“So this is the garden.” His words seem to be a mix between amusement and despair. We step inside the garden area, partitioned off by a small, waist-high fence and gate system, and I look around a moment, slowly as if to make sure my eyes are not deceiving me. Everything is dropping, dying from being watered too much. It’s a shame because I’m sure it would be beautiful if this place wasn’t drowned in water. The thought brings a wry smile to me lips, since water is my thing and I can tell when there’s just too much of the stuff.
“Mom is terrible with the plants but the gardener quit about a month ago. She just waters and waters again, I wish it could be prettier, usually it’s gorgeous and you just want to sit back there and enjoy it but now, well it’s in this state.” He motions towards a metal bench at the far end of the little garden area, a rustic sort of arch above it with dying plants hanging from it.
Agni looks at me a moment and I know what question he’s asking without really opening his mouth to ask it since we’re not supposed to discuss our gifts with Cyrille yet, if ever. I look the garden over a moment and I can only nod. I walk away from the pair, just letting my fingers brush over pots, trying to carefully pull the extra water out of it so it might have a chance.
“Mira is great with plants, I bet we could come about at least once a week to check in on the plants to see how they’re doing.” Agni grins while Cyrille seems to consider this offer. We already see one another every weekend as it is, or at least we’ve done so since we’ve met so far.
He tilts his head to the side somewhat. “Well I don’t want to take your weekends away from you and it’s a fair distance off, maybe we could work out a night a week where you could maybe come and sleep over. You look in on the plants then and we all head in to work the following morning. I think Wednesdays would be good. I work not far from the library and I know you guys have to be there at a certain hour, it could be worked out.”
I look back to Agni a moment, considering the offer. It could work out, I know. We’d have to ask Eoghan though, just to be sure. In the long run, we’re still underage and he’s still our legal guardian so he does have to know where we’re at and we wouldn’t want him to worry about it. “We’ll talk it over with Eoghan though I’m sure he’d agree to the idea, so long as it didn’t get in the way of the work we do. It could be neat, really.”
I move toward the bench and archway, crouching down next to the ground where the vines, or at least I think they’re vines, are planted. These, unlike the potted plants, are dry, it’s as if Cyrille’s mother watered on the way and then got tired of the whole thing and didn’t finish her rounds. Or maybe she thought that since it was in the ground and not potted, that it could be just fine without any care. Obviously that’s not the case. I rest my hand against the ground, giving to the vine some of the water it hasn’t had since the gardener has left.
“This place could be beautiful with the right care, I think I could manage it. Of course, it’s nothing like Yael’s garden but that’s something else altogether.”
“We should totally show him Yael’s garden when he visits next.”
“Well, we’ll have to ask Yael first if he’d let us. You don’t have an issue with cats, do you?” I look up to Cyrille as I come back closer to them and he blinks before shaking his head.
“We have Ophé because she’s big and she’s easy to keep track of, I honestly wanted cats while I was growing up but we’ve always had dogs.” He shrugs and chuckles. I nod, that mostly settles that. Of course we’ll ask Yael when we get home if we can visit the garden but I don’t think he’ll mind.
“I’ve been over though and I haven’t seen a garden anywhere in the yard, yours or the neighbours though.”
It’s Agni’s turn to laugh, the grin bright on his face. “That’s because his garden is indoor, I don’t know if you’ve noticed that the top two floors of their building is all glass.”
“I have noticed that, I wondered about it a bit.”
“It’s huge and it has so many things, like fruit trees and rose bushes and vegetables. If Yael agrees to it, we’ll visit up there. They have seven cats though they’re not allowed in the garden itself but I figure it’s best you know about that now so you’re not surprised. Two of them are Bengals, they’re big and they’re balls of energy.”
I look at the vine a bit, a slight smile finding my lips as I notice that it seems to appreciate the water I’ve given it. It’s minute, the change, the details but I can tell already, maybe because I feel sort of attuned to the plants. Maybe we could convince Yael to come here just once, he’s the one with the magic touch when it comes to plants, he could do miracles.
Standing, I stretch and yawn, rubbing my eyes lightly. It’s not that it’s late in the day but my lack of proper sleep last night is catching up to me. Maybe I could snag a bit of rest here before we get much of anything else done, I’m sure Agni wouldn’t mind and I doubt Cyrille would mind either but this isn’t home so I don’t know how well I’d sleep.
I shake it off as I walk back to them and we step back out of the garden. It really is a shame that something that could be so beautiful is dying at this point. I get that the gardener’s gone and all though I don’t see the point to hiring someone to take care of something that could be seen to by the folks living in the house itself but that’s just part of how I grew up, I guess.
If I can’t take care of it, why have it at all, really?
“You think Yael would agree to letting us show him the garden?” Agni’s voice is thoughtful as we walk the short distance from the bus stop back to our home. I shrug lightly, looking up to the slowly darkening sky. We could have slept over, I’m sure but we thought it best to come back home for the night since we hadn’t told anyone that we might be staying over since it was an idea that had just cropped up. We didn’t have anything to wear either so it helped in the decision to come back.
“Pretty sure he wouldn’t mind. I was more thinking along the lines that we could see about maybe trying to get him to come to the garden and see what he could do or at least tell me so I know what else I might need to do, else than make sure they’re not drowned. These poor plants, it was a sad sight.”
“Bet that in a week or two more, it’ll all be fine.”
“Yeah, but before too long, summer will be over and autumn will be in and it won’t have done a whole lot of good.”
“Think about it this way, next year you can make sure everything flowers beautifully all over again.” It’s warming to think that he believes we’ll still all be friends by then. I’d really love for that to happen though I’m not holding my breath. Still, we never know.