The boy gazed in disbelief.
It looked like an ordinary houseplant, rather nondescript. It wasn’t very large; its leaves seemed slightly wilted, its soil wan and dry. The boy stared, shocked.
Had he imagined it? The plant had spoken to him, hadn’t it? Not in a human voice, but one the boy heard clearly in his head. He felt certain it had come from the plant, for the voice was decidedly distinct from his own.
You are correct. It is I. Without warning the voice presented itself again.
So not only could this silent creature implant its own thoughts into the boy’s head. It could also read his!
The boy swallowed hard. His eyes bulged. “What is going on?” he asked out loud.
I wanted you to know …
That I am here. I exist. And we … we plants … can hear you. We know what you are. We understand much more than you realize.
The boy’s mouth was dry, his heart racing. “Go on … “
For example, I know that your parents don’t pay enough attention to you. And I know that makes you sad. You feel powerless to make any change in your environment …
The boy was astonished.
I understand that. There are things in my world I wish I could change that I cannot.
It would be helpful if my container were rotated sometimes. And I really need to be watered much more often.
“She doesn’t water you very often, does she?”
She rarely waters me at all.
“Wh – – What will happen to you if you don’t get more water?”
Well, I will die eventually.
“Doesn’t it bother you?”
Of course. But there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s like you …
“What about me?”
You can’t do anything to make your mother love you the way you want to be loved.
The boy began to feel irritated. What was this stupid houseplant doing to him! It was just a stupid, lifeless THING!
Stupid? Lifeless? Really? Can you produce your own food using the sun? Can you produce oxygen?
The boy was on the verge of swatting at the thing. He would shatter it, trample it … anything to shut it up! But he stopped short of physical contact.
As I said, we understand a lot of things …
“Why are you telling me this?!” he fumed.
Somebody needs to hear it, and … well … you’re here.
“Needs to hear what?!”
A lot of us are hurting. We need help.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I don’t take care of the plants in this house! My mother is supposed to do that. And if she doesn’t, that’s not my problem! And you … What do I care!”
I didn’t mean to upset you. As I said, I know how frustrating it can be to be out of control.
“So you want me to give you a drink of water, is that it? What could you POSSIBLY do for me!”
The plant didn’t respond.
“See! I knew it! You CAN’T help me!”
I am here to listen.
The boy said nothing.
I can sympathize. I know what it’s like to feel alone.
The boy breathed. Oxygen. “How much water do you want?”
A cup would be nice. I’m pretty thirsty.