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Of Unwanted Roots
by Kristina England

The metal scale broke on impact.

Marybeth stared at the black blob that was once a number.

“Why did you do that?” she said, whirling around to face Matt.

Matt stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out a dandelion.

“A dandelion is a weed, right?” he said.

“Yes,” Marybeth said, rolling her eyes. She could feel another one of his lessons coming on. Big brothers… they always thought they had something more important to say than the rest of humanity.

Matt twirled the stem in his hand; the yellow petals fluttered. He stopped, took his finger and bent the stalk in half. Then he crumbled the flower between the palms of his hand.

“We all think we have weeds. We all think we need to prune. But sometimes you spend so much time trying to cut out what you think is bad, you lose what’s good as well. Do you get my point?”

“Are you asking me to quit my diet so I can go grab a burger with you?”

“Well, now that you mention it, I’ve had a hankering for a mushroom and cheddar cheese burger with a side of fries.”

“That does sound good. But why break the scale?”

“Sometimes you need to put on a show to get the audience to pay attention.”

“Gauging the fact that I almost wet my pants, I’d say you accomplished your goal,” Marybeth said, nudging his arm. “And you know what? Big brothers aren’t so bad after all.”

“Who said big brothers were bad?”

“Um… how ‘bout we go grab that burger?”