A Forgotten Dream – by Austin Blake (High School)

People told Jacob to stop and smell the roses. He never did. He didn’t have time. He was busy – oh, so very busy – running everywhere, delivering this to there and that to so-and-so. He had orders, and he had to follow his orders. He couldn’t take time for a few flowers.
He often wished he could. Could stop to smell any lily or daffodil he came across. Flowers looked very pretty whenever he saw them (while slowing down to make a sharp turn, or wading through a crowded sidewalk; they looked like blurs most other times), much prettier than the things he usually saw. He thought that they must smell just as pretty. But orders were more important than pretty things. He couldn’t stop.
There was one time he almost did. It was a cold winter night, a night when most everyone was inside. But Jacob had orders, and so he zipped around, stopping only for more orders. He didn’t feel the cold; he was running too fast, and he had his orders to think about.
When his orders took him through a section of unplowed road, he slowed to what would be a fast jog for most people (but felt painfully slow to him), the snow melting around his warm legs. As he waded through the slush, he glanced to the side, and saw something…beautiful. A small purple flower, poking through the snow.
What would that be like? he wondered. If I could just smell that one flower, how wonderful would it be?
And then it was gone. He broke free of the snow heap and sped up, following his orders again. Leaving behind that one small flower, like a forgotten dream.

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-01 – Crocus
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