*Please note that all information pertaining to each story will be in the description below*
I was turned around suddenly and violently, and I yelped, dropping the flowers I had in my hand.
“This is the fourth time I’ve seen you stealing flowers from my garden! What the hell are you doing?” A middle-aged woman stood in front of me, wearing an 80s punk-rock t-shirt and sporting a half-shaved head.
“I uh, look I’m really sorry, I um, well they’re for someone, and I just can’t afford-” I was cut off as the woman slapped my back, knocking the wind out of me.
“Well, why didn’t you say so? I’ve got no problem with that! Are they for a girlfriend? Or boyfriend, I don’t judge.” The woman’s whole demeanor changed, and now she was grinning up at me.
“They, They’re for, well, I mean, I call her my girlfriend, but-”
“Excellent! I must come with you to see what girlfriend warrants this flower stealing.” The woman leaned down and scooped up the flowers I had dropped. “Which way are we heading?”
“Well, I’m going this way, but-” The woman grabbed my arm and pulled me as she started walking.
“Fantastic. What’s your name, kid? I’m Edna.” I stooped so I could be somewhat level with the woman, who was a good foot shorter than I was.
“Marcus, but you should know-”
“And what’s your girlfriend’s name?”
“Lily,” I whispered the name, feeling a pang go through my heart.
“I cannot wait to meet this Lily! I have a wife of my own you know, her name is Rosemary.” The woman sighed and got a faraway look in her eyes. “Been together since college. She’s crazy that one, keeps me in line.”
I smiled slightly as the clear adoration written across the woman’s face. “What is she like?”
“Oh, she’s amazing. She loves working on cars and things, and she fixes my motorcycle for me anytime there’s a problem. She loves to read, you know, and I have to constantly drag her to bed because it’s one AM, and she’s got work in the morning.” The woman laughed, raspy and loud. “Now, tell me about this Lily of yours.”
I swallowed, my mouth suddenly dry. I heard my words as if they were coming from someone else. “She liked to sing. All the time, she never seemed to stop. She wasn’t that great at it, but I could listen to it for hours. She gardened a lot too, tons of flowers.”
I could almost hear her singing in my head. “She loved movie marathons, and I can’t tell you the number of times our weekends were spent on the couch with a tub of ice cream, watching Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.”
I looked up, we were getting close to our destination now. “I constantly teased her about how she only liked Vanilla ice cream, nothing else. She claimed she liked the simple things in life.” I was getting choked up.
The woman was frowning to herself, and I could see she was trying to piece it together.
“These flowers were her favorite.” I gestured with the hand that held the flowers the woman had shoved back into arms.
“Wait a second-”
I turned right and went straight through the gate. I heard the woman gasp softly behind me.
“Oh. Oh no. Oh no, I’m so sorry.” The woman put her hands over her mouth, and I walked a little further before finding the spot.
“I loved her more than life itself, my Lily.” I laid down the flowers on the grave, tears brimming over.
“Oh, child.” The woman put a hand on my back as I stood silently, staring at my Lily’s name carved into the unforgiving stone.