. But when he fell to the ground, they picked him up, and I realised I had waited too long. He was still and quiet. The life and joy that I had been promised were empty before my eyes as I looked upon what could have been, and I felt barren.
He was beautiful on the outside, but inside he was rotten.
All I could do was look at him and curse myself for ignoring him for so long. I never thought it would be possible to create such a perfect piece of fruit from a tiny, insignificant seed.
This short story was originally published on Woman Writing Berlin Lab on December 20, 2017.