By Ashkan Jafarpisheh – May 2020

Lilie looked with sorrow at her one missing petal. Every day, no, every hour, every second and every tiny moment, this imperfection was like a thorn in her flesh which she was not able to heal.

O how she wished she was perfect and like all the other flowers! She could then freely live and be, giving out the marvelous scent that she knew she had in her heart.

But all this was trapped behind the missing petal. This one missing piece of her being, haunted her continually.

Lilie, from the prominent Rosaceae family, was actually a Rose.  She was named thus because her best friend, Lily, had passed away in the infamous Gorilla trampling incident.

Lilie was truly a thing of beauty to behold, tall and delicate, every small cell of her being was masterfully made. All her friends the flowers, the little blades of grass, the butterflies (which took turn sitting on her with an 8 month waiting list), the birds and even the animals loved and envied her.

A certain young girl also, when she came out playing in that part of the woods, unbeknownst to Lilie, would come and sit close by to enjoy the intoxicating scent this divine beauty painted the world around her with.

Everyone around Lilie, day after day, looked to her for life, warmth and kindness, but except her beautiful appearance and the wonderful fragrance, she never paid any attention to their needs.

At the heart of Lilie was a pain so great and an obsession so powerful, she was imprisoned in trying to resolve it.

On the back side of this majestic flower, there was a missing, and rather large petal. Lilie spent her days and nights obsessing over this blemish.

Unable to scrub this abominable fault from her being, she felt damaged, unloved and sick, which in turn hindered her ability to express herself in the world around because of the oppression of perfectionism.

The missing petal, which also happened in the Gorilla trampling catastrophe, was the root trauma of this beautiful child of the light.

***

On that nightmarish day, Lilie and her friend Lily were enjoying one another’s love and fragrance. Like two star-crossed lovers, they sang and even did little silly dance moves.

Lily, from the prominent Liliaceae family, had the most mind-blowing, perfectly shaped face and body Lilie, the Rose, had seen. With delicate petals and gorgeous and tall body and a maddening fragrance, the universe danced and rejoiced around her.

Lily also felt the same about Lilie and day after day, these two beautiful beings reflected one another’s heart, enjoying the other’s presence.

They made no demands on one another; Lily did not ask Lilie to smell better and Lilie did not ask her friend to be taller.

The day of the incident, on a prefect morning, all was as had always been and the two flowers were in a deep surrendered and relaxed state. Two orange and black butterflies, a mother and daughter from the prominent Monarch family, were enjoying their turn pollinating the famous couple (back then they only registered as a pair!)

“Thump, Thump, Thump…”

“You hear that Rosie?!”

“What’s that Lily? I am distracted enjoying your perfect fragrance!”

“Stop joking silly, I am serious!” Said Lily who was blushing but also a bit concerned about the vibration.

And this moment, the slow rumble of the incoming nightmare, had become Lilie’s trigger.

The offending Gorilla, who was a young male, had defied the village elder’s orders by coming to the flower-heavy areas of the forest, resulting in the death of 34 flowers, 2 cockroaches, 1 lizard and 454 blades of grass. Alongside the horrific death rate, the rebellious Gorilla had also maimed and disfigured countless others. 

The Gorilla was sentenced to 7 years solitary confinement to one tree and 25-year ban on mating.

Lilie replayed these few minutes in her head repeatedly. You see, ever since the incident, she had not been able to fully relax and let go. The missing petal was like a stamp of the universe, telling her that “if you reach the same place, if you rest and be vulnerable completely, in that unguarded moment, I will come and penetrate your core with pain.” 

So Lilie’s obsession with the petal was not unfounded. Much pain and sorrow was in her heart. The worst of all for her was the sense of being so deeply robbed and damaged.

“If only I had talked to her more…”

“Maybe it should have been me…”

“Maybe I could have bent forward, pushing her out of the way…”

On and on, Lilie, trapped in this vicious and repetitive torment, saw the days and months go by, unable to forget and unable to let go.

How deep her pain was and how extensive the robbery, not only of her own beauty but also of what was, what could have been and what will be.

***

At the edge of dawn, which was breathtaking, the vibrant jungle of living noises filled the forest. The birds were praising the universe and just being happy as always; bees, frogs, trees and all living beings, each in their own place, were peacefully co-existing.

The gentle dew was restfully sitting all around Lilie on the blades of grass, on the leaves of the tree of the forest and on her beautiful and perfect friends.

