The grandfather clock in the dining room chimed the half hour. The large wooden table carried almost no dust, despite not having seen use in nearly a month. The china in the cabinet was equally clean. The chairs shone with fresh polish, set equal distances around the table. They seemed small, so few. At the holidays, the extra chairs would be brought up from the basement and would fill out the space around the massive table, but with no one to sit in them now, Mel couldn’t bring herself to keep them in the dining room.
She hadn’t eaten a meal in the space in weeks, electing instead to dine at the kitchen island as long as she was alone. Cooking for one was lonely. Her mother had come twice to visit, but both times they went out to local restaurants to eat. “You’re getting thin,” her mother lamented. “Are you sure you’re eating enough?”
“Yes, mama,” she replied as earnestly as she could muster as she pushed an olive around her plate with her fork.
“Well he won’t be gone forever,” her mother coolly reminded her. “You should be grateful for the time to work in peace.”
Mel had been grateful. His trip was only supposed to last a week. And every day he was away, he sent her flowers. A single rose, delivered to her door by the local florist with the same note. “Camellia, I love you. I’ll be home soon. Anthony”
She frowned at the vase on the table. She had never seen so many roses in various stages of vitality. The earliest roses had begun to wilt, but she refused to throw them away. She continued to trim them and change their water daily, hoping they stayed alive until her husband’s return, hoping she would not have to add many more before he did. As it was, she would need a larger vase again soon.
Mel sighed as the doorbell rang. That would be number twenty-eight. She gave herself a moment to compose her face to something friendlier, not so full of disappointment. It wasn’t the florist delivery guy’s fault she was so dejected.
“Good afternoon, Frank. How’s your da-“ She stopped when she did not find the grandfatherly man on the other side of her door. Purple hyacinths embellished with white heather greeted her eyes, and as they scanned up the chest of the man on her doorstep the blurred with tears. “Anthony?”
Her husband smiled down at her. “Sorry it took me so long. I’m home now.” He nearly dropped the apologetic bouquet as she leapt into his arms and kissed him. He laughed as she began peppering his face with kisses. Twenty-seven. One for every rose he had sent.
Notes: There was a little bit more I wanted to do with this one but I couldn’t come up with the right words. I couldn’t figure out what would keep the husband away for a month when he was only supposed to be gone a week, so I left it up to the reader’s imagination. I’m pretty sure it was all benign and kosher and what-have-you, but if you wanna imagine him as a scoundrel that’s also your prerogative.
I did a little bit of digging into flower language to figure out what might be a good flower/bouquet to give as an apology. More roses would have just upset her, I’m sure. Purple hyacinths can be used to say “I’m Sorry” or “Please Forgive Me” while white heather can sometimes mean “Wishes Will Come True.” In this case, she wished for her husband’s return and there he was. And just to be extra I named her after a flower too. Pink camellias signify longing.
So that does it for me tonight! I hope you enjoyed this pinterest prompt (link to pin source). I’ll return tomorrow with another one! Have a great night!