I was abused.
A two-year-old plucked all the leaves from my stems. I felt naked. Lost hope. Forgave his ignorant wonder. His guardian should have watched the devilment. Shearing brought regrowth. Shiny segmented leaves with tips of red. So fine.
I sat in the open air enjoying angled sunbeams. Alive. Warmed, but never burned by pointed rays. Anticipating ornate blooms that would cloth me in a red robe.
Then, a visitor came and sat beside me. A smoker who did not admire my shiny new leaves or value my life. A smoker who dissed my hopes. I was a surrogate for my guardian. Surrogate for an ashtray. A blinded smoker who could not see that I was a Christmas cactus. How would nicotine affect my future? My red robe? Perhaps nicotine had been depleted in that smoker’s lungs.
Finally, I was rescued. We’re a tough breed. I bloomed.