“Four Seasons” is a heartwarming and emotional story about two teenage girls, Flora and Rose, meet at the library and quickly become close. As the seasons change, the two go on adventures and spend time together, but as they grow closer, tensions rise and their relationship is tested.
breaking the ice.
“Hey.” A voice calls to me. A voice I never heard before. I turn in my seat.
“Are you talking to me?”
The girl snickers. “Who else would I be talking to? You’re Flora, right?”
I nod my head.
“Cool. I’m Rose Munoz. We go to the same school? I sit two rows away from you at lunch. Usually.”
“You know, our names kind of go together.” Rose smiles, playing with the pen in her hand. The pen was bright pink with a pink fluffy rabbit sitting on the top. “Y’know, ‘Flora’? ‘Rose’? We’re like the garden duo.”
I nod with the slightest smile. I have never seen this girl before, not at school or at the library we were at. Why is she talking to me? What business does she want with me?
“What are you studying?” Rose asks, feeling comfortable enough to sit beside me now.
“You don’t look like an ‘I take classes like calculus and hard maths and shit’ kinda person. Why are you taking it?”
“Extra credit,” I flip my worksheet to the next page and start writing down random equations. I don’t even know what I’m writing, but I’d rather die than have Miss garden-girl think I’m an idiot. “How have I never seen you before? I feel like I would have remembered someone like you.”
She smiles. “That’s the thing about me, Flora. I don’t like to be known unless I want to be.”
“So what, am I one of your special cases?”
I don’t say anything after that. Instead, I just let her keep me company. I study for my calculus final, and she plays games on her phone. I have never seen her before, never talked to her before. But I feel comfortable. And I could tell she was comfortable too.
we flew like the wind.
Rose. Rose, Rose, Rose.
The name slips off of my tongue so easily. Like rose petals and rose water and bouquets of roses belonged to me. We see each other on the weekends, eating out and having sleepovers and doing what teenagers in the movies do. We stay out till 2 in the morning and pretend that we’re the only people in the world. We pick flowers from the soil and rocks from the sand. We dance in the rain, feeling warm whilst shivering. We watch the stars, making up our own constellations that no one else could ever know.
Who we are, what we are, it is only for us and us only. We exist for us.
She picks me up from my home, waiting for me at my front door.
“Don’t you look fancy.” I close the door behind me, scanning her clothing.
“I’m just wearing a skirt, Flo!” She laughs, taking her turn in scanning (or judging, I should say) my outfit.
“How are you wearing a sweater right now? I feel like I’m going to experience heat stroke.”
“You are so dramatic,” I move past her, walking down the pavement to her car. “It might rain later. Where are we going?”
Rose jumps while holding onto my shoulders, running in front of me. “It’s a surprise.”
“You know I hate surprises.”
“You won’t hate this surprise.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because I know you.”
“You do not know me, Rose.”
“Really? I think I know you better than you know yourself.”
I hate when she’s right. Because she really does know me better. I think she knows me better than my parents. I sigh and enter her car, letting her take me to the unknown place.
It feels like we’ve been driving for hours.
“You need to chill, we’ve only been driving for thirty minutes.” Rose says, somehow hearing my inner thoughts.
“Thirty minutes is a long time, dude. We’re almost out of the city.”
She doesn’t say anything in reply, humming to the radio music on low volume. I sigh, knowing it’d be no use to argue with her. I watch the outside move past us as we start from buildings to lines of trees to plain fields.
After what feels like years, she parks the car in front of an old, rusted diner.
I stare at her, not moving in my seat.
“What are you looking at?”
“Your big surprise was bringing me to an abandoned restaurant off the side of the road?”
Rose laughs. “It’s not abandoned. Wait till we go inside.” She takes the key out of the ignition and hops out. I stay inside, trying to peer inside the frosted (or dirty) windows of the diner.
“Come on, Flora! You’ll like it.” Rose opens my door, and I hesitantly let myself out. She grabs my hand and leads me inside the diner. “Hey!” Rose calls into the kitchen.
I hear slight crashes from the back, pots clanging together and spoons hitting the floor. After the quiet mayhem, a man wearing an apron emerges.
“Rosanna! You made it, pamangkin!” The man smiles wide, walking over to Rose and giving her a big hug.
“Rosanna, huh?” I say, getting Rose to nudge my side with her elbow.
“Shut up,” She says, giggling. “This is my uncle! He owns the place.”
The man switches his attention to me. “And you must be Flora! I’ve heard great things.” He stretches his arm out, and I shake it.
“Thank you for having me.”
“Rose was very excited to bring you here, so she asked us if we could close the diner just for today. So the whole place is yours!” He makes his way back into the kitchen. “I’ll make the ultimate dinner for you two, do whatever you’d like!”
