posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 11:48 PM
I knew those tall candle stands were going to be trouble when he first set them up. He had them too close to the curtains; one good breeze
could knock them over, and if they were lit at the time, it would end badly for him and me. Curtains are notoriously flammable. I'd have told him if
I could, but how could I? I'm just a plant, in a pot, and unfortunately close to a window with curtains and nearby candles. And sure enough, one
gentle May night, the idiot opened the windows, lit the candles, lay down on the couch, and fell right the hell to sleep.
It could have been worse. It could have been the curtains right next to me that were suddenly in flames instead of the ones on the other side of the
room. My sap thickened in fear, but being a plant, that was the extent of how I could react. I couldn't yell to wake him up, I couldn't move, I
couldn't even contact him telepathically (yes, I tried). Time slowed to a crawl, but it still marched on. My panic grew with the flames.
Smoke soon covered the ceiling, but that wasn't what woke him up. It was the only other animate entity living there: his dog, the hero. The pet who
could move and jump and yap fit to wake the dead (plants may not have ears or eyes, but we can still sense sound vibrations and light). It did take
its time, though. By the time the dog jumped up on the couch to begin its warning, one entire wall and half the ceiling were burning. The house was
already too far gone to save. Some hero.
My owner didn't spend any time trying to fight the blaze; that was clearly a lost cause at that point. He immediately whipped out his cell phone and
dialed it, then held it to his ear with one hand as he picked up the dog in the other and ran for the front door. He'd abandoned me to the flames.
It wasn't the first time I'd wished I had a voice to speak with, but all the other times faded into insignificance. I wasn't just panicking; I was
now angry too. I cursed that inconsiderate man as the flames got closer. I could feel them starting to dry me out. And to think I'd loved him. I'd
done my best to look nice for him my entire life. We'd spent so much time together. I thought he cared; he sure spent enough time taking care of me,
never over-watering me, providing adequate light and fertilizer, showing me off to his friends... How could he do this to me now that I needed him so
badly, that bast-
He then ran back into the room, wild-eyed and looking as panicked as I felt. My hopes soared. He'd come back for me! I watched as he approached,
resolving myself to hold onto my blooms as best I could while he ran outside with me, and what did that sweet, thoughtful, kind man do when he reached
the table I rested on? He grabbed the laptop computer and briefcase sitting next to me, wrestled to get the laptop's power supply free of the
wall socket, and ran back out again.
Had I a jaw, I'd have dropped it. He valued that stupid computer more than me?? Preposterous! Rage filled me. I'd witnessed his first kiss,
for God's sake! I watched him lose his virginity! I was practically a part of him! I couldn't remember a time before he was there, filling my whole
life! I loved him!! If I'd had tentacles, I'd have crawled out that door and strangled him.
I was just reflecting on the fact that at least I wouldn't be able to feel myself burning when suddenly, there he was again. "Oh, what now,"
I thought, "are you here to rescue the beer from the fridge?" But no; he ran to the bookcase, grabbed a few choice books that he obviously cared
more about than me, and was back out the door. I think that's when I gave up hope. The flames had reached the room's one exit, licking around the
corner into the foyer. Only a couple of feet of clear air were left near the floor, even with the windows open. It was quickly becoming less and less
possible for him to get back into the room. "So this is it," I thought. "Life for the dog, and death for me. He better be glad I don't have
tentacles, that bast-" And then, his hands were reaching up into the smoke and grabbing my pot.
He'd had to crawl to get back in there, and he had to crawl to get out again, pushing my pot before him until there was enough fresh air to allow him
to stand. My wonder was, like the fire, all-consuming, and it made me realize something. Rescuing the dog, the computer, all that other stuff, hadn't
really been that risky for him. His life hadn't been in danger then. But to rescue me, he'd taken his life into his hands. He could have
passed out and burned up with me. And my love for him returned in a flood. I wanted to kiss him even if the fire was his fault. Which it
He set me down next to the pile of books on his front lawn, safely out of reach of the fire and the dog tied to a nearby tree, then collapsed
beside me just as one of his neighbors ran up. "Are you okay??" the neighbor said with concern. "Is anyone else in there??"
My owner shook his head weakly. "I'm fine; nobody else," he panted. "Already called 911." He sat up and stared at his burning home; only then did
he allow himself the luxury of crying.
"But all your stuff," the neighbor said.
"Insurance can replace everything still in there," my owner sniffled sadly. He reached over and pet his hero, the dog, then lightly ran a finger up
my trunk. "But not these."
"Well... yeah, but that's just a plant," the neighbor said.
"Just a plant?" my owner said, sounding almost indignant. "My grandfather picked the sprig this grew from right off the slopes of Mt. Fuji
himself, potted it, and gave it to me on my eighth birthday! He taught me the art of bonsai using it before he died, thirty years ago! It isn't
merely bonsai, it's yamadori! This is a fifty-year-old cherry tree, not some stupid philodendron! It's worth more to me than the dog, and
that's no lie." He turned and pet the hero again. "Sorry, Bongo."
The hero just dangled its tongue at him stupidly, like it always did. But who knows; it could have been thinking to itself like I was. "Where's
dinner" and "I've gotta pee" and the like, no doubt. Stupid mutt.
"But, it was the last thing you carried out, I saw you," the neighbor protested.
My owner sighed. "The dog was closest. The laptop, I can't work without. The briefcase holds all my important papers and the bonsai tools my
grandfather gave me with the tree. The books are priceless first-editions, mostly gifts from my grandfather about bonsai; the photo albums have
pictures of my cherry tree throughout its life. It was all too important to leave in there. I wasn't worrying about what order to get them in.
I was panicking. But it's all about the tree. This tree is my grandfather." He stroked my trunk again as I silently screamed my love for him.
I wanted to weep with joy, but I had no eyes... or did I?
"Wow," the neighbor said. "That's really an ancient cherry tree? It's only two feet tall." He leaned closer to me, letting him notice it first.
"Hey, should the blossoms be leaking sap like that? I'd swear it was crying..."
We did, by the way, live happily ever after. And I never doubted him again.