She loved flowers but he didn't.
Her love for flowers began when she was born. Her mother was a gardenerete, who had a beautiful garden in the backyard where she grew exotic flowers.
Her father would sell them to the local florist, and make a tidy sum, which catered to their daily needs.
Orchids, petunias, lilacs, lilies, roses, grew in her small garden, spreading their beautiful fragrance in every corner. She grew up inhaling the scent of these flowers.
While going to school, she always carried a small basket of flowers, for her favourite teachers, and her best friends. But for him it was always a yellow rose, her favourite flower.
He was not particularly fond of flowers . He claimed it was some kind of allergy, which would give him an itch all over, or a bout of sneezing. She didn’t insist as she loved him and was sensitive to his likes and dislikes.
He was her classmate and they both graduated in the same year .
He went to a university to study law, and wanted to become a successful lawyer. She stayed back, and became a teacher, serving in the same school where she studied.
They never lost touch and their friendship quickly grew into love. He would come home during vacations, and they would be together always. Everyone knew that, they would marry each other eventually.
When she wasn't teaching, she would help her mother with her flower business, looking after the flowers, tending them just like small babies, speaking to them.
She even had pets names for her favourite flowers,
The flowers were her best friends, and her confidantes, perpetually present, listening to her woes patiently, smiling and paying attention to her complaints without judging her.
She was the only child of her parents, but she never missed having any siblings, happy with her companions from her garden..
He completed his law school and returned to home town..He proposed to her on the beach one night, under the canopy of stars, and she accepted without any hesitation.
They got engaged in the presence of their family and friends.
His law firm was not gaining momentum in town, so he wanted to move away, and set up his business in another city. She was not ready, her mother was sick, and the onus of looking after the business was on her. She couldn't leave her parents in a lurch,which would be unfair to them.
He tried to reason with her. She was helpless. With a stone in his heart, he had to leave. His career and his future were both in the city.
She was devastated. Her only solace was the flowers, they were her saviour and she would turn to them during her dark phase.
He wrote her many letters, persuading her to join him, but she knew she couldn't, as long as her parent's needed her.
After sometime she stopped reading his letters, as it would open the floodgates of tears and emotions.
He got engrossed in his work crossing all benchmarks one after another. But the dull ache was always in his heart. He was too busy to go on a date or find love again, so he married his partner's daughter. It was a marriage of convenience, more than anything else. He never forget her, and occasionally thought of her.
She went out on dates with local guys, trying to forget him, but none could match up to him, finally she gave up, knowing all too well that she wouldn't find another guy like him.
Her busy schedule hardly left her with time for herself. She had dedicated her life to her parents. She only lived for them, and the flowers in the garden, taking care of their needs.
So many seasons had passed, and she lost count of them. Her mother passed away, after a long battle with cancer. Her father was lost and depressed, she stopped meeting friends, and stayed home most times, a recluse, an occasional visit to the mall for grocery shopping,was her only outing.
She often thought about him wondered if he still remembered her., maybe not, as he must be involved with his own family and his law firm.
She imagined about her life with him, if she had agreed to move out to the city with him. She knew for sure, it would have been a happy one.
No use crying over spilt milk, she thought, what's gone, is gone. Tomorrow is another day.
Her sixtieth birthday was celebrated with the flowers in her garden.They were swaying and dancing in the air, happy for her, emitting a lovely everlasting fragrance, reminding her of their presence.
He was so caught up in a legal case that he forgot his birthday, nor did his wife remind him, as she was busy with her social engagements, by the time he remembered it was too late, and he didn't give a damn.
He remembered, how she had always made his birthdays special for him, baking his favourite pineapple cake.
She always insisted that he blow out all the candles, which he found so endearing.
He wondered how her life had progressed maybe she's married, with kids and a loving husband, both which she richly deserved.
It was nearly forty years later, he was driving down the same road , and involuntarily took this turning which was so familiar.
He had half a mind to turn back,but he kept on moving.
He passed the familiar Cafe where he had spent most of his growing years, taking in the sights and smell that he had forgotten.
His parents and younger brother had moved away from this town long ago. He had never come back until today.
The road which led to her house beckoned him, and like a magnet, he was drawn towards her house.He wanted to see if she still lived there, or possibly meet her parents.
He came to the small beautiful cottage, and saw how well it was decorated, with flowers which were in full bloom.
There was a small crowd sitting solemnly in the garden which surprised him.
He got out of his car, and then walked inside the cottage, and he saw her.
She was lying calmly on the bed among the flowers, her eyes were closed and there was a peaceful look on her face.
Her old father, sitting beside her was crying silently. Her hands were crossed over her, and he noticed the engagement ring on her finger, which he had given her. The truth dawned on him and he couldn’t control his sobs.
He wanted to move out from there as quickly as he could. He always remembered her as a lively, beautiful girl with a smiling face ,not like this, lifeless and serene.
He went out to the garden plucked a yellow rose, and went in and placed it in her hand. Before moving out of the house, he bent down and kissed her forehead, whispering in her ears.
"Rest in place my love, untill me meet again."