After all, they’d been alone before, on what the “Others” called “weekends.” And sometimes they were alone for a longer time when a particular Other went away on something called a “Vacation.”
But they’d never been left for this amount of time. And they’d never been all together in one large room.
So for the first week, each one just settled into her soil, allowed her roots to adjust, her leaves to find the sun, her ‘being’ to release the oxygen.
Before, their language had been necessary – between fern and fiddle-leaf fig, philodendron and Phaius orchid. The two-legged Others prattled in their singsongy guttural sounds while the plants twittered amongst themselves, happy that no two-legged fathomed their soft-as-air conversations.
But it didn’t matter now. They were alone. No two-leggeds pranced back and forth from room to room, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pothos shushed her, “Why are you asking an existential question now, when times are so askew?”
Vera replied, “I think Kentia means literally, why are we here? Why aren’t we on our desks in our office abode? Why are we trapped all together?”
Baby Areca began to cry: “When do we get watered? I’m thirsty!”
Ficus spread her branches a little wider and touched Baby Areca’s leaves. “Hush. They will not forget us.”
Another week went by. The soil of each plant grew drier. The roots stretched their hair cells throughout the soil. The sun became essential for continued life.
“Hush, don’t use up your water,” Lily entreated. “We’re autotrophs. We don’t need them.”
But slowly, the plant orphans realized that they did need the Others, just like the Others needed them. For the oxygen of love and care. To quench the thirst of loneliness and isolation.
“They’ll be back soon,” Lily assured herself, and her companions. “They won’t leave us forever.”