The crocus, its velvety violet petals curling toward the sky, gleaming.
Kneeling next to it, the boy, pale-faced and dark-haired, with eyes so blue they look violet.
Amidst the snow, bathed in moonlight, both are beautiful.
I stand a few feet away, not daring to move. It seems like a crime to disrupt them. The boy, probably my age – fourteen – is simply gazing at the crocus, mesmerized. He hasn’t shown any sign of seeing me. 
I’m burning to know what’s caused that smile on his face.
Exhaling, I take a step towards the flower and the boy. He looks up.
“I saw the bud become a flower,” he says. His voice is like . . . melting ice.
He stands.
We stare at each other.
What?” I finally whisper.
Then he dashes, smiling.
“What – wait!” I call, then run after him.
I’m fast, but so is he. I quicken my pace, my shoes sinking into the deep snow. I’m not exactly sure why I’m so curious to catch up to him. I think it’s the magical aura around him, something that speaks of eternity and yet the opposite.
Panting now, I try to catch up, but I’m not fast enough. I slow down as he disappears into the distance, my breaths making white puffs in the air. The running has brought the sting of tears to my eyes.
I stare at where I last saw him, then sigh.
Dismal, I trudge back to the crocus. When I reach it, I dig it out, along with its roots, and take it home.
There, I plant it in our yard. Patting the dirt, I stand up, clasp my hands.
It doesn’t look half as beautiful as it did before. It looks dull and out of place.
Almost crying, but not really sure why, I dig the crocus out again, and walk back to where it was before. It’s a long, hard walk.
I reach the spot where it was before, and replant it. Now the crocus is . . . alive. Magical. Eternal yet so mortal.
I go back home. Lying in bed, I cry, smiling.
Learn more about the author:

Tejal Doshi

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-01 – Crocus
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