It Starts with a Flower


mackenzie_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title It Starts with a Flower
Synopsis Upon meeting MacKenzie, Tamara give her flowers, along with a bit of cryptic advice.
Date August 13, 2008


MacKenzie is walking at a quick pace. At some point during the day a few of her braids have slipped free and now hang along the side of her face. Currently she is walking east in Roy Wilkens Park, near Linden Blvd. Nearby some children are playing noisily, kicking a soccer ball around, but MacKenzie keeps her eyes on what lies ahead.

An overenthusiastic kick sends the soccer ball bouncing towards MacKenzie's path, to the dismay of the children. Random adults and stray toys don't always mix well. Fortunately, it collides with someone else's feet first. Tamara looks down at the black and white ball, then over at the children, before kicking it back in their direction. She glances towards 'Kenzie, free hand brushing long blonde hair away from her face. Her other hand holds a shallow wicker basket with a few fresh flowers in it.

Though MacKenzie's pace is disturbed only momentarily, the soccer ball breaks her out of her rush hour trance, making the corners of her lips turn upward. She watches the ball roll over to Tamara and then takes a moment to appreciate the young woman who kicks it. Looking at the basket and up to Tamara's face, her smile grows to the point that the glowing whiteness of her teeth is visible.

Studied, the young woman tips her head to one side, overtly regarding MacKenzie in return. She seems to pick a flower at random from the basket, not even looking at it, holding out the red, many-petaled blossom to the dark-skinned woman. Tamara's own smile is less bold, but no less readily apparent. "This one liked you," she informs MacKenzie.

MacKenzie maintains her smile as she accepts the flower. She looks at it intently and, holding it not far from her nose, inhales deeply. Looking back at the younger woman, she says, "Thank you," and then asks, "How could you tell the flower liked me?"

The smile broadens, just a little bit. "I asked the shadows," she replies. "They talk a lot. Sometimes it was too much." Tamara turns to look down the path, then back over at MacKenzie. "You'd think they'd know when not to talk, but they're not very good at that." The girl shakes her head, blonde hair flying.

Without a hint of hesitation MacKenzie, who is still smiling, says to Tamara, "You know, there are a lot of people who don't know when to stop talking either, and I just tell them, 'I hope you like listening as much as you like talking, because I'm done with you.'" She punctuates this last bit by using her hand to make a sweeping motion, perhaps at someone she remembers or someone best forgotten. She then adds, "So don't be down, okay? When I get home, I'm going to put this beautiful flower in water and enjoy it all evening. You should enjoy the evening too."

The girl smiles again. "Yes," she agrees. To something; she doesn't specify which of the woman's remarks. Orienting herself on the path, Tamara begins walking - drifting, more like - in the way MacKenzie had been going. "Are you done already?" she asks, looking down the trail, her tone seeming a bit distracted. "It's only just getting started."

As there's still a lot of park ahead of her, MacKenzie doesn't find it especially odd that Tamara is walking in the same direction. But something can fail to be especially odd while still being odd. Walking again, she asks the other woman, "*What* is only just getting started?"

Tamara looks sidelong at MacKenzie, a few strands of unruly hair falling across her face. "What isn't?" she counters. "Every end begins; the new road replaces the old." She scuffs the sole of one sandal against the pavement. "Sometimes you never even knew it changed between steps." Is that a general 'you', or specific?

MacKenzie looks at the path in front of her and thinks for a moment. Perhaps feeling that the metaphor is a little too well-suited for the current walk, she looks back towards Tamara and asks, "Is there something significant that has changed just now?"

MacKenzie's question earns her a puzzled look from the girl. Quiet for a few moments, save for the sound of footsteps on pavement and the distant chatter of younger children, Tamara mulls over the thought. Head tilted, she eventually turns back to the woman. "You have a flower?"

MacKenzie says, "Only the one you" — there was the noticeable pause of realization, and then she said, "gave me." MacKenzie didn't dislike Tamara but was beginning to think she had the wrong sort of oddness. As the two approached the intersection of Linden and Farmers Blvd., she fell behind, hoping the teenager would continue to walk her own way before the older woman went south.

Unfortunately for MacKenzie, the teenager slows as she does, almost step for step. Seems she isn't quite finished with the woman. Tamara appears to study her from the corner of her eye, perhaps as if parsing the change in MacKenzie's mood. "You don't think it matters?" she finally asks.

MacKenzie raises an eyebrow and says, "The flower? Of course it matters. I was really happy when you gave it to me." She pulls her stray braids back and gives Tamara another smile while turning onto Farmers Blvd.

The girl echoes MacKenzie's smile, and while she shakes her head slightly, she doesn't explain why. She turns with the woman, perhaps stubborn, perhaps missing the subtle hints. Until, a few steps later, Tamara stops. She glances away briefly, then nods to MacKenzie.

MacKenzie 's smile turns into a frown. Has Tamara realized why the older woman's pace had slowed? Perhaps the teenager is more aware than MacKenzie has realized. That in turn means that she can be hurt, and hurting her is the last thing MacKenzie wants to do. So what to do now? It isn't just a matter of saving her face or saving Tamara's face — it is a matter of easing hurt. Even so, all she can think to ask is, "Do you have someplace you need to be?"

The girl tilts her head, considering MacKenzie. "Do you?" she asks after a few moments. "There were always places," Tamara continues. "As many as shadows. But not that many feet." She shrugs slightly, bringing the basket up to hold its rim with both hands. And to hold it out to MacKenzie. "I think you had to finish."

MacKenzie has stopped in her tracks at this point. No longer smiling but not frowning either, MacKenzie asks, "I need to finish what?" and, looking at the basket, "What do you want me to do?"

Leaning down, Tamara sets the basket on the pavement. "Hearing the surface wasn't always enough. Sometimes you needed the spaces in between." Advice that has nothing whatsoever to do with the flowers — probably. She smiles brightly at MacKenzie, and steps away.

MacKenzie looks down at the flowers and back up at Tamara. She then brings her left hand towards her heart and asks, "You don't expect me to hand out your flowers, do you?"

Tamara smiles, looking back over her shoulder. "They're your shadows, not mine." In other words, it's up to Kenzie. And she sets off down the street, heading the other way.

MacKenzie says, "I can't —", well, actually, she could, and she definitely couldn't just leave them on the pavement. "I could —", no, she couldn't sell them for charity — not after she'd been given one as a gift. Slowly she makes her way over to the basket, picks it up, and starts walking east, towards communities where life isn't as full of happiness as hers is at the moment. But first she takes one last look at the woman walking away from her and smiles.

August 12th: The Civella Recording
August 14th: The Threat of Peace
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