The Scent of Surprise

The Scent of Surprise

She smells what can only be described as freshly cut flowers. Bending down to take a small whiff of the freshness she immediately recognizes the error between what she thought and what is truth. Who, she wonders, can correctly distinguish between varieties of flowers purely through smell? Probably more than she assumes but also perhaps fewer than the average person would believe. Roses, freesias, lavender, they are the only distinct scents she can think of in the moment, but then she wonders again, is lavender a flower or an herb? What’s the difference? What do tulips smell like? Do geraniums have an aroma? Where is the scent of a flower located? Is it different for every type or among types?

In this moment, right now, however, she feels disappointed in the faux-flower bouquet pretending to be alive and lively. It tricked her this time, but one of these bouquets or plants is, or must be alive, determining which one, nevertheless, will require a search with her nose for which she lacks the time at present. She decides to take a sniff of just one more bouquet of chaotically arranged light green buttercups. She closes her eyes to concentrate of her sense of smell. As she lowers her face into the shy, reserved rounds of nested petals, layer after layer of the petals slowly begins to expand, grow large. By the time she realizes what is happening, the bouquet has nearly engulfed her within its blooms. Overcome with a feeling of excitement, she leans back comfortably and takes it all in, accompanied by the feeling of childhood playtime within which environments always seem oversized and enormous. She laughs. The size now of a large bed of the canopy bed-frame style, she rolls around in delight. And then, a question slowly crosses her mind. Where’s the scent, the aromatic quality that should, assumedly, be overwhelming her. She takes a deep breath in and searches for the slightest hint of … of … something … anything. Nothing. She feels disappointed all over again. Rolling onto her back, she folds her arms behind her head and looks up out through the slivers and cracks where the petals meet high above her and closes her eyes.

She hears the familiar mumblings of people chatting. One of the petals folds out away from her to form a sort of slide. She crawls toward it into the brightly lighted room within which the bouquet must still reside. A head pops into view through the opening, “Hey! There you are!” “Yea. Hey,” she unenthusiastically responds. “We were afraid you got lost somewhere in the house,” the friendly face admits. She laughs a small laugh, “No, not lost, per se.” “Well, you gonna stay in there all day?” the person accompanying the friendly face asks. “Uh, yea, of course” she chuckles in an attempt at sarcasm. “Oh,” the friendly face states, unsurprised; “Well, we can come back for you in a bit if that’s what you’d prefer?” The three take short glances at each other to consider their options. She has already decided that she wants to but feels the pull of politeness. “No, it’s fine,” she states with a wave of her hand; “I’ll come out now.” “You sure? I mean, we get it if you wanna chill out for a while longer,” the accompanying person offers. “Yea,” the friendly face agrees. She rolls back from her knees into a seated position. “Seriously,” the friendly face consoles; “We get it.” She smiles, “Alright. Thanks.” “No probs,” the friendly face states reassuringly; “We’ll be back later.” “Okay. Thanks,” she thanks.

The slide-type petal begins to close. “Have fun in there,” the accompanying person shouts. “But not too much fun!” the friendly face adds as the two laugh between themselves. “Will do!” she shouts aloud just as the petal closes her in once more. She looks around, content, satisfied. Then slowly, she leans back and takes another attempt at sniffing for a scent.