It was the second time the seeds wouldn't sprout.
"They're a no-go, Babe," he told me over the phone the first time. I'd been away and left care instructions to see them through to proliferation. "I could smell 'em from across the room. Got a big whiff as soon as I hit the linoleum. Stanky rotten."
I hoped for the best this time. Sprouts were easy. Mechanical. A no-brainer, really.
Four days in, I caught the scent and held up the mason jar to behold a mushy blob that slid down the insides of the glass, coagulating in a gooey clump with tiny, sad tendrils that never quite turned into anything else.
"Maybe it's not the sprouting season." I hypothesized, rubbing my warm skin. We kept it at 80 degrees--with gummy air from summer storms maybe the seedlings couldn't get the drainage needed to shed their skins.
"Maybe the seeds are old."
"Maybe these ones are duds?"
These were all projections.
I wasn't going to Google it or troll Pinterest for sprouting do-s and don't-s.
"Maybe it's just not their time." We both shrugged as I settled into ok-ness with the amorphous booger clot in the jar. "Sprouting season will come again."
"Dump those doodads!" he made bull horns with his fingers and aimed to plow at the botched operation on the kitchen counter. The laugh softened the mild defeat.
Feeling the familiar lament of wastlefulness as the water dissipated the mass into speckles that spiraled down the drain, I acknowledged some things didn't sprout, others did and some would come around again.
All things cycling back to their prime season when the energy of the air pulled life right out of its shell.