She tended to dream more throughout the day, than at night. In fact, nothing made her feel more awake and alive than the darkening sky and the stars high above her head. She would look at them, thinking about planets and plans, worlds and wishes; contemplating the people she had met throughout her life and remembering the stories she had shared with them. Everything always seemed so clear to her at night time, as if the star’s clarity directly affected her ability to understand her brain’s melody. And so she would dance in the darkness, breathe in the night air and reflect. Every so often she would realize how very small she really was in comparison to all her surroundings, how insignificant her existence was when compared to the great wide galaxy above her. She would note all of it, without so much as a trace of sadness inside of her, as she didn’t mind being who she was – not anymore. And yet, when the first rays of sunshine reached her in the morning, and all her family woke up yawning, she couldn’t help but start dreaming about all she could have been instead; a poppy, vivid and red, a symbol of remembrance and strength or a peony, with her soft petals and universal popularity. There was something to be said about the height of a sunflower and the vibrancy of tulips and yet she liked her simple dress of white and her tiny physique.
Once upon a time, those dreams would have turned into nightmares for her. They would have consumed her small little body and made her start comparing and competing with any- and everything around her. Once upon a time, it would have taken an abundance of hours, an army of words and one little girl to restore her faith and self confidence after a day spent dreaming like this. She remembered it all too well; still felt early spring’s shiver underneath her skin. She had felt so alone in the world then, haunted by the thought of being an outsider; convinced her appearance would instantly be punished by the disappearance of others. And so she had spent her days all by her lonesome, wishing for a different life, a new persona and a fresh start. It wasn’t until early May that a girl entered her life and changed everything.
Like all other children, the girl had been warned not to get too close to her, but unlike all other children, she didn’t seem to care. Instead, she passed many hours with her, bringing along her sun umbrella and a picnic basket. Days with the girl would always be spent the exact same way: they started with some sunshine on their faces and a newly invented story in their ears. There were stories about love and friendship and ones about heartbreak and rain. They all came from the girl’s own imagination and were crafted just for the benefit of the little white flower. The girl named her Lily, because that’s what she was and the flower called the girl Fleur in turn, even though that wasn’t what she was. On warm days the girl would invite her into the refreshing shade of her umbrella, and on cool days they would dance among the raindrops together, so as not to get too cold. It didn’t take long for them to become friends, and even though Lily had a hard time shaking her loneliness, Fleur started reaching out to her heart all the same. She knew the most amazing fairy tales, words that made Lily feel more loved and beautiful than all the other flowers she had ever encountered throughout her life. And though she still appreciated the vibrant colours of others, she came to love her own appearance as well. She also learned from the girl; learned how humans didn’t see her as a venomous little monster, but how whole countries used her picture on their flags and emblems. And little by little the girl’s words made her appreciate who she was and how she looked. It took weeks in which she spent her days with Fleur, talking rather than dreaming about things she could never be. Each day made her feel lighter and happier than the one before and sooner than she had thought possible, the dreams were nothing more than appreciative thoughts, positive feelings and endless possibilities. In fact, her dreams were finally what they had always been supposed to be: just dreams. She lived her life happily then, often thinking back to the girl, even after years and years in which they had faded away from each other.
Many Mays later, when the girl had grown into a woman and the flower had lived comfortably through multiple lifetimes; a second girl entered her life. This one was shy and small; her skin as white as snow and her eyes the spitting image of her mother’s. And yet, the new girl behaved completely differently. She would not come and talk to her, as she spent most of her days stuck in her own head, dreaming and suffering. It took the flower only one good look at the girl to know exactly how she was feeling. She understood that the girl now needed to hear just what Fleur had told her so many years ago. And so Lily started to work on a story of her own, tried to string together words and sentences in a poetic, yet helpful way and rehearsed many hours a day. The girl took weeks to finally talk to the flower, but once she did Lily told her of the poppies and peonies, sunflowers and tulips. She told her of dreams and how a world full of possibilities should never been seen as a list of shortcomings. She would spin long stories, pour her heart out for the girl and finally watch her slowly bloom in front of her very eyes. All of a sudden, she would stand taller and smile brighter, just like the flower had done all those years ago.
“There is something I’ve never told you”, it was a late May evening and she felt old and accomplished. She had made it this year’s work to help the girl and now that she had succeeded she felt her white dress getting heavier and heavier: “I was named after you: Lily. I am just a little girl, but my mum always tells me how I have your strength and vibrancy; that my white skin resembles your petals. She calls me la petite lis’ blanche, because I am her small, white Lily and so are you”, and the flower thought she might die of happiness. So when the night came and the stars painted their beautiful picture onto the night sky, she didn’t feel insignificant any longer. She felt ready to join into their nightly dance and leave behind a girl – a woman, a flower – stronger and more beautiful than she could have every imagined.