Fate controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let walk out, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go. – Author Unknown
Dustin is a man who can’t seem to get out of his own way. He is a man who performs random acts of blindness to escape the feels he doesn’t want to feel, with a tide of alcohol, a pharmacopoeia of drugs, and a slew of nameless, meaningless sex that signifies the distance between what he will allow himself to need and what he doesn’t even realize he desires. But a man with a past like Dustin’s is bound to be left with more than a few scars.
Nicolæ is the man who very much gets in Dustin’s way. He is a man who performs random acts of kindness to encourage people to pursue the sun that hides behind the clouds of their own impairments, and the needs that he recognizes with the gift of insight that far exceeds the limitations of 20/20 vision. Nicolæ may be blind, but his blindness is not a handicap to his ability to see and sense a longing in the complete strangers whose lives he touches. He is the gypsy gardener who travels through life planting the seeds of hope, as well as a seed of uncontrollable curiosity in a man whose past has cultivated nothing but a thicket of pain and sorrow, but who is now ripe for the possibility of growing something new in the soil of longing, if only Dustin can find the patience he’ll need to let this seed bloom.
Înflori is a story that blends a bit of the mysterious with the average, everyday weaknesses that make us all human: fear, memory, regret, if… If–a seemingly innocuous and insignificant word we use to try and make sense of the things that happen to us, to mourn the twists and turns of events, a word that Fate so often uses to upset the balance of things that are beyond our ability to control. It is a story of stereotypes and the way in which prejudice blinds a person, keeps them from seeing the man behind the intolerance, believing that where a man comes from dictates how he should behave, and even whom he should love. But then the man refuses to color inside the lines that people use to try and define him and the vision of the one who means everything obliterates the want of anyone or anything else.
A.F. Henley delivers yet another romantic tale in which the journey of a broken man begins with a simple patching of the smallest cracks and builds to the reconstruction of that man’s entire existence, ending with a bond that feels like the beginning of a new adventure, one that begins to feel a lot like home. It’s a story of the slow and careful and deliberate way Nicolæ teaches Dustin how to love, but even more than that, how to live.