Hibiscus

Little rivers of red trickled down her fingertips making tiny limpid pools on the stainless marble floor. She at once grimaced and marveled at the stark contrast of the brilliant red against the white.

Her mind raced to the night before, she had eavesdropped once again. And tonight, was finally the culmination of several years of quiet forbearance. She had seen the two disappear amidst the revelry. What had gone unnoticed by everyone remained unescaped to her envying eyes.

Her eyes had traced their every move, that innocuous touch, that ever so slight lingering look that stayed awhile longer than it should have and that knowing smile that only passes between two secret lovers. The anger consumed her from within and outside.

Tonight, she unbraided her hair, removing the hibiscus that adorned the long black tresses. She let the drooping flower fall into the vase, which overflowed with her collection.

The moment had come, she realized. Muffled noises from outside momentarily distracted her. Steadying herself, she emptied the vase and smashed it against the wall. Unfaltering she grabbed the black stone pestle and crushed with all her might and her anger. Rivers of red poured from all sides.

The crushed hibiscus colored her red. She saw him walk toward her. She was no longer the imagined concubine – the hibiscus released her from the whiteness of her widowhood. The little drips of red collected at their feet.

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