We’re another letter close to catching up! “I” for impatiens.
All of the stories are linked. Some are better as standalones than others. If you’ve missed any and want to read them, you can catch up here.
Love of Your Life
“I don’t understand, Rose. We always plant begonias in the shady spots. They work. They’ve always worked,” Raymond says.
Rose sighs. “Just because we’ve always done something doesn’t mean we have to continue to do it. I suggested last year that we try impatiens. They’re so bright and vivid. The whites and that hot pink would really brighten areas in front of the azaleas and around the maple.”
“And even though you suggested it, we still planted begonias.”
Her blue eyes flash. “Because I let you have your way. I’ve always let you have your way. Not this time. It’s really time for a change.”
And something in the way she says it makes Raymond think she might not be talking about flowers anymore.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m going to visit Adrienne on Marco Island. She’s been asking me to visit for ages,” Rose says. Finally she meets the gaze of her husband of 40 years. “I’ll book my ticket when we get home. You pick any flowers you want to.”
He watches her walk through the exit of the nursery toward their car. Something aches in his heart. It feels a lot like heartbreak. In 40 years, he’s always demanded his own way. Sometimes followed by: “who pays the bills around here?” Has he destroyed the best thing in his entire life? No, of course not. She always comes around.
But she’s never gone off on a holiday without him before.
A young redhead in a blue shirt approaches him. “Can I help you?”
“Only if you know how to remove a size eleven shoe from a stupid mouth,” he says, catches the frown of the young woman and shakes his head. “No. I’ve hurt my wife. Probably more than once. I’ve got to make it better.”
He starts to walk away, wondering what he can say, do, when the young woman comes running after him.
“Sir?” she calls.
He turns. She holds out a plant with tiny bright blue flowers. “You could start with this,” she says. “It’s a forget-me-not. It’s for true love, fidelity, being truthful.”
He reaches for his wallet and is about to say something about her preying on a vulnerable old man when she raises her palm. “It’s on the house or, well, the nursery. I hope it returns your true love to you.”
An unaccustomed sting hurts his eyes, his gaze blurs and he realizes that tears have filled them. He really has become an old fool. He just hopes he hasn’t become an old alone fool.
“Thank you. You’re a good person,” he says. He’ll returns if he wins Rose back. “Never take the love of your life for granted.”
The young woman frowns and for a moment Raymond sees the recognition of another who might have taken their love for granted. He hopes better for her, but now he must only think of Rose. Rose, the love of his life.