You always loved chrysanthemums.
You weren't sure why. You hated flowers, but there was something special about the colorless mums.
In every house you'd lived in (there were several--you moved frequently as a child) you'd have a pot of them. You took great care of the flowers.
Almost to the point that you neglected your own well-being.
The little things took over your life. You spent all your time locked in your well-lit room tending to your ever-growing garden of pots. Last I remember, you pale and thin, resembling the mums.
They even became part of your outfit.
You began to wear them every day after I left. You'd come and visit me daily, and every time you had those ghostly blossoms woven into your braids. I began to worry. Was it my fault?
I remember how you used to lay them over me.
You always brought a bouquet of them with you when you visited me. You'd place them in the glass vase beside my stone and lay one from your hair on the grass.
I hate to say it, but it disgusted me.
They had a sort of morbid beauty, sure, and I appreciated the gesture, yes, but that's not to say I wasn't relieved when you stopped bringing them a week and a half ago.
This relief was short lasted.
Instead, you brought photographs. Pictures not of your favorite flower but of legs, arms, and torsos that were not your own tattooed with the image of the loathsome blossom outlined in white ink.
"Aren't they beautiful?" you asked. "Did them myself!"
Your dark eyes lit up as you showed off your handiwork. You had become a tattoo artist. "Wait for me. I'll be back with a huge surprise." You smiled your crooked smile as you said these words.
As you skipped away, a jar fell from your bag.
It was filled to the brim with a translucent white liquid and a few small flowers suspended in it. They were too small to be mums, no. They were your second favorite:
A large crowd moved in yesterday.
Each of them had your sick art scrawled on various parts of their skin. You came to visit that day. "I brought company!" you cheered. "You seemed lonely." "Hardly," I thought.
The most peculiar thing was:
You came alone. I saw no one step from the car with you. What had you done? I noticed that the jar was empty today. What did you do with the poison?
The hearse returned today, late afternoon.
You came with it. In it, rather.
As you rushed to embrace me for the first time in a decade,
I noticed something emblazoned on your left wrist.
The outline of that hideous flower, half-finished.
"I'm home," you said.