Delicate Flower | Teen Ink

Delicate Flower

October 6, 2022
By mushroom-lad BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
mushroom-lad BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In the Bible, my name means pure. It means innocent. Untouched by sin. It’s like a dainty parasol on a summer day. Ripped straight out of a scene from The Sound of Music. Light pink, so light that it's nearly white. Like a fluffy feather comforter, freshly ironed. A decorative silk pillow from a 5-star hotel in Paris. 


My mother got the name from her boss. He was an old British gentleman, and I imagine him as stereotypical as they get. Snow white hair, somehow not balding from age, and a wrinkly face always wearing a genuine grin. He’d probably wish everyone around him a good morning, no matter the day. An embodiment of sunshine in a gloomy office space. 

This gentleman had a daughter. Mom fell in love with how he said his daughter's name. I think it was every day he called her. Where he’d say “Hello Lily!”. His RP accent would sing her graceful name. Like the dulcet sound of a harp. He’d speak to her with excitement as if he hadn’t called the day before. And the day before that. Treating her like royalty. 

And though I never met her, I imagine she barely holds any resemblance to her father. Like calling a Pink Lady a Granny Smith. I imagine she had a job on the stock market as a broker, where her short wavy brown hair would snap as she demanded to sell. She hides her accent as much as possible, but when she yells it reveals itself. She’s not mean, just sharp. A job where it's important to know the urgency of being a minute behind makes you that way. And after a productive day, she buys her coworkers a round. She doesn’t drink a lot though. Because her dad tells her to stay safe. And she does. 

I think she would’ve disliked her name as much as I do. Not hate it. Dislike it. Just feeling pampered whenever you hear it. I bet she liked the way her old man said it. How couldn’t you? The way he dipped her name in honey each and every time he said it, made her presence truly treasured. But I’m more willing to bet that she did not like the way it made her feel like a princess. Like everything she did was handed to her. Like she didn’t deserve what she had.

  The expectation of perfection at all times. Pressure tight as a corset over a gasping rib cage.

I don’t want that. I want a name that takes into account that I’m human. I make mistakes.  I want a name that isn’t dipped in sugar and silver. And Lily is not that name. Lily is soaked in everything feminine, pink and white. Lily is a housewife that lives in a “home” with yellow wallpaper. 

I want a name like walking underneath streetlights at night after it has rained. I want a name that is a road trip with friends. I want my name to feel like mine. Not an unachievable crown. For me, that name is Lillian. A name not entirely feminine, but enough to be comfortable.  Lillian doesn’t worry about being perfect, she just does her best. And that's all that can be asked for. 

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