Here’s a flash fiction piece from author, Mary L. Ball
Spring Will Always Bring a Smile
Lisa rested on a 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 were all around. As the Birds sang a melody in the distance, Lisa didn’t smile. Spring was here, and she didn’t care.
As a man approached and stood beside her. He gazed at Lisa and spoke with a cracked, aged 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 elderly man, something in his eyes made her speak again. In a voice barely audible, words laced with despair. “Rob was my only love; we didn’t have but a few years together.”
The older man gazed at Lisa and saw the hurt in her eyes. “I know what you mean; my Polly was my mate for over forty years.”
Lisa looked at the man. “It must be hard to have someone around that long of 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, why take away our loved ones.”
The grey-haired man looked away and 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.
She shook her head in disbelief. “I don’t want to accept that.”
The man stepped closer to Lisa and gently touched her hand. “Would Rob want you to be bitter, to turn away from the world?”
Something in the way the man spoke opened her heart and brought back a memory of a conversation with Rob. Lisa recalled a time when he asked her to promise him that she would never let anything take away her beautiful smile. Lisa glanced at the old man nervously, realizing her replying. “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 the spring, and with it, a brand-new start. We can’t go back to the past. 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. 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.”
He turned his head toward Lisa and grinned, “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.”
As the man slipped his hand away, Lisa closed her eyes and wiped a tear from her cheek. She raised her head up and saw that the old man was gone.
Lisa gazed in all directions. Her eyes caught sight of a young woman walking passed. “Excuse me, where did the old man who was carrying an umbrella go?”
The lady eyed Lisa with a puzzled expression, lines formed around her mouth; sluggishly she moved 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, “Thanks.” Quickly, she rushed to the car.
Seated in her vehicle, Lisa exhaled a breath and took one last look at the spot she cherished and smiled. At that moment, she thought she heard a quiet soothing voice, “Lisa, that’s the smile I fell in love with.”
Mary L. Ball is an inspirational fiction author and lives in North Carolina. Her novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After, Christmas at Angel ranch and Redemption in Big Fork Lake. She is also a contributing author of 21 Stories of Faith.
Oooh! Did it send a chill up your spine?
UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!