52.

There was a hole in the wall, and Sacha dropped the gun. There was only one bullet, and he fired it through the wall, and he was alive, he was alive, he was alive.

But the Garden mourned the loss of its only life, the sunflower browning and rotting and becoming no more distinct than soil.


53.

Jason faded in Sacha's eyes, and Sacha faded in Jason's, but sometimes they couldn't help a look.

Sacha wondered if Jason was happy.

Jason wondered if Sacha was happy.

But nothing more ever occurred.


54.

Karen and Sacha's last peer counseling session was in early June- Karen sat stiffly in her chair while Sacha fiddled with the hem of his orange mini-skirt.

"Sacha…"

"Karen. I just, I'm so, I can't even…" His words were never formed coherently, because Karen sighed heavily, cutting him off.

"I forgive you. I still want to be friends; you're a good person." She smiled weakly.

Sacha parroted her countenance, and then they both laughed and laughed. Not because it was funny; no, because relief felt free.


55.

Karen and Sacha were sitting in an outdoor café. It was late summertime, and they were dressed in sandals and shorts to match the warm weather. Karen was drinking a vanilla cappuccino, and Sacha sipped an iced chai.

"You know, that guy's pretty cute," she pointed to a waiter a few tables away, and Sacha made a mock gagging noise.

"You have old lady taste."

And they laughed, because it was funny.

The Garden never grew another sunflower, but it did grow. It grew and grew and grew until it was a jungle of rarities and beautiful things, prosperous on its own accord.


Author's Note- Hope you liked the changes.