As she opened her eyes, her heart sank by the realization of her missing petal and a profound sadness rested on her soul like the dew of dawn. Stretching herself towards the sky, she lifted her hands and face to the sun for only a brief moment, before slouching back down.

There was a large Kapok tree many of these living creatures, including some of the smaller trees, playfully lived under. This tree was a kind and wise being, affectionately called Uncle Sam, who made everyone feel comfortable and loved around him.

“Good morning Lilie!”

“Hey…”

“It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?!”

Uncle Sam was trying to cheer Lilie up, as he had done so diligently every day since the incident.  Unfortunately, since he was rather large and not a good actor, these attempts came out a bit awkward and obvious, which made them all the more heart-wrenchingly adorable. 

Lilie, looking down on the ground, ignored Uncle Sam’s love and ignored the butterflies that were snooping around to see if she was in a playful mood. 

Sunken and hurt, the beautiful Rose was trapped in the repetitive nightmare of her trauma. Unable to forgive, unable to fully remember, and unable to forget, chained to her past, Lilie grew older and unbeknownst to her more and more beautiful by the day.

And like water, which washes over a rock gently over time, the forest tried to surround Lilie with her love.

Even the elder Gorilla, carefully, with the aid of a lizard to avoid further trampling incidents, had come by a few times issuing long and very professional written apologies. 

Of all those hurt and wounded in this incident Lilie was the only one who had been hurt the most, the scar forever leaving a mark of impending doom, signaling other such moments of pain coming her way.

***

The gorgeous and beautiful Lilie, tall and perfect, obsessing over the one missing petal and her friend, saw time slip past by.

Another thing that slipped by every day was a black and white King Cobra by the name of Luce. You see, most of the other plants and living creatures would sense a sickening “yikes” in the pit of their stomach when he showed up. Something about Luce just was not right, even though he acted with perfect performance and always tried to be nice and pleasing to everyone.

But Lilie did not resist this despicable being.

One day the sound of crunching and cracking of little twigs from not too far way let Lilie know her friend Luce had arrived. The black and white snake slowly approached with muffled hissing, his tongue going in and out. The look in his eyes demonstrated strength, resolve and extreme intelligence. 

Unlike the other living beings in the forest, who tried to cover Lilie with their love, Luce fed her sadness over her imperfection.

“Another sad day today, Lilie?! How unfair the universe had been to you my love, if only you had not been hurt thus and now forever turned ugly.”

“Oh Luce, how I missed you! You are the only one who truly understands my pain.” Luce was now twisting himself on the ground around Lilie with a hissing sound, looking very agreeable and compassionate.

“You know Lilie, I have been thinking a lot about you. The other thing you have to worry about is old age. Age will cause the remaining petals to fall too. I could be like the others and try to deceive you with flowery words and the illusion of goodness, but you know that I speak to you the truth, right?”

And diligently and patiently the snake implanted such thoughts in Lilie, never allowing her to fully heal and relax, feeding himself on her sorrow.

***

As time went by, the wise tree stopped talking to Lilie and all the butterflies and blades of grass forgot about her.

Now old and ugly, with only one petal, Lilie sat alone. Luce, her only friend, approached her stealthily, his creepy vibes announcing his presence way before drawing near.

“Another sad day today, Lilie?!”

“I lost another petal yesterday, as you predicted Luce. Now only this one remains…”

The eyes of the King Cobra all of a sudden gained a revelatory spark and flash of power. At lightning speed, he approached Lilie and he touched her stalk as he twisted himself in a tightening motion around her body.

“What are you doing, Luce?!” A sudden burst of panic shook Lilie’s heart. The wise Kopek tree was looking away.

Luce gracefully started to twist himself up her stalk. One of Lilie’s thorns tore up the snake’s skin near one of the white spots, and drops of blood started to flow downward on her body, sliding with a sick slow motion to the earth beneath.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING LUCE?! YOU ARE HURTING ME!!”

Luce did not say a word as he kept twisting himself. Now wrapped up around her, looking from above, his black eyes peered into Lilie’s soul with a perverted and malevolent smile.

Lilie, sad and old, forgotten and defeated, saw the curtain of deceit lifted up. Now fully robbed of every day of her life, as was the snake’s plan, she gazed up with horror as the cobra readied himself to destroy the one remaining petal, and kill this miserable creature.

The End

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