Tick, tock. The clock announced the passing of time with its short now clichéd burst of tick, tock. It is five a.m., time for you to get up and start your daily routine. But, for once, instead of getting up to tend to your pride and joy, you lay silently listening to that which rules you, the clock. Tick, tock. The seconds passing by try to worry you by telling you that if you get behind, you won't be able to get everything done. An organized desk stares at you from the other side of the room, sticky notes on both the table and the board above it, screaming of the things you must do today. You sigh in resignation, watching as it turns to five fifteen. Fifteen minutes you've lain awake, fifteen minutes that you won't get back. Is this what apathy feels like?
You haven't feel apathy in quite some time. You get up, your bones cracking and your joints voicing their discontent of being moved. A pair of blue slippers find themselves covering your cold feet as you shuffle across the bedroom towards the window. It is now five fifty. Tick, tock. You should be getting ready to go outside and cut the more unruly parts of grass with your shears. The entire garden is waiting to be woken up, quietly far from anything that could harm it. It's your own personal Secret Garden, and its care has become a daily ritual in your old age. It's all you can do to keep her alive, though.
Tick, tock. The clock on the wall beside you continues its insistent urgings to truly begin the day. As the time continues to pass by, you find it easier to ignore it. You return to your bed, wrapping the covers around you as you settle back in peacefully.
Tick, tock. It is six-thirty and the clock becomes more forceful, and you sit up in bed. Each passing tick and tock grow louder and louder, but you can't seem to move anymore. From your bed, you can partially see out the window, and you watch in muted horror as a weed pops up in the middle of the lawn, soon followed by another, until they are spreading like the sickness that took her, the reason why you keep the garden, the girl with flowers in her hair that sang with a voice, sweet as honey when she worked in her flower beds. She was just as pretty without hair, strong in her fight against the weeds that spread in her system, her body struggling to survive the pesticides that the doctors used to try to save her.
Chemotherapy doesn't work for everyone. She was one of those it didn't have any effect on. You watched her become weaker, then confined to the very bed you now lie in. She still sang, but her voice was heavy with weariness and hope that was dwindling. All she wanted was to go tend to her garden, but confined bed rest prevented her from that. So you started working in the garden yourself, making sure that it stayed beautiful, which made her happy.
But then, all at once, she was gone. There was a void in your heart, and you tried to fill it with flowers. Her flowers flourished under your careful hands, and the better your garden was the closer you began to feel to her. You could feel her whenever you were out there. It soon became an obsessive routine, eating up most of your day and ruining much of your social life with others. But as long as you had her garden you were content.
Until now, watching what you had spent so much time on being destroyed by fast-moving weeds. The flowers wilted as the dark green weeds cut off their sunlight, and you still were immobile. Your breath hitched in the back of your throat as the very last one died, the spell broken. You clambered out of bed, tripping over your slippers to tumble forward head first. You put up your hands to protect your face as you fell and - you woke up.
Tick, tock. It is five a.m., and you have just woken up from a vivid nightmare. You sit up, looking out the window to see that your garden is intact. You sigh, relieved, and move to put on your slippers. It is time for you to get, get dressed, and go out to trim the grass with your shears. You don't want your garden to get too unruly, now do you?
English 10 The Domiciles Project