I look around the diner. The outside pales to the inside. The place looked like the diner straight out of Grease. Leather seats and checkerboard floors, milkshake machines and a jukebox. And we are the only ones in the whole diner.
Rose makes her way to the jukebox, finding spare change in her strawberry purse and begins to scroll through the songs. After a while, she settles on My Girl by The Temptations.
“You were right.”
Rose turns to me, leaning against the jukebox while nodding her head slightly to the tune. “About what, Flo?”
“This is perfect.”
and crashed like the sea.
My college application letter came in a couple days ago. And I refuse to open it.
My grades are not the problem. I have fine grades. The problem is that once I open it, reality becomes all the more real. I’ll be moving away from my family, my dog, my home.
Rose. I’ll be leaving Rose.
Rose told me that she’s going to a local university, studying horticulture. Of course she’s choosing to study horticulture. It fits her too perfectly. She wants to own a local flower shop and name it after me. After me. As if I am the most important person to exist in her current universe.
I am in my bed reading when my mother calls me from downstairs. “Flora, you have a phone call.”
“Is it the dentist? Tell them I’ll reschedule another time.”
I stand up, jogging down the stairs to take the phone from my mother.
“You couldn’t have just called me from my cell?” “I wanted to say hi to your mom!”
I laugh, sitting on the steps.
“What are you doing right now?” She asks me.
“Talking to you.”
“Not right this second, idiot!” She laughs this time. “Let me guess. You’re reading. You’re reading that new book I gave to you. The Secret History.”
I stay silent.
“So I’m right!” She says triumphantly. I can hear her sigh quietly like she’s trying to hide it from me. “Can I come over to see you?”
“Because it’s beautiful outside.”
“I can’t enjoy a beautiful day with someone who I find beautiful?”
I grow silent again. It’s like a power of hers to take words out of my mouth.
I let her inside, and she runs straight into my room after hugging my mother. I follow her slowly, and by the time I’m in my room with her she’s scrummaging through my drawer. I immediately know what she’s trying to find.
“Rose, I already told you I don’t want to open it yet.”
“Then I’ll just open it,” She keeps her gaze stuck on my desk, fishing through my drawers and my books. “Shit, where’d you put it? Did you hide it?”
“Rose.” I walk to her, touching her shoulder. “Stop.”
She pushes me away, ignoring my words. I keep trying to tell her to stop, that there’s no point in opening it, and each time she grows more impatient. I see her grow frantic, whispering curses under her breath every time she lifts a paper and doesn’t find the letter.
She’s laughing now, a pained laugh. “This isn’t fun anymore, Flo. where is it?”
“I’m not ready to open it.”
“Flo. Please.” She’s grabbing my hands now, and I watch her as her eyes start to well. “I need to see it.”
I look at her. I never thought she’d be capable of making such a face. Rose, who was always happy, always smiling. But not today.
I sigh, and point to my pillow on my bed. Rose rushes to my bed and lifts my pillow to reveal the letter. She rips it open and reads the first line.
I stand there as I see her sink into my bed, holding the letter loosely. “Congratulations.”
“Rose.” I sit beside her, and she leans her head against my shoulder.
“When are you leaving?”
I hear her sniffle under my arm as she drops the letter on the floor. “Okay.”
I want to say everything possible to make her feel better. I want to tell her we’ll be the same. I want to tell her that we’ll always go to her uncle’s diner because that became our place. I want to let her know how much she made my last year of high school worth it. I want to tell her that my life has never been the same after meeting her. I want to tell her that whenever I see pens with animals or faces on them, I always buy them because they remind me of her. I want to tell her that every time I hear My Girl, I only hear her singing along. I want to tell her everything, say everything, be everything.
But instead I stay quiet, and I just hold her.
When I first moved, she would call me every day. Ask about my day, tell me about hers. She talked about school and new friends she’d made. I talked about my labs and how shitty some of my classmates were.
I don’t know what I expected.
Of course we would drift apart. We would stop talking every day. She’d text me that she isn’t able to call at the same time, and I’d do the same when I’d be busy. Daily calls turned into weekly, to bi-weekly, to once a month.
Today’s different, though. She calls me in the middle of the night, our second call during October. Except today, she wants to do a video call. The only time we’ve video called was when I first moved here, and she wanted to see my dorm.
I answer the call. “Rose?”
“I miss you. A lot.”
I laugh a little. “Are you okay? Are you drunk or something?”
“You know I don’t drink. Really, I just,” She stops for a bit, and I let her gather her thoughts. “I really miss you, Flo. Also, I have a new book for you to read.”
“And this couldn’t wait till morning?”
“I knew you’d be awake.”
I sigh. And then I smile. And we talk until the sun rises with us.