Garden of the Past

Buster walked along. The path was littered. Dry leaves cracked under his feet. Plastic crunched. He sighed. He didn't expect this.

Buster was 30. He was back in Elwood City on business. He needed his documents. He was buying a house. He was getting married. He was moving across the country. He probably wouldn't come back. It happened so fast. He was an adult now. It was strange.

The garden was his childhood. He worked it through school. People looked up to him. He saved plants. He saved hungry families. He was an icon. He'd fulfilled his duty well.

College sent him away. He went to Nebraska. They treated him well. It took 6 years to graduate. He didn't mind. Nebraska was home now. Elwood City was something from the past. It meant little to him. His mom meant something. His friends meant something. The city did not.

But the garden did. He eyed the death. Overgrown weeds and dead blooms burned his eyes. It was sickening. The next generation didn't care enough. They used too much fertilizer. They forwent bug spray. The garden died. It was a plot of land now. It was unwanted. Buster knew it wouldn't last. It was prime real estate. Something else would move in. His garden would be buried. He wondered if there would be a funeral.

Someone whistled. Buster looked up. Mrs. MacGrady was there. She waved him over. She handed him a jar. There were preserved inside. The date was familiar. It was from the last bounty. Buster smiled.

"I thought you'd want something to remember it by. Sorry it fell apart, but that happens. Just remember the good parts, and remember it can be done again," she winked. The wink meant something. She wanted him back. She loved his work. She always had.

But Buster had to go. He had a life to live. Someone else could do it for him. If they didn't, it was their loss. Gardens were special. How dare they not know that. It was beyond his range. He had a fiancé to care for. He had a life to prune. Nebraska was his garden. He had to go back. So he did, and he never looked back.

-end

a-n: theme 151: garden. theme from darkangelsnapelover's infinite theme list challenge. talk to her for details.

piece for my "slice of life" collab series. there are more. see community "Arthur collabs" and dA group "Arthur-collabs" for other pieces.