I love flash fiction. It’s quick and fun to read! How about you? In case you don’t know what flash fiction is, it’s like a short story–but even shorter. It still has a beginning, a middle and an end. The story today is written by Mary L. Ball.
Spring Will Always Bring a Smile
Lisa rested on the bench in the center of Gold Memorial staring at a grass-covered mound. She glanced around at the new flowers that bloomed and noticed the buds upon the lilac trees, the signs of a changing season all around. Birds sung, in the distance, but the beauty of nature didn’t bring a smile to her face. Spring was here, and she didn’t care.
As an older man approached and stood beside her. He gazed at Lisa and spoke with a crackled voice, “a loved one.”
Lisa hated the intrusion, but despite her mood, she tried to be polite. “Yes, very much loved.” She looked at the man and didn’t know why, but something in his eyes made her speak again. She poured out her heart, her voice barely audible and words laced with despair. “Rob was my only love; we didn’t have, but a few years together.”
The older man saw the hurt in her eyes. He paused a moment before speaking. “I know what you mean; my Polly was my mate for over 40 years.”
Lisa looked at the man, with a touch of sympathy she replied. “It must be hard to have someone around that long a time a time, and lose them.”
The man smiled at Lisa, shaking his head. “Yes, but we had good years together. I thank God- for all those years.”
A prick of anger moved over Lisa, in a sarcastic tone she rushed a reply. “if God wanted us to be happy, then why take away our loved ones.”
The grey-haired man looked at Lisa, a startled expression shown on his furrowed brow. He spoke as if he were talking to the wind. “God does want us to be happy, but everyone has to face loss, a time to weep, and a time to laugh.”
Lisa stood up, noticing the man now carried a smile on his face. An expression of peace sparkled from his eyes she couldn’t understand. She shook her head in disbelief. “Never can I accept that, it is just not right.”
The man stepped closer to Lisa and gently took her hand in his. “Would Rob want you to be bitter, to turn away from the world?” Something in the way the man spoke, his tender touch reached into her soul, opening her heart. It brought back a memory of a conversation; she had with Rob. A day when he told her to promise him that she would never let anything take away her beautiful smile. Lisa glanced at the old man, nervously she replied. “He would want me to go on without him.”
The older man begun to speak about the seasons, “you know Spring is supposed to be a fresh beginning. It brings forth an unmarked life,” his voice continued, words broken by time.”In the Winter, things are dead, then comes Spring, and with it, a brand-new start. We can’t go back to the past Winter; we must move forward into the unused time within the year, and the wonder of a renewed life. Nevertheless, we will forever remember the Winters. Everyone mourns the loss of last year’s flowers. Our purpose though, has invariably been to go on, just as the world constantly moves. In our hearts, we will faithfully hold the love, and memories-but we need to live. By going on with our lives we bring honor to the ones that were lost. It’s a way to show respect for what they represented.”
Lisa hung her head down toward the ground, a numb feeling surrounded her.
As the man slipped his hand away from hers, she closed her eyes and wiped a tear from her cheek, which slipped down the side of her face. She raised her head up and saw that the old man was gone. Lisa gazed in all directions. Her eyes caught sight of a younger lady walking passed. “Excuse me, where did the old man who was carrying an umbrella go?”
The girl looked at Lisa, lines formed around her mouth with a puzzled expression, sluggishly she nodded her head back and forth. “I don’t believe anyone else has been on this path for at least an hour.” Lisa felt her face grow red with embarrassment as she replied. “Oh, well, thanks anyway,” quickly rushing to the car.
Seated in her vehicle, Lisa took one last look at the spot that was so cherished to her, a smile escaping from her lips. It was then she thought she heard a quiet soothing voice say, “Lisa, that’s the smile I fell in love with.”
Oooh–I got goose bumps! How about you?
Until Next Time…God Bless and Good Reading!