Academic Probation
Blackston hopes the plant will help him remember how to smile.
the Gauntlet

Man's loneliness ends with purchase of potted plant

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A void was filled in the heart of third-year chemistry student Micheal Blackston Nov. 22 with the recent acquirement of a green fern.

The fern, which Blackston has decided will be displayed in either the living room or the kitchen, looks to take over the role of a loved-one in the 21-year-old student's life.

"After Melissa [Jenkins] left me in September, I didn't think I'd ever feel better," Blackston said as he scoured the internet for tips on maintaining the health of his new house plant. "But then I saw this little leafy guy and I knew I didn't have to be alone anymore."

Blackston's previous relationship with the 20-year-old Jenkins ended in heartbreak for the student when she revealed that she wasn't interested in his constant attention and overbearing nature.

"I'm never going to let you get away," Blackston announced to the plant, which has no ability to hear the young bachelor or feel him gently weep onto its leaves each night.

Botany expert and horticulturist Dr. James Moores said houseplant care can be a great relaxation technique.

"I wouldn't recommend picking the plant up and dressing it in human clothes," said Moores. "But definitely lots of sunlight."

Blackston is currently debating if naming the fern plant might be "too weird" but has already prepared an extensive list.

"It's not like I came up with these just for some plant," Blackston laughed. "These were just names that I had come up with in case I ever had a baby with Melissa. So I think it's a healthy way to get over it. It's just a funny joke."

Blackston plans to water Melissa Jr. each day to keep the plant healthy and strong in an attempt to extend its life to the day he would have celebrated his three-year anniversary with Jenkins.

"Oh, is that what that date is?" Blackston said, looking at the day he had repeatedly circled on his wall calendar. "I just picked it randomly. Just a weird coincidence I guess."

Jenkins has also reached out to cope with her break-up. Including reaching out to her new boyfriend, 26-year-old Chad Stienborne.

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