January – June / Serial Book

January – June / Serial Book

1 January

The peace lilies were miraculously still alive. She’d tried to kill them for months now and had hoped a two-week trip abroad (for her, not them) would produce the final death knell. It hadn’t.

She filled each pot with a pint of water, drowning the soil until it swelled over the top of the plastic container and created a slurry at the bottom of the ceramic one. She had to do the same thing tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. They’d die, they would. They had to.

Sam had bought them for her as a birthday present after they’d spent the previous day arguing. It wasn’t her birthday, or his, it was, as he put it ‘the birth of a new them.’ No more arguing he said. Peace lilies, see? She laughed, felt a bit annoyed, they argued again, he put the plants outside, she placed them inside again. He watered them, she watered them, he forgot to water them, she forgot to water them. This kind of disorganised care became the norm for the peace lilies so here she was, with two plants who refused to die.

Seeing them there, so buoyant and beautiful and happy and alive filled her with fury.

‘I hate you,’ she said. She imagined they said’ we love you,’ back. That’s the kind of plants they were.

After unpacking, she sat down between them.

‘Did you know,’ she said to the peace lily on her right, ‘that you are the most infuriating plants in the world?’ They knew. We love you, she imagined they said. ‘Did you know,’ she said to the peace lily on her left, ‘that I think this was all part of his plan, to annoy me forever?’ They knew. We love you, she imagined they said.

‘Well I hate you,’ she said. They knew.

She got up and carried them outside one after the other. ‘It’s January,’ she said. ‘You’ll freeze to death.’ We know, she imagined they said. She carried them back inside again.

The phone rang.

Yes, she said.

No, she said and hung up. She already had a good phone plan. Lie. It was terrible, but is there any other way of interacting with salespeople than to say no and hang up?

Tomorrow was work. 2 of January and work. Grey, cold, gloomy, boring, depressing, sad, and anxiety inducing.

She went to bed with a bottle of wine.

‘Goodnight,’ she said. Goodnight, they said.