She was in the garden

attending to her plants.

They were all the same flower-

color was the only difference.

Shades of purple, pink, white and yellow.

She had planted them because they were his favorite,

and he soon was at the gate, calling out her name.

Charisse! Charisse!

When he had caught her attention,

she turned her head and smiled.

Soon, they both had filled the space

between them and were in each other's embrace.

Alphonse, I've missed you.

I'm here, he replied.

The flowers framed their love,

A beautiful painting that the two shared.

Several months into their relationship

Alphonse had gotten a special gift for Charisse.

It was a beautiful box ring, with a picture of

the same flower that Charisse grew in her garden.

It was a lovely shade of purple-

and Charisse adored it more than anything.

So you can remember me, he said.

But how could I ever forget you?

More months had passed when

they were betrothed to one another-

and at such a young age.

She was seventeen and he was barely nineteen,

but with a love as strong as theirs-

what could go wrong?

Quickly, the engagement went sour.

Charisse found Alphonse winning the heart of another-

and the garden soon began to die.

It was over-run with weeds and bugs-

showing the heart of Charisse.

For she too was like the garden-

her soul was dying and her heart was dead.

She confronted her lover and they began to bicker.

The young, innocent love that they shared began to rot and fester.

Alphonse decided to end the quarrel once and for all

and left Charisse alone with her memories

of how and what they were.

The garden was still growing- just overcome by weeds-

and lacked the attention of a proper caretaker.

Charisse would sit in the center and stare blankly into the sky when she thought of a plan.

She went to the closest bush that could still

produce lovely blooms and took several pieces.

Into her house she went-

grinding the leaves and petals into a mortar and pestle.

Producing a large amount of dust,

she stored her labors into the ring Alphonse had given her.

Then she went off to find Alphonse—eager to make up.

He listened to her words and accepted her apology-

for he was always the nobler sort.

That night they dined together—a gift of forgiveness.

And when Alphonse was not looking,

Charisse had mixed in her powder to his food.

When he came back to sit down he smiled at her-

as she exchanged pleasantries he took a bite of food.

For a moment he was fine-

But then he said his head had begun to spin

and he had started to vomit onto the floor.

A sweat broke above his brow, noticed Charisse,

as Alphonse began to grab and clench at his chest

he looked to her.

You witch! You did this to me!

A smile formed from her lips as he convulsed on the floor

and screamed until there was nothing left of him.

She took his body and buried it in her garden.

As she looked at the spot she had laid her lover

realization of what she had done sank in.

Tears ran down her face as she screamed his name,

Alphonse! Alphonse!

But her shouts could not raise him from the grave.

So she did what she knew

and grabbed purple and white petals from the

nearest plant—shoving them into her mouth.

She cried and seized as she fell to the ground

her hazy, fading vision only allowed her to see one thing,

the garden of foxglove plants that she and Alphonse

had planted and grown together was now

completely dead and choked from the weeds of their sin.