The Herd

Dearest Juniper

Hannah Mereness, Staff Writer

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Dearest Juniper,

I ask you to imagine that you fell in love with a dandelion. You, of course, remember how everyone around you told you that they were weeds. Impure and unwanted. But it’s simple, golden complexity ensnared you so true that you found those words unimportant.

Now, of course, you could pick it and take it home to put on display, but it would eventually wither and die, becoming a husk of what it once was. Instead, you go out to visit it. You keep it company and tell it about your life, something it could never truly grasp. You hold onto its life and cherish its beauty in ways you could never do for yourself. You begin giving it so much of your attention and time that you begin neglecting your responsibilities. You stop going to work, avoid going home, all because you’re afraid that it wouldn’t be able to make it without you.

And people notice. Of course, they do.

First, it’s your boss. You get fired, but it doesn’t bother you. The job had been tedious anyways.

But then your friends start to notice. You make up excuses, but they don’t last. You fell in love with a flower. You fell in love with a weed. They might pretend to understand, and some might even try to. But that can only last so long. One day one of them try to find the flower to try to get rid of it. Just to get you back.

You step away from the flower. You go back to your old life for a week. The flower always winds itself into your mind, though, forcing you to worry. Your head tortures you with the possibilities of what could have happened to it without you being there. It could be sick, dying… Or dead.

When you go back to it, however, you see that it is completely fine. It doesn’t seem different. It is still thriving and alive.

It is living, even without you.

You once asked me how I felt about you. You might have been embarrassed, and I might have gotten offended, and I apologize for that. I admit now that it is a fair question. And this is my answer. I love you. But I can not be with you. I can not be near you. Because this is what it was for me to fall for you. This is what it is for an angel to fall for a human.

Goodbye.

Sincerely,

Anael

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Dearest Juniper