It all started in gym class. Sure she was sweaty and awkward in those slippery shorts and baggy tshirt, but she snatched my heart right out of its chest. Then senior prom. I was just a goofy boy but oh how the fabric swung around her with the music. And oh how the flashing lights danced in her sparkling eyes. I thought that night was probably the happiest of my life. Still it only got better in that office we worked in for so long. I came in early and brought her coffee every day, and a bouquet of flowers every holiday, lilies for Easter, carnations for New Years, stuff like that. I even gave her a gift on her birthday. Of course she never gave me a second glance. But it doesn't really matter. It wasn't until that day she walked into the office early, that she saw it was me heating her coffee and laying a special cup on her desk everyday anyway. And it was a holiday too, the day she walked in, so she saw me laying down the beautiful bouquet filled with Easter lilies and sunflowers with the hot cup of coffee in her special mug. I didn't really want her to know but I guess all is well that ends well. We became closer and closer, then on New Year's I didn't buy her a bouquet. She seemed surprised when she approached her desk, anticipating the big flash of carnations usually awaiting her. And she seemed a bit disappointed, maybe even concerned, when a cup of coffee wasn't waiting on her, steaming from her desk. You see, she didn't just care about getting the flowers, and she was perfectly capable of heating her own coffee. Anyway, it was that day that I was late. I walked up to her desk after she sat down and laid down the steaming mug. She seemed relieved, she really did. But then her eyes had a confused shimmer when I knelt down beside her and I handed her a single red rose with a small diamond bound to the stem. It was then that her eyes began to dance, just like that night at the dance now so long ago. But the bells rang on and we ended up in South France together, sitting outside a small cottage sipping small cups of strong hot coffee. Her hair began stringing in white and the fabric swung around her more slowly now. It was New Years again, and she had not gotten out of bed for weeks. I went, as I had for the past fifty years, early in the morning. I returned soon, but without the usual bunch of carnations to brighten the table, and I set down on her bedside table a lukewarm cup of tea, rather than a steaming cup of coffee. And her eyes seemed confused as I knelt down on one knee and gave her a single red rose, with a large diamond bound to the stem. The ring sparkled in her eyes and then they closed, the expression of joy to stay on her face, for her to live in the memory of that day, for eternity.
Lilies for Easter, Carnations for New Years
September 22, 2010