Our balcony has three blossoming bougainvillea plants. The first bougainvillea to enter our home, was Rose – a hot pink plant that seems to have to taken strands of my mother’s soul and entwined it among her leaves. She blossoms when Im coming home, and she droops when Im leaving. When Im doing well in Bombay she flourishes, and fades when Im not. Needless to say, Rose is mine and my mothers favourite.
However, Rose isn’t the only bougainvillea in the balcony. The two newcomers are Amber (vivid orange) and Blanche (sophisticated white). While Rose likes to daydream in peaceful solititude in the corner of the balcony, Blanche and Amber have always been the best of friends, and have always snuggled together in another corner of a balcony. They gossiped these two busybody bouganvilleas, oh how they gossiped! They’d whisper to each other whenever I came home, wondering if I was anorexic, muttering about girls these days. They’d glare at my father and his eccentric watering methods. They’d gaze suspiciously at my mother, who would talk to them and tell Rose stories about me. Yes, Amber and Blanche were the best of friends, and flourished in the cozy circle they created among themselves.
When I came home to study this Spring, I discovered something even my mother’s watchful hadnt. Amber had faded and was drooping. Her otherwise beautifully vivid orange skin, had faded into a pale sickly pink. Blanche, on the other hand, was blooming, white and graceful as ever. Now, considering I’d never been very close to Amber, I didnt feel right about asking what was wrong. As the days passed however, and after much worried discussion with my Mother, I thought maybe I should ask.
Amber looks up sadly.
Me: Amber, are you okay?
Amber looks even sadder.
Me: Amber, its very hot and I really don’t want to stand out here. So why don’t you just tell me what’s wrong?
Amber: Nonsense. You don’t mind being out here. Means you don’t have to study.
Me: Well, yeah. But it really IS very hot. So. What’s up?
Amber: (sighs melodramatically) Nothing. I’m all alone, is all.
Me: Well, you have Blanche.
(Blanche sniffs and mutters something)
Amber: Not anymore…
Me: Why not?
Amber gazed at me sadly and turned away. The conversation was obviously over.
A few days later, at the bank (because it was such an apt place to think about it), I wondered what was bothering Amber and what had happened between her and Blanche. And then it hit me.
Amber: (a tear rolling down her petal) Yes?
Me: Are you in love?
Amber: Yes…(looking sadly at Blanche)
Me: With Blanche?
Blanche: Its disgusting! Thats what I call it! I is a LADY!
Me: You dont approve, Blanche?
Blanche: Certainly NOT! What kind of lady would EVER approve of such a thing?
Blanche: Hush, you, you…scarlet woman!
Me: Ladies, ladies! Amber…are you sure?
Blanche: How eloquent.
Amber: I’d write you poetry, Blanche…(looking at Blanche with googoo eyes)
Blanche: No, thank you. I am BETHROED. To a gentleman. His name is Jaune.
Rose, Amber & Me: Jaune?
Blanche: Yes. He is handsome and yellow. He’s French too, just like moi.
Amber: But…but…what about me?
Unfortunately, I had to go then, for Contemporary Issues beckoned. However, Amber is still fading, Rose is still furious and Blanche is still flourishing. Advice to Amber is greatly welcome. Before my poor bougainvillea breaks her heart completely. Her poor faded self needs it. Please comment suggestions and advice.
Amber: Is it wrong to love? Is it wrong to want a little cuddle and comfort here and there? Please tell me what to do, to warm Blanche’s cold and white heart, and make me yay and orange again.