Because She Really Loved the Roses

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Life is short but some loves are eternal. This is an observation of one such love.

Submitted: July 16, 2016

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Submitted: July 16, 2016

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You only see him in the spring. He's a nameless face with an empty wheelchair and a sad smile. I see him less and less these days. He's getting older, I guess.

I used to see him on one end or the other of a two mile stretch of Walnut avenue. An avenue lined with cherry trees, rose bushes and other Spring blooming trees. You might see him sometime. He's a tall slender man with long dull gray hair and pants that must have fit him in better days. You can't miss him. He's the old man pushing the empty wheelchair.

She was a redhead and a real looker. At least she had been before she got sick. That was a long time ago though. I was told she could run a pool table in her day and in fact, that's how they met. He was never in her league but she loved him the minute he walked through that smoky parlor door. She would even let him win one now and again and he knew it.

They never had children but they always had each other. Thirty two short years. They met later in life but they loved like they were high school sweethearts. When you saw one you generally saw the other. They used to call them Mutt and Jeff down at the Hard Times pool hall. But that was a long time ago.

They gave her two years but she gave him five more. It was real hard on them both. They didn't have money for fancy transportation so they just did with a wheelchair and went where they could. Social Security didn't pay much but that was okay, they didn't need much. They had a paid off pre-war two bedroom stucco in a good part of town on a street lined with her favorite flowers.

As the years went by and she got weaker, their sidewalk vacations got fewer. Sometimes he would just talk her through the neighborhood. Too sick to leave her bed by the window, he would describe how the roses in front of the Flat Top on B st. were fully opened and the fragrant mess they made on the lawn. She would smile up at him through the fog of her pain meds and nod. Soon hospice was called in and she slowly drifted away from him.

One day you might see him, if you're ever on my side of town, he's the old man pushing an empty wheelchair past the blooming trees and talking to a wife who isn't there anymore.... because she really loved the roses.


© Copyright 2017 R.Guy Barringer. All rights reserved.

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