“I love you too,” Sarah replied automatically. After a second she realized she was alone in her apartment. She stopped wiping the plant’s leaves and looked around the living room. She tensed her body half expecting to find a dangerous stranger. “Hello?” she called out.
“Hello. I love you,” a soft, nasally voice replied. It sounded to her as if it came from the plant. She leaned close to the ceramic pot.
“Hello?” she whispered to the plant. Her eyes narrowed and she held her breath, hoping for a response.
“Hello!” it replied. Sarah smiled.
“You can talk!” She cheered to herself. If she owned a talking plant it would not be long before she was rich. She decided to try and befriend it. “What’s your name?” she asked the plant.
“What’s a name?” It asked. Then it asked a follow-up while Sarah wondered how to answer the first question. “What’s your name?”
“My name is Sarah,” she said. “A name helps other people recognize you.”
“I recognize you,” the plant said. “I love you.” Sarah chuckled.
“Why didn’t you say so earlier?” she asked with a teasing tone.
“I did. You only heard me today.” That response caught Sarah off guard.
“Yes,” it replied.
“I wonder what changed,” she ran through the previous day in her mind. Her body answered by giving her the sudden urge to scratch. “Oh yeah.” Sarah smiled at the clear plastic bandage around her left arm. She got a tattoo of an elaborate potted ivy with her favorite number, 52, on the clay pot. Once she remembered her new tattoo, memories about the tattooist came with it. He seemed very friendly and interested, but Sarah did not get the impression he was trying to date her. He acted as if he had a secret he was trying not to reveal to her. Her brown eyes widened when she replayed his last words in her mind.
“Don’t scratch or pick at it. If you notice anything you think is strange, feel free to come back and see me.” He said when Sarah was ready to leave. The tattooist handed her a business card that said, “Mundo” on it with his phone number.
“What could be strange about a tattoo?” she wondered at the time. Now she had her answer.
“I’ll be right back,” she felt awkward leaving the room without acknowledging the plant in some way. She found her purse in her room and dug through it until she found the business card. Then she dialed the phone.
“Hi. Uh, with Mundo please?” she asked once someone picked up the other end. After a moment a new voice came on the phone.
“Hi, Mundo. Uh, you probably don’t remember me. My name is Sarah and I was in there yesterday for a tattoo-“
“The plant, right?” He chuckled. “Number 52?”
“Yes! Wow, you’ve got a great memory,” Sarah said. The fact that he remembered her caught her by surprise.
“Nah, I knew you’d call pretty quick,” she heard a smile in his voice. “Plants are a chatty bunch.”