She dumped out the box and turned a deaf ear to the world.

One-by-one, she flipped over the jagged cardboard shapes to reveal tiny flowers in an array of colors: reds, oranges, pinks, and yellows.

Her palm flattened over the pile. Her fingers rooted for the edge pieces and corners.

She divided the colors into piles, and began with the flat-edged pieces.

One-by-one it came together. Hours passed as reflected in the ring of condensation at the base of her iced tea glass.

Sweeping her long, wispy bangs over her ear, she continued facing downward, away from the cruel world that pulled out pieces of her and shaped her edges into its own jagged prison walls.

As she laid the last snap down, she frowned, and not because it didn’t look like the picture on the front of the box. She frowned because she was back to where she started, in the empty room with no view.


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