The Last Daffodil

Harshita.

2nd post. 2nd short fiction.

A maple leaf blows in the air; but it looks like cracked smoky glass. This appearance is obvious if one looks through a window which is almost a hundred years old and covered in dust and fog.

Older than those cracks do the pair of eyes look, that have been staring into the street outside since the break of dawn. She has lost track of time and only wishes to be alone for sometime, being completely unaware of how long that ‘sometime’ lasts. She sees her reflection partially on the cracked glass of the window and pictures herself as a little girl in a yellow dress and her braids decorated with daffodils, her favorite flower in the world.

Then she sees herself strolling on the street in the rain, laughing with him and ignoring the bad weather. She remembers the pace at which he kissed her and made love to her, to keep her warm on a brutally cold winter night.

Original Cover Art by Hrishikesh Bharali for this story.

Soon after that, she feels a burning pain, not in her body but in her heart; because she sees the day she had to pay for a truck-driver’s small mistake.

Isn’t it ironic how the coldest of the dark nights can be so amazing and the clearest of the bright days can be so terrible? Even though she lay bed-ridden for the following years, her mind didn’t rest for even a single moment.

She could soon see the days past her recovery from the accident. She was happy again and ready to set on a new journey. She remembers how happy she was on the day she wore her white dress and white veil for him. She sees their beautiful children who grow up and finally graduate to set on their own paths of success.

Still looking at the falling maple leaves, she takes deep heavy breaths, trying to fill her lungs each time. But she finds it harder than she did before and more tiresome too. The lines of wrinkled skin on her face, arms and legs indicate how old she is at the present. She’s able to hear a faint beeping noise from somewhere. A very familiar voice speaks to her but she’s unable to respond. She hears the voice say, “Please don’t leave me, I need you. You’re all I have.” She also hears a few sobbing sounds in the background and realizes that she’s unable to move at all and can only hear the sounds. Her senses slowly start to falter with each passing second.

She sees the cracked window once again in her mind. Only this time, there is no maple leaf but a beautiful Blood Moon. As the dark gray clouds swallow the moon, she slowly transcends to the other dimension, the one we can never know of while we live.

The ECG machine gives off a constant sharp beep and the screen shows no sign of curves on the graph anymore. A teardrop splashes on her soft cold cheek from his eyes, as he still can’t take them off of her. His old trembling hands place the two hundred and fifty sixth daffodil between her locked fingers, as the bed was almost full of those. He whispers, “I love you,” into her ear and plants a kiss on her forehead. The doctors remind him to leave and let them take her away but he stands there and stares at her, filled with love and anger at the same time.

The longer he stands there, the longer the silence gets.

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