from Wild Thoughts: A Floral Guide to Feeling by Garrett Huon

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She’s waiting on the couch while her friend paces in front of her, arms waving like a bird’s. Except she’s not trying to fly. It’s more like she’s swatting at the boy who started all this in first place. The pale, lanky kid with a buzz cut who didn’t know when to keep his mouth shut, who talked over her, disregarded her opinions, wouldn’t let her speak.

She understands perfectly well, has had it happen to her enough times to catalogue an entire calendar year, but her go-to reaction is to take an extra-long nap. She’s never had the energy to be as blazing mad as her friend is now. The friend groaning and moaning and yelling at the ceiling. She won’t sit down, too full of energy and adrenaline. Full of a righteous fury that needs to be let out.

Nodding from her spot on the couch, she agrees with everything being said. How annoying this boy is, how entitled. How the professor said nothing, did nothing, to put him in his place or help her. How doomed the world is if one college classroom won’t change. There is amazement in her eyes as the fire burns bright orange and red with waves of heat radiating from it. Her friend is glowing in their little apartment. She absorbs every bit of energy and soaks it into her skin as if they are UV rays from the sun.

Then the pacing dies down. The tirade turns into a trickle of deep breaths, like she’s run a marathon and hasn’t been breathing the entire time. After one final huff, she falls onto the couch, limbs flying everywhere.

She nudges her friend with her foot and smiles. This isn’t the first time this has happened. It will be far from the last. But that’s why she’s here. She’s happy to do it.