The Flowers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

When your life is torn upset down, how would you react? Sometimes the strongest emotions leave us motionless.

The Flowers

 

The lowering sun sent a golden glow across the soft waves of the ocean. Sitting on a bench, silent and still, the sounds and smells enveloped her. The squawks of the gulls hovering above, searching for any remaining morsel. The tourists had ascended towards the pubs and restaurants or trudged back to their guest houses with buckets, spades, and grizzly children.

 

She was glad of the quiet. She didn’t want to be crowded, to be asked the time or if she would take a picture of the beaming couple.

 

Inhaling deeply, her nostrils were hit by a crash of salt, making her gasp. Fish, too, she could smell, drifting across the harbour on the breeze. It reminded her of childhood. Relaxed summer days, net in hand, searching for signs of life in the rocky pools.

 

Dusk was reigning in. There was another scent, mingled in between the sea air and the fish. The delicate perfume of freshly cut flowers. She gazed down at the posy, still grasped tightly in her hands. The petals were starting to tinge brown and the proud heads drooping, as though in sympathy. She’d have to throw them away. They were meant to be a gift. A thank you to her best friend who’d helped with all the arrangements. Appearing at the house all hours of the day and night.

 

Why was she still clasping the flowers? Why hadn’t she slammed them to the floor in a fit of rage or better, thrown them in his face? That would have been normal. To shout and scream and curse. Instead, she had simply turned and left.

 

Her gaze shifted to the golden band with its heart-shaped diamond. A part of her hand for barely a year. It would be a shame to hide it away. Tears formed. Large droplets that dripped down her cheeks and landed on her lips. The salty taste harmonising with the sea air.

 

She could still hear his voice. Smooth, thick as honey. He could charm even the frostiest of demeanour. Today though, it was cool and emotionless.  Each razor-sharp word stabbing into her deeper and deeper.

 

A year had gone by now. It was the afternoon and the sun shone brightly. Not a cloud in the sky. The perfect day for a wedding. She lifted the soft and doughy bun to her lips. Inhaling the sweet scent of the strawberries. She noticed her ring finger. It still surprised her, the bareness, even though it had been so long since a ring had nestled there.

 

Two p.m. She should be wearing her dress now. Walking down the aisle. Seeing his face as she entered.

 

The wedding would still go ahead. They would leave the church together. They would live in the house together. Send their children to the school round the corner.

 

She took a large bite out of the bun. The richness of the butter icing making her feel slightly nauseous but at the same time a little bit happier.


Submitted: July 21, 2021

© Copyright 2021 C L Pankhurst. All rights reserved.

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