Deep within an enchanted forest laden with spring flowers, a young man hesitantly strolled about. He took great care to avoid stepping on a single plant. Every life was meaningful to him, from the smallest clover to the greatest bear. He had needed a breath of fresh air, an opportunity to escape the burdens that plagued him in day to day life. Perhaps, out here in a serene forest meadow, he would soon remember what true beauty is.
At the corner of his vision he saw a small pink bud. It was so tiny and dull in comparison to the other flowers, its petals muted and lacking an intriguing shape. He was unable to resist making his way to the child. Crouching next to it, he found within himself the odd urge to speak to the wilting blossom before him. This perplexed him, while he would avoid stepping on flowers, wasn't speaking to a plant the mark of a madman?
"H-hello there.." He murmured softly. The young man was aware of how strange he would look in the event somebody passed by, so he kept his voice low and kept the movement of his lips nearly hidden.
"You're rather different than the other flowers, aren't you?" The man said. He continued speaking to the plant, each sentence turning into five more.
Before the man knew it, the sun was clutching the edge of the earth while the moon struggled to rise above. He found himself saying goodbye to the flower as if it was a fellow person, it felt almost like speaking to a child.
The man continued like this day after day, speaking to the flower and plucking weeds to keep it alive. Some days he would feel bold enough to even touch the small flower, running a finger along it's petals like the gentle touch of a father. No matter what harsh realities he had to face in the morning, he would end the day feeling content and at peace. If he was able to help this one little life bloom, then his life was still meaningful.
Over time the flower's color seemed to ripen and the bulb seemed to grow larger. The season shifted from spring, to summer, and eventually even fall passed. It was only when icy crystals began to form, and a simple tunic was swapped for a woolen coat that the flower showed signs of blossoming. The young man was jubilant when he arrived to see a single petal of the flower starting to peel open.
For every day after that first petal, one more would open. Little by little the fruit of his efforts finally arrived.
When only four petals remained, the man stayed through the night with his little flower. As the first rays of sunlight streamed down, something caught drew his drifting gaze back to the blossom, waking him from his sleepy daze.
"Oh! What are you?" He softly exclaimed. A pair of small hands seemed to be pushing a petal from inside the flower. It pushed down the petal facing away from him first, soon followed by the petals on the side, and finally the little creature revealed itself to him when it lowered the final petal.
Standing atop the flower was a tiny young girl with wings such as a butterfly. She captivated the man in a content silence. When he looked upon the fairy he was filled with the same quiet joy and pride he felt while taking care of the flower. In that moment he knew that he had not truly been taking care of the flower, but that he had been raising her. She had borne witness to each word he had spoken, and had reassured him with a power beyond his comprehension.
Just as a flower only blooms for a sweet moment, so too did the fairy need to leave once again. The girl landed on his open hands. Where she touched felt lighter and healed from a life of hard labor. She stared into the man's eyes for a few seconds, before turning and flying away, leaving just the flower in her place.
The young man was not saddened by this, instead he smiled to himself. They had helped each other through the darkest of times. He believed one day she would return again, and until that day, he would continue to take care of the blossom.