We’re at “M”! Yipppeee! 😉
All of the stories are linked. Some are better as standalones than others. If you’ve missed any and want to read them, you can catch up here.
My apologies on the following moonflower picture. I’ve been depending on “free sources” for my pictures but couldn’t find a moonflower. I know that I have a better picture of one of my own moonflowers in my files but it’s late (or early, depending on your perspective) and I can’t easily find it so you have a lesser picture. Sorry. 🙁
The night is sultry. A slice of moon hangs over Angie’s garden where she sits on a lounge chair beside her pool, strands of moonflower twining around the lattice next to her, the flowers opening, coolly white. Josie had said she’d enjoy the flowers. She’d been resistant, but she does like them. They glow, like something magical. Like something she’d like to discover in life.
Charlie is the first to arrive. He’s grabbed an IPA from her fridge and sits in the wrought iron chair adjacent to her. “What’s going on?” he asks. As if she’d have the answer. As if.
She shrugs. “Josie didn’t tell me. You know how she is.”
As soon as she says the words, Angie realizes that Charlie understands that they both know a different Josie. The one he knows is his best friend. The one she knows is an almost estranged sister. Although they semi-made-up. That must count for something.
By the time Josie arrives, Charlie is on his second beer, Angie a third gin and tonic, and neither of them has uttered more than a few sentences. They’ve never had much in common, maybe even less now. The music that Angie had streaming through her outdoor speakers changes from her boy band music to something that sounds like, god, what is that? Folk?
Josie is smiling as she sits on a wrought iron chair opposite Charlie. She has her own beer, something she didn’t get from Angie’s fridge. Something dark that looks like it’s full of calories.
Josie small talks for a few minutes, which is totally unlike her and Angie is immediately suspicious and alert, or as alert as she can be after three G&Ts.
“What’s going on?” she asks when she can’t stand it anymore. Something is going on and it’s so unlike Josie to have a secret.
“I’ve decided to give up my share of the nursery,” Josie says. She sounds bright. Happy?
“Why? How are you going to live?” Angie asks, her voice sharper than she intends.
Josie shrugs. “I’ve applied for a job as a landscape designer on the coast. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll work for a landscaping company there.”
“On the coast? Where will you live?”
“I’ve got a friend who’s going to put me up for a while.”
“That Australian guy?” Angie asks in a tone that makes it sound as if Josie might be giving her soul to the devil.
Josie doesn’t feel the same. “One and the same. We just got back in touch. I need to get away—”
“Why? Why do you need to get away?” Angie asks, her voice skirting to an even higher octave. “What’s happened?”
The smile slips from Josie’s lips. “Does it matter? The flower shop was always your place. I like the nursery, but I’ve never loved it. I want to do something that I love.”
“Landscape design?” Angie says, huffing.
Josie’s smile is small. “No, but it’s a means to an end. I’m songwriting.”
“Oh, my god, since when? Yesterday?”
Josie shares a glance with Charlie that Angie notices. Her eyes narrow. “What is this?”
“I’ve been writing for years, Ange. You just never bothered to notice.”
Angie thinks about all of the times that Josie was banging away on their family piano or strumming on her guitar, miles away, humming songs that Angie had never heard. It never occurred to her that Josie might be making her own music. That .sShe might have her own world that Angie wasn’t a part of.
“I didn’t know,” she says, finally.
Josie shrugs. “No. I’m not surprised. But I’ve got a chance to do something, and I can’t do it here anymore. I just can’t. I’m stifled,” she says, catches herself mid-breath before she can say something she can’t take back.“ I’ll stay on until you all can find someone to manage the nursery, but then I’m gone.”
Angie swallows hard and then reaches for her G&T and takes a very large gulp. The world suddenly seems to be moving very quickly and she doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t feel part of it. She feels small, alone. She gazes at the moonflower. How big and beautiful it is, bright in the dark night. A star in the midnight sky, she thinks. A beacon and she wonders if she can find her own guide when so many things are changing so quickly. Maybe she deserves to be lost, but she hopes she doesn’t. She hopes she can find herself and her own way. Be her own moonflower.
This is only similar in that it has “Moon” but I thought of it and wanted to share. For more about moonflowers, please scroll below the video.