Recently I was hospitalized due to a broken arm. Within the first week, I had a lot of visitors, just checking to make sure I wasn’t dying anytime soon (I wasn’t, I promise). During my stay, I was visited by four different girls, each of them holding a different place in my heart. I had never really decided which one I was to love, and which ones I had to get over. Girl number 1 gave me some orchids. Girl number 2 gave me pink roses. Girl number 3 gave me daisies, and Girl number 4 gave me red tulips. It took flowers for me to understand the answer to the question I had been asking myself for years.
The orchid. Refined beauty.
I met her at school. Middle school, to be exact. She was the type of girl that casually got 200 likes on her facebook profile pictures when she only had 800 or so friends. It wasn’t just her face that made me like her. Nor was it just her killer body. What really got to me was her idealism. She and I were romantics of polar origins: I was pessimistic, and she believed in fairy tales. Her outside beauty made me want to be with her more, and her inner beauty captivated me when I spent time with her. She put me in the friendzone fast, but I could never really get over her. Hormones dictated my feelings for her, whether I liked it or not. How do you say no to a beautiful, nice girl who shares your interests?
The daisy. Innocence and faith.
I met her my freshman year. She was (and still is) the most adorable person I have ever laid eyes on. As our friendship blossomed into something special, I grew increasingly enamored with her. Her laugh, her smile, the way she greeted me with enthusiasm at school. We never really got intimate, but just liked each other from a place that was so close, yet so far. As the years passed, we brought out the worst in each other. I told her some terrible things that girls should never hear. But she didn’t get mad at me. She knew that I wasn’t myself, and trusted that I’d be back to the guy that she loved. She had every right to just call it quits, but she forgave me as she remembered our good times, and I’ll never forget her for that.
The light pink rose. Desire, passion, and youth.
We met our sophomore year through some mutual friends. I had already heard about her, and they weren’t positive things either. But within minutes of talking to her, she had shattered all my assumptions. She was bright, energetic, lively. I had never quite met someone like her, so spontaneous, so outgoing, and yet so lovely. Our conversations became longer and longer, exchanging crude sexual humor and also talking about our problems. She was the most illuminating girl I had ever met, and I couldn’t react any other way but to love her and our conversations. With her, I could act like a child. I didn’t have to hold the pressures of the world, and I could just release all my stress with her. She became the antidote to my emotional despair, and to this day I can’t thank her enough.
But while I was in the hospital, those three flowers died out fast. They had lasted only a week before it all shriveled up. By the end of the week, only one type of flowers were left over.
The red tulip. Undying love.
We met when I was in the third grade. The type of bond we shared wasn’t like any other. She was not as beautiful as the orchid. She was not as patient and kind as the daisy. She was not as filled with joy as the pink rose. What we shared far transcended any of that. We’ve had our ups and downs, the downs being longer than ups, but those brief fleeting moments of mutual attraction we had for each other were (and are to this day) the best of my life. From friends to more than friends, back to friends, back to more than friends, straight to worst enemies, then friends, to more than friends, and finally back to friends, I realized that the one thing that set her apart was why I loved her. I loved the other three because of what they did for me. I loved the fourth because of who she was. No matter how much I could say bad things about her, she still had an unconditional place in my heart that would instinctively make me feel the need to make her mine. It wasn’t the ideal love, but it was a love that never fizzled out since the day I met her 8 years ago.
I’m going to leave the hospital tomorrow, and the first thing I’ll do is profess my love for her. The red tulip isn’t the kind of love everyone wants. We all seek different things from different people. But today, I hold in my hands a flower that has survived 8 days, against all odds. The other three flowers are moving on with their lives. They still hold a special place in my heart, but now I know what they mean to me, and what they don’t.
It’s fascinating what a bunch of colorful plants will do to you.