Blossoming against the odds (Inkwell Prompt #59)

I fell in love with Sherman the moment I met him.

In the middle of nowhere on a Californian mountainside, dotted with golden poppies and wild blue lupines swaying delightfully in the gentle breeze, a small parade of shops appears by the side of the road and draws our attention. After a long drive, we fancy a few snacks, so we skip inside the quaint little candy store, enticed by the delicacies adorning its picture-postcard shop window. The jingle of the old-school doorbell alerts the store manager to our presence as she busies herself attending to the customer before us. The aroma of decadent chocolate confectionary rises up to greet me as I wander around, picking at little nik-naks on the eye-level shelves, a tourist trap for tired out-of-towners who drop their guard too quickly.

The shop is relatively quiet and he stands out in the small crowd. Even his name ... Sherman - is enigmatic in itself.

He is very American, his personality larger than life. But he is also different. A gentleman of few words. I somehow sense in those introductory moments, that within a few years, the diminutive and demure figure before me, will give way to a tall, dark, and handsome companion, forever reaching for the stars, destined to tower above his peers. He just needs a bit of love and attention I muse, and I am more than happy to oblige.

Objectively speaking, one might describe him as a bit scraggly, mildly prickly, thick-skinned, slightly green, but his bark is definitely worse than his bite. Not that he ever bites me... and not that his bark is particularly fierce, although, upon reflection, it is clear that he has the ability to fight fire with fire. But I don't mind. I recognise in him the potential to be a giant among men, provided he is permitted to thrive, of course!

And we meet quite by chance. I am meandering around the store partaking in the visual delights of things I haven't seen before when my friend literally thrusts him between us!

Look who I found!

she gasps, clutching him around the midriff with excitement, giggling,

Isn't he so cute?

I'm not sure Sherman is thinking much at the time; he seems fairly oblivious to the sudden attention, but I have to admit...he does bowl me over; I am smitten, but I stop short of blushing.

Love, at first sight!

I always did like the dark, silent types. I look him over... surreptitiously from every angle... a fine specimen, indeed, not too woody, not too bristly... just right. My friend clearly has fantastic taste.

I pull her aside...

He's sooo irresistable! A bit on the diminutive side... but he would likely bulk up if I fed him well, right?

I always seem to do all the talking but Sherman is easy to please... and appears quite happy to tag along... When I suggest that he move to England with me... he doesn't put up a fight... I am thrilled, although I do feel a tiny ounce of sadness creeping in as I drag him away from his hometown. I assume, however, that this ease of acquiescence means he likes me enough to cross oceans for me.

The next issue we have is paperwork... no passport, no visa, no proof that he is a savory fellow whatsoever, no evidence that he is free of transmittable disease! ... And, no time!!! So we take our chances that charm alone will win the day as we cross timezones together, trusting in our faith that this is just meant to be.

Entering my adopted country I am slightly worried that we will be separated by thoughtless, mindless officials with no empathy for love, and no time to entertain the delights of the heart, intent only on following the letter of the law, but we get lucky. I quickly find myself standing at the crossroads of another life channel or green? I've always loved the colour red but it did feel rather like waving an unnecessary flag at a raging bull when it came to things like this, and so instead I take the left lane, I choose green, sensing that a formal declaration of my adoration for Sherman will not go down well. Customs fortunately show a complete lack of interest, their inattention matched only by that of Sherman's. But at least I know that I now have an opportunity and, more importantly, time... to build on what we have started together.

We breeze through to the Arrivals Hall and wait patiently for our ride home.

Will our relationship ever bear fruit? I hope so... but more importantly, I hope Sherman matures into the very best version of himself, that he will blossom into the strong and sturdy character that I know he is capable of becoming.

We have now been home for 4 days and Sherman is settling in quite nicely into life abroad. I'm so very proud of him.

Click here to see a photo I took of him earlier today and edited in Canva Pro. I caught him unawares. My baby, Sherman.*

Isn't he just adorable?

Sherman - a nod to The General Sherman, a Giant Sequoia, and the world's largest tree, by volume.

Header image created in Canva Pro

Dreemport banner used with permission of @dreemsteem and @dreemport and designed by @jimramones

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