There once was a cactus who loved a balloon. The balloon, of course, did not return their love. It was not proper for a balloon to love a cactus. And how could a balloon love a cactus? They were not pretty. The could not fly, but rather stayed stuck in the ground. And they were so dirty. The balloon and their friends mocked the cactus as they blew by. In spite the pain the cactus’s unrequited love caused, they could not let it go. If only they could just touch the beautiful balloon. Maybe then they could get over their infatuation. They knew, if they could just free themselves from the ground, they could possibly grace the balloon’s rubbery skin. One day, a man bearing an axe came. The cactus had learned to fear such men with such axes. Then the inevitable happened, the man began to chop away at the base of the cactus. The cactus would have screamed in pain if they had the ability. In spite of the pain, the cactus felt a sense of joy. They knew this was means to freedom and the opportunity to possibly touch their beautiful balloon. Panic set in as the cactus was loaded into the back of the man’s truck. No, this was not how this was supposed to end. How could the cactus be torn away from their love. At least life in the dessert meant seeing the balloon. But no, it couldn’t end like this. The balloons followed behind, mocking the cactus as they wept. As the truck climbed a sand dune, the cactus rolled out the back, touching their love for the first time as it fell. “Pop!”, went the balloon. The cactus lay in the sand as the truck drove off, in shock and grieving over the loss of their love.