While the stories are linked, each is a standalone. However, if you’ve missed any and want to read them, you can catch up here.
“I’d like you to plant tulip bulbs everywhere you can. When the first bit of spring arrives, I want every color of tulip to erupt from the soil. Can you do that?” Marie Toller asks, as she snaps the edge of cigarette to remove the barrel of burn.
I nod. “Of course. How many do you envision?”
She glances over her yard. “Hundreds. All colors.”
I try to see what she’s seeing but can’t. I imagine it must be a personal vision, but that’s okay. I can work with that.
She glances at her cigarette, bemused, before looking at me. “I have until May.”
I frown. “Sorry?”
She wags her cigarette at me. “Everything they say about cigarettes is true. Lung cancer. Smoking death rays. I’ve got til May, if I’m lucky. I want to see my yard abloom. I want to see every bit of it alight with natural color.”
And, suddenly I do see her vision. Words balk in my throat.
I look at her. “I’m sorry.”
She seems too stoic. “Don’t be. There are things we do to ourselves even when we know better. No use blaming anyone else. I want to be here for the spring you’ll give me.”
I nod. I can do that. I can give her tulips and more. I can do that. I can make it the best spring.