Impending Bloom

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$55
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  • Scent Notes
    A quick burst of gasoline that dries down to gorgeous, sparkling florals: roses, peonies, freesia, lilac, and daisies.
  • Description
      “I just know it’s going to be bad, I can just tell!” Carol was sobbing, absolutely inconsolable. It was the night before her birthday. The week leading up to her birthday was always the worst week of the year for her. It never failed: every year since she could remember, the week leading up to her birthday brought total chaos and destruction. One year, when she turned nine, she broke her leg and was in a cast for months because she kept ignoring the doctor’s orders to, y’know, be a kid. Two years later, the week had been going suspiciously well. But sure enough, the day before her birthday, she broke her right arm during a softball tournament, and was out for the rest of the season. For her 21st birthday, she had a flu so bad she couldn’t leave her bed for over ten days, and by the time she was well enough to go to a bar, nobody really cared that it was her birthday anymore. When she turned 25, she got dumped by her long-term partner mid-karaoke-celebration when she thought they were going to propose. She didn’t remember the rest of that night. Last year, she’d gotten laid off from her dream job on her birthday with absolutely no warning. This year, however, things were going … just fine. It was her 30th birthday, which made her extremely nervous, but so far, nothing disastrous had happened. She had a new, supportive job, and a newish, supportive partner, and in the days leading up to her birthday, nothing horrible had happened. There had been minor annoyances, of course: bad commuting traffic, running out of dishwasher detergent and going to the store to find none available, her partner eating the leftovers she’d intended to eat for lunch. But nothing catastrophic, which made her fear of her actual birth day all the more intense. Carol was in bed, crying in the arms of her partner, Jack, who held her and listened as she made up wild, horrific scenarios and yelled them out into the universe. “What if I get laid off again?,” she asked through tears. “Babe, that’s not possible. Tomorrow is a Saturday; it’s 10:30 PM on a Friday night. You just got a bonus and a stellar annual review. Your job is secure.” “Okay, well, what if I get into a car accident?” Jack sighed and rubbed her back. “I suppose that’s possible, but we aren’t planning on driving anywhere tomorrow. We’re staying home, and walking to the bar down the block to meet friends for happy hour.” “Well what if all our FRIENDS get into accidents?” Carol wailed, throwing herself face-first into her pillow. “Well then we’ll go to happy hour by ourselves,” Jack said with a slight laugh. “Seriously, babe, you need to calm down. Nothing terrible is going to happen. I promise.” He continued to rub her back while she cried into the pillow, and eventually, Carol fell asleep. Jack turned off the lights and quietly left the room; he had a plan to enact. The next morning, Carol woke up with a face covered in mascara, smudged lipstick, and tears. Jack wasn’t sleeping next to her in bed. “Oh god, Jack left me. I knew it. I knew something terrible would happen. I drove him away with my tears and incessant idea that something bad would happen, and then I made that something bad happen!” She cried again for another minute, then got up to use the bathroom and wash her face. She had to face the day, the wreckage of the birthday she’d destroyed. Her phone was full of texts, social media posts, missed calls, and a general outpouring of birthday love, but she ignored it all to go make coffee and sit and feel sorry for herself. She’d cancel the happy hour, pour whiskey in her coffee, and stay in her robe and watch sad movies all day. Carol had already prepared herself for this dreadful birthday and was shocked to walk into the living room and find it full of flowers. Every surface was covered in bright bouquets of outrageously pink peonies (her favorite flower), plus lilacs, daisies, freesia, and very expensive-looking deep burgundy roses. Before she could fully recover, Jack walked into the room. “Happy birthday, love. I took your impending doom, and turned it into impending bloom. From now on, we’re going to try and think positively, okay?” All she could do was nod as he gingerly made his way over to her and kissed her. And then she was crying again.

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