It was a decent apartment. Slightly damp. Slightly dark. Breezy, but old. There were two bathrooms. One of them was permanently latched, from the outside. The other one had blue tiles. A wide window in the hall looked into the outside. There was a road, which was sparsely taken. Except by the kids when the school nearby closed for the day.
Beyond the road was a huge tree of white bougainvillea. The tree looked so gorgeous, it looked like Cinderella. Its leaves laden with winter dust, couldn't decimate one bit the sheer numbing charm of its white flowers. Margot couldn't fathom why, she hadn't known before that white was such a beautiful beautiful color. She always presumed it was the lack of it.
As a kid, her father, the one she no longer spoke to, took her to the house of a friend of his. Who had a gigantic pond in his backyard. He reared fish in it. That pond had a dozen trees of bougainvillea planted around it, or more. Of all the colors, her child's mind could imagine. Red, orange, pink, all intertwined. It was as if a mother tree, grew branches and each branch flowered a different color. And they all reflected in the green pool water and created an illusion of twice the color. The melange appeared to be out of a painting, only it was real. But this is white bougainvillea. Something she had barely stopped to notice. And now that she opened the window, she couldn't move a step away.
This was a date. A mutual friend had suggested they meet. This was the second time they were meeting. Or the third. Probably, Margot didn't keep count. She recently had broken up. If you can call it that. That man, she had met online. And fallen in true love with. But after years of loitering around the point, she had decided, she was not getting anywhere. Now she was on the market again. If you can call it that. And following the mutual friend's suggestion, she met this new man. Whose apartment this was. Overlooking the white bougainvillea.
Margot was twenty eight.
The guy, with thick eyebrows, was rolling weed in the bedroom as she looked at the white flowers in the hall. She imagined what it would be like to stand under that tree and look up. What will bits of blue sky look like from between the gaps of white petals. That blue matched the tiles in his bathroom. The one he used. And now they were gonna get high. Really high.