A Daffodil Among Thousands of Roses

Submitted into Contest #86 in response to: Write a story where flowers play a central role.... view prompt

12 comments

LGBTQ+ Romance Sad

You skip ahead. I watch you.

Something about your carefree energy, the way you throw your limbs around like there's nothing in your way, tugs at my lips.

You stop, and bend. I catch up to you. I don't have to ask what you're looking at- you tell me the moment I enter your field of vision.

Your eyes sparkle. Look, you say excitedly, prodding a cluster of purple flowers peeking out of the dirt. Flowers!

I smile wryly. Now I've seen a million.

You nudge me, indignant. It means winter's over! Have you seen a million winters?

I grin. Well, now that you mention it...

You jump to your feet, laughing. Race you! You take off down the street, faster and freer than I could ever be.

I watch you run for a moment, then I take off after you.


⚘⚘⚘


You poke me, impatiently. Are you ever gonna get up?

I groan and roll over, blurry with sleep. Never, I mumble, pulling a pillow over my head.

You snatch the pillow away. Do you wanna be late?

For what? I grumble, snatching for the pillow. You hold it out of my reach.

I thought you were the most punctual person on Earth, you muse, plopping down on my back.

I sigh into the mattress. Fine, fine, I sigh, shoving you off.

You bounce up. Let's go!

How are you so excited? I demand, reaching for a shirt.

A pause, then something thwacks against my head. I finish wrestling the shirt over my head and glare at you. What the heck was that for?

You produce a bouquet of flowers. Happy Valentine's Day, you say brightly, then bound out the door.

On the floor is a bundle of roses, crinkled from where they bounced off my head.

It's not Valentine's Day, but I put them in an empty vase, just because it's you that gave them to me.


⚘⚘⚘


It's been a half an hour, but you're still trying to cheer me up.

I've tolerated you for the entire time, but finally I snap at you. You can't fix it, okay? It's not gonna go away.

I push you away and wrap my arms around my knees, tucking my head into them. You're silent.

A hand touches my head- it's yours. I'd know it anywhere.

I can't fix it, but I can make it better.

I smile. You can't see it, but you can hear it in my voice. I know you can. With your dazzling personality?

Exactly, you say decisively, and your chair scrapes against the ground, moving forward, out of the shade. Even in the shadow, the sun illuminates me, warming me from my core out.

It's a long time before I speak again. Is it really okay?

Of course it's not, you say, puzzled. You know that- why're you asking?

I meant... I trail off. I don't have them; I know that. But... do I have you? Will I have you?

Always, you say; you're as serious as I've ever heard you. I lift my head up from my knees- you're smiling. My heart swells to the point of bursting.

You know what else you have? you say conversationally.

What?

You poke my chest, right in the center of the flower pendant you gave me for my birthday. You have a permanent flower.

I try not to cry, but tears drip from my eyes anyway.

You lean your head against mine, and we sit there, in the sunlight, together.


⚘⚘⚘


When the doctor speaks, my world comes to a standstill.

Your smile stays on your face, but for the first time since I met you, it doesn't look genuine. It's staying on your face out of habit.

Tears well up in my eyes. Yours are dry.

The doctor leaves. We're alone, in a white room, with nothing in it but two chairs and us.

Your eyes are tired. You seem to be wilting.

I encircle my fingers around yours. Your skin is cold.

When you speak, your voice is heartbreaking, and it contains none of your usual energy. Am I going to die?

I tap the ring on your finger. Instead of a diamond on it, there's a flower, just the way you wanted.

Do you think I would've married you if I knew you were gonna die? I ask quietly.

You shake your head.

That should give you your answer, I say, and we sit, hand in hand.

When I die- you start.

If you die, I correct.

If I die, plant flowers over my grave, okay?

I nod.

You smile. It's genuine, this time, and it snaps my heart in two.


⚘⚘⚘


Your breath is raspy, and your hand is limp in mine.

Your hair is gone. Your face is swollen. You're a wisp of what you once were.

Somehow, you're still the most beautiful person I know.

I keep my eyes fixed on that jagged red line. I don't listen to anything except that steady blip that tracks your heartbeat.

I don't move for a long time, and neither do you.

When you finally stir, I sit up, tense.

Your voice is a croak, but I can still detect a bit of that laughing smile, that joyful energy.

I like... daffodils... best.

Your eyes drift shut.

The beep stops. The line stops.

I stop.

The world stops.

You left, and you took me with you.


⚘⚘⚘


Your grave is gray, and unremarkable, but I can pick it out among hundreds almost immediately.

I stand, seeds in hand, and I stare at your last remnant.


Elle Yu

1990-2011

Beloved Wife.

A Daffodil Among Thousands of Roses.


I kneel. I claw out clumps of dirt. I sprinkle down the seeds in an even pattern.

I pat down the soil, and just like that, your grave looks just like everyone else's.

It won't, soon. There will be flowers; bright yellow flowers, cheery, just like you were.

As the water trickles out of the can I hold, my fingers brush over the last line.

Soon, your daffodils will sprout, and then I will let you go.

March 21, 2021 19:18

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12 comments

Holly Fister
17:43 Mar 29, 2021

This story had a vapory feel, like looking at the story through a fogged glass. I really like the way you approached it, well done! P.S. for future reference, daffodils have large bulbs, not seeds.

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19:46 Mar 29, 2021

ohhhhhh! that's why grammarly was yelling at meeeee... thanks, holly :D i'll keep that in mind

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Holly Fister
19:57 Mar 29, 2021

Wow that’s amazing it picked that up!

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20:44 Mar 29, 2021

i have the weird advanced version- i turn it off, because it irritates me, so i dunno why i even pay for it-

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Holly Fister
21:35 Mar 29, 2021

Would you mind checking out my most recent story when you get a chance?

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17:14 Mar 30, 2021

i'd love to! poppin' over to your reedsy page now!

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01:30 Apr 02, 2021

Wow... I don’t have any words for how beautiful this is. I’m going to follow you

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20:00 Apr 03, 2021

ty, lucy!! really appreciate it <3

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20:59 Mar 27, 2021

:'( wow The end ;( I love how you didn't really mention the names, so it was just 'you' and 'me'. The present tense and second + first person went together beautifully :) these were my favourite parts: "If I die, plant flowers over my grave, okay? I nod. You smile. It's genuine, this time, and it snaps my heart in two." "You know what else you have? you say conversationally. What? You poke my chest, right in the center of the flower pendant you gave me for my birthday. You have a permanent flower. I try not to cry, but tears drip f...

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22:35 Mar 27, 2021

aw, ty for commenting and following me, amethyst!!! i really love your stories, so this is kinda a big deal for me- also, i thought the first-and-second person thing was kind of clunky, but i'm glad you liked ittttttt :D

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22:45 Mar 27, 2021

np :D Aww thanks lol XD It actually flowed quite well :) I like the sound of that. "clunky" :D

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00:41 Mar 22, 2021

f l o w e r s.

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