"Careful now," the woman told the small hands holding the lilac sprig. "You don’t want to crush it."
But the girl wanted to bury her face in its soft coolness, breathe in its delight. She wanted to squeeze it, hug it tight, twirl it by its stem. She wanted to wear it in her hair, and sleep with it on her pillow, dancing with its fragrance in her dreams.
But the lilac sat in a crystal vase on the dining room table until it was tinged with brown. It grew limp and didn't smell pretty anymore. It drooped over the side of the vase. Soon, it was tossed in the trash, slime on its soggy stem. The little girl stood over the lilac."Flower," she whispered. She poked at it and drew back from the smell. Turning, she walked away, knowing that she would have loved it all up.