I opened my eyes and pulled away. Cole Porter had it right when he said they were the wrong lips. These were not his lips, the lips I wanted on mine.
“I’m sorry,” I said before running into the woods. I didn’t turn and he didn’t follow. I collapsed in the underbrush, uncaring if I was pricked by the plants. I deserved the discomfort. I cried. Frustration I had bottled up for years poured out of me. Firm hands pressed on my head. I leaned into the scent of flowers and home, digging my fingers into the fabric that gathered in front of me.
When I was empty, I looked up at Marian. Her smile glowed. She smoothed my hair. Our eyes met. She pressed a finger to her lips before pointing to the ground. I followed her direction. A small plant sat nearby buried in the foliage. The spear shaped leaves and the center stalk that often had reminded me of a stretched pineapple.
With delight, I propelled my body forward. Marian disappeared. Plantain would have stopped my bleeding. It may be too late for that but I had what I needed for next time. That plant lead to the abundance before me. Carefully picking, I collected the leaves, at first in my hands and then in my shirt.
Once I was loaded up, I rushed to the kitchen. My mind raced with what I should do to preserve them. Perhaps I could borrow some oil from Rose. While this looked like a lot in my shirt, once pounded down it would only need a cup or two of oil.
I dumped my collection into the colander Jane had set into the sink for me. Aside from that assistance, the women barely registered my appearance in the kitchen. They worked in silence as I washed the leaves. As the water did it’s work, I asked about oil. Rose pointed towards the pantry. Sophie looked up at me, the smile on her face twinkled in her eyes. I smiled back at her.
I returned to the sink and turned off the water. I was about to ask for a container when yelling from the back yard caught my attention.