“You seem to be lost young man. Do you need help? ” the old lady with a sweet voice offered.
I nervously smiled and accepted her offer for help. After much deliberated discussion, she insisted that I pick daffodils. It was a wonderful relaxing Friday, yes that’s what it was and apparently love was in the air. Surprises too. For two long years, I had been avoiding the only question that was waiting to be asked. I kept putting it off. I was unsure for a while. The uncertainty stopped making sense one day. Under the guise of a dinner with friends, I knew the moment would catch her off guard. It was going to be fun. I knew I’d be screamed at for a while. I could almost see her face blush. The moment would take a while to sink in and time would pause for a brief few seconds. It would all come back rushing. She’d say yes. She had always wanted to say yes to the question. It’s just that the question had never presented itself. All of that was going to change.
I planned for the evening for over a week now. I orchestrated a petty little fight to keep her off the trail. It worked well. It worked amazingly well. If there was something that I was extremely competent at, it was at keeping her annoyed. Our fights were usual. We’d quibble over something silly. Her pride and mine, would ensure that neither came forward to apologize. On most days, the anger would simmer down. I’d make a sarcastic apology, she’d eventually relent and always keep a neat score of the many million times I’d have wronged her. It was a game of sorts. She was winning it of course. She always won. I felt happy that I had someone to annoy and someone to apologize to, in due time.
The week was special. I had bugged her and poked my nose into her work. That ticked her off. Needless to say, it worked brilliantly. I was immediately sentenced to a silent treatment. Perfect. It was exactly the roadmap that I had planned. I instigated a truce by bugging our friends to invite her to the dinner. She wouldn’t say no to that. She could try, but our friendly would eventually win. Win they did. The Friday arrived sooner than I had anticipated. Butterflies the size of tyrannosaurus rex were running in my stomach. There was a comfortable nervousness to me. The entire day, I had felt restless. While I could put some faith in us and assume that she was going to say yes. There was a voice of doubt that kept me in fear. There was no telling. I had to endure the day to get to my moment of truth.
I left office early that evening. The dinner was still a few more hours to go. We had booked a table in the Shard. She did love watching the city from a towering height. She liked the way the sun would softly set over the busy city. She loved the way it felt to stand beside the clouds. I had managed to secure a table by the window. I had ample time to kill so I decided to walk to the place instead of taking the tube. I found the walk to be refreshing to the mind.
The city had come to life that evening. It was Friday after all. The pubs were busy. Everybody had their own favourite watering hole to hang out with their friends. The conversations were abundant and the city felt pampered playing a host to it’s habitants. I spotted a flower shop on the way. I’ve always fancied picking up flowers but I never really had the time or forced a priority to stop and pick them. Today was going to be special. Today was a brand new start and I promised myself that I’d always see to it that ours was a house which always had fresh flowers arranged in the house. I suspected that she might enjoy that. We’d anyways give it a try. I figured that all the new enthusiasm would die one day and we’d , together, make sense of routines and find a way to keep a fresh pair of eyes in how we’d view our world together.
Flowers were a new thing. It felt more overwhelming that I had imagined. Cue in the owner. She was a kind lady, full of love and motherly warmth. She held on to my hand , as she’d have held on to her son’s arm, while she helped me make a choice. I told her about the occasion and her smile widened. She asked to see a picture and I didn’t find anything odd with that request. Enthusiastically, I unlocked my phone and my gallery had a zillion pictures of us. One look was all it took for the old lady to point me towards daffodils. Bright and yellow, it’s just like her. You should buy these for her. I insist, she said.
She packed a handful. The billing now done, she walked with me as I exited her shop. All the best for the evening, she cheered. You both must pay our shop a visit. Promise me that please.
I nodded a yes. A quick embrace later, I bid her farewell. Destiny was waiting!!!!
It was then I saw a flash of light and a boom followed shortly. A short moment of fear over things that I couldn’t comprehend. It all happened way too fast. All I could remember was that quick flash of white light and that piercing noise. There was peace after.
“So, that’s it? ” I asked.
Of course, I didn’t get a response.
“Why me? What did I do wrong? Did I intent a harm or instigate anything evil? Why? Is this karma? ”
Still no answer.
The anger, the disappointment, the regret, all of it flooded my heart all at once. I couldn’t contain them within me any more.
“Answer me” I bellowed in fuming rage.
“There is no reason to it. Just happened. I know it must hurt to realize that there is no fair justification to what transpired. It must feel really bad to uncover the truth that the way things work, are not based on individual’s course of life. In fact , it’s the other way around, Individuals are affected by the nature of things that transpire. lives continue, lives cut short, promises are made, dreams are broken. These are consequences of things that transpire around us. ”
“You will be remembered. There will be tears for a while. There will be smiles one day. Someday, you will be a cherished memory. Someday you will be remembered and tears might follow from time to time. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is”
I had tears flowing through my eyes. I never could fathom that beyond life there could be tears. I didn’t what I was now, was I a spirit, or was I what I thought was a soul. None of that mattered anymore. It wasn’t the same anymore. I wiped my tears and turned back to steal a final glance. I saw myself scattered across the pavement. The daffodils on the pavement were yellow and red.