“What does it mean?” he asked with an honest, innocent curiosity.
Her smile from just moments before, when he had initially handed over the pristine, white lily, faltered. “Uh…What?” she asked, confused.
“What does it mean to you?” He looked down at the flower like it, too, might know the answer. “They’re pretty, I guess, but…they’re useless. Meaningless. Why is it so much more romantic if I give you a flower than, I dunno, a sweater or a something?”
She furrowed her brows, feeling like maybe this entire conversation should annoy her, but was too puzzled to act on that irritation. “I don’t know,” she answered sincerely. “Maybe because they’re beautiful and meaningless…? Maybe because…because flowers, like gemstones, are somewhat difficult to acquire, gorgeous things that…that symbolize something else. Like, if you’re able to buy a dozen roses, you could provide anything. If you can buy a diamond, you could obviously, easily provide…whatever.”
She hadn’t even realized the harsh truth of what she was saying until the words had left her mouth. The lily in her hands suddenly seemed tainted and dark.
“…It’s meaningless,” he said, his voice hollow.
“I know,” she responded, equally empty.
She dropped the flower behind her when she walked away from him, wondering when and if real love would ever find her.