Sunflowers: The Story

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No. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t right at all.

I couldn’t feel the warm and reassuring touch of my computer mouse, nor the slick keys of my keyboard. All I could feel right now is the wind, and let’s not forget the sadness of having no access to the internet.

Where was I to allow such evil to take place?

Under a tree, of course. Surrounded by a field of sunflowers.

I sat under the tree’s shade, trying to wash off my frustration with the cool summer breeze. I could occasionally hear birds chirping above me, which served as a wonderful melody to my ears.

Ah, nature, why do you have to exist outside of my cramped room?

My parents decided to visit our relatives, thinking that traveling to distant places were a necessity to summer vacations. After a seven hour drive stuck with my annoying sister at the back of the car, we managed to find that one house surrounded by sunflowers. I didn’t even bother to greet any of them, going straight to the backyard, looking for a cool place to hang out and waste my time. And if a tree in the middle of a sunflower field wasn’t cool enough for you, then you’re beyond saving.

“If only I brought something else besides this outdated flip phone…”

After minutes mindlessly staring at the sky, faint voices of girls could be heard from the distance. I would care less about it, if it wasn’t for the fact that the voices seemed to grow closer every second. It was too late until I realized what was in store for me.

“… I promise it will be SO much fun!”

And here she was, my 13-year-old sister named Maddie, towing someone younger along with her. The young girl’s braided hair was a much more welcomed sight than my sister’s long and unkempt hair, and that was a fact I buried deep within my heart. Maddie held the girl’s hand, and then gave me a big cheery smile.

“Hello there, dear brother. This is our cousin, Rea. She’s 9, she’s cute, and she’s going to be our friend from now on!”

“I-I’ll be in your care from now on,” Rea followed, stuttering from nervousness. Unlike my sister’s outgoing personality, Rea seemed to be much more reserved.

“What are you kids doing here outside?” I asked, curious to why would they leave the house and all those girl dolls they had in store.

“Well, the adults are talking about complicated politics stuff, so we came here outside to play with you! Wanna play Frisbee?”

“Really? We don’t even have a Frisbee.”

“W-we can make one out of sunflowers,” Rea suggested, trying too hard to join the conversation. It was a cute attempt though, so all was forgiven.

Maddie, finally realizing that I wasn’t one to play games that didn’t take place in the virtual world, took a seat besides me along with Rea and took a whiff out of the fresh country air. We three grazed at the magnificent scenery displayed before us, an endless field of sunflowers under the very thing that it portrayed. All this in glorious HD, lovely if I do say so myself.

“Sunflowers… they’re lovely.” Rea’s soft voice could be heard by us both. “They’re peaceful, they’re warm, just like the sun.”

“And their seeds are delicious too,” I added for no purpose.

“Ignoring brother dear’s comment, I think Rea’s right. They do seem to evoke a certain sense of warmth. But if you think about it, they’re one of the deepest flowers I have seen. To shamelessly copy a heavenly body millions of miles away from it, trying to match its splendor although an impossible feat, and instead turns to the flower’s approachability to make up for what it could never achieve, which in turns give itself a unique value rivaling the very thing it portrays. It kind of reflects the human trait of uniqueness, right?”

And she just HAD to make everything deep.

“But isn’t that sad? The pretty sunflower will never be like the sun, and instead become just a fake?” Rea asked with sadness and sympathy in her eyes. Wow, a 9-year-old was actually following Maddie’s speech, which was surprising. This kid must be a genius of some sorts.

“Of course, it may always be simply an impostor, never truly being the real thing. But the question is, does it really need to be the real thing? Once a sunflower catches fire, it burns. It would wither away in space, without any oxygen to breath. Humans, for example, will always look up upon great people, wanting to follow their example. But there are things that those people have that they don’t. Luck? Strength? Intelligence? So how do people strive to follow their footsteps?”

A smug smile.

“Maddie, I don’t think Rea can take this anymo–”

“Co-continue please, big sister,” Rea interrupted me without a care, eager in hearing my sister’s interpretation. Whatever makes this little brat happy, then.

“Good for you, Rea. Now, where was I? Yes, they try to reach them by making up for what they don’t with what they do have! You can’t fight that big bad bully like your hero Jackie Chan? Then why not use your smarts to fight them! You will never be truly what others may be, but you have your own way of doing things. A unique blend of innovation and adaptation, in order to create a person that would rival even the sun! Sunflowers baby, they’re serious business.”

Her speech ended with Rea’s enthusiastic claps. “As expected of my big sister! Sunflowers now make sense!”

“Wow Maddie, it seems you have a new follower now,” I said as I tried to think just how did this little kid understand all of that. “A shame the little flower wants to be something lower,”

“Say all you want, brother dear,” she said with pride in her eyes. “My interpretations are great and you know it.”

“How do you do do that, big sis?” Rea asked as she looked up on Maddie with her eyes full of admiration.

“It’s a long story.” She winked.

There we sat, under a tree surrounded by a field of sunflowers. Just another one of those one-sided discussions about Maddie’s interpretation about the things around her.

This was a memory crystallized in time, hidden from everyone deep inside our hearts. Well, except mine, of course, it’s too busy mourning about having parting from the world of internet.

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