I’d held on to them for as long as I possibly could – changing the water, making sure they weren’t next to a radiator, nor in a blast of cold air. But flowers die, they’re dying from the moment they’re cut aren’t they. Was that a metaphor I wondered?
He’d sent yellow roses. Yellow for friendship, for platonic love. I probably cried. I’d been doing a lot of crying in the last few days. And it had been a while since I’d last cried, for he’d made me happy. You see, I’d made the fatal mistake of exhaling, of relaxing and believing. And why ever not?
Apart from the nagging voice that is. The one that said “there’s something not quite right here”. The one that had laughed when finding out he’d lied about his age, and then forgotten he’d done it. I’d even tried to scold him. What I shouldn’t have done was to believe someone who’d lied so readily that they’d already forgotten about it. The thing is – or so I told myself afterwards – he wasn’t really lying to me, because he truly believed he wasn’t lying to himself. But he was.
He’d even made that big sweeping statement: “… never before had he experienced what it was like to be loved for the person he truly was, not the person he pretended to be.” And how he’d beamed when he repeated what he’d told his friends. And how they’d beamed too when he told me. That’s when it happened. That’s when I’d exhaled. When I’d allowed myself to believe.
Two days later he was gone. And all I had left was a bunch of yellow roses. Now they were gone too.
© Debra Carey, 2018