Seeing them in the early morning when he was half asleep, it almost felt like it was his flat that was the wrong size.
He glanced out at the balcony. The sunflowers were bobbing their heads in the slight breeze. They looked absolutely ridiculous out there, far too large for the 2 foot by 5 foot concrete box. Seeing them in the early morning when he was half asleep, it almost felt like it was his flat that was the wrong size. Like it had shrunk, so that flowers towered over the rooftops. Jessie, with her best worldly wise look, would tell him that was how insects felt. Just like she’d looked when she’d informed him that putting the seeds from her breakfast cereal in empty soup tins full of soil would produce a garden for him. She’d insisted, no matter how many times he’d told her that the seeds were roasted beyond any hope of germinating. And there they were, nodding their shaggy heads in the sunshine.
He set down his coffee mug and stood. He needed to get to work. But part of him just wanted to watch those flowers as they turned to follow the sun: turned so slowly over the course of the day that you’d have to watch them for hours on end to see them do it. He wasn’t sure, even then, he would be able to swear that he’d seen it happen. Would they last until Jessie came for another weekend? He doubted it. He must remember to gather the seeds so that they could try again. She’d probably have lost interest by the time it was the season for them again (did sunflowers have seasons?). She’d be off chasing some new miracle of nature or science, glancing over her shoulder occasionally, bemused as to why her old dad wasn’t keeping up. She’d probably have shot up a few more inches as well; would Danielle remember to take her shopping for new jeans, not just school uniform?
Jessie was nothing like the sunflowers: she moved so fast. And yet, he wasn’t sure he could ever swear that he’d seen her do it either. Particularly not now he only got to see her for those few, precious weekends. He nodded back at the sunflowers, sighed and turned away.