www.whyville.net Jul 13, 2014 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

Burn the Flowers

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She was ceaselessly exquisite. Her face was the epitome of beauty, with a crimson smile and saphire jewels for eyes that caught every ray of light perfectly. She wore a white veil, which shielded her pale face from the outside world. A glimmering diamond was nestled on her finger tightly. Her dress was lacy and white, covering her elegantly from her shoulders to her feet.

The big day was here.

For this day to come so soon seemed like an alternate reality. I knew momentous events such as the one today were bound to happen in time, but I could scarcely believe one was occurring now. I remembered our past life together as we grew up together. Finger painting became square dancing. Cheap boxes of candy from the drug store became dinners at five star restaurants. We grew together.

I couldn't really remember a life without her in it - to think of going on without her was unfathomable. I-I couldn't do it. I felt close to tears thinking such a thought, but with a deep breath I kept my composure. I'd feel embarassed crying in front of all these people, though they wouldn't blame me. This was a day I would never forget.

We planned our wedding to be perfect. We wanted a traditional white-themed ceremony, but with black accents. I can vividly remember her planning the wedding while, like a fool, I brushed off her thoughts with "that sounds great, honey," or "sure, whatever you want."

She wanted me to care. I should have shown her I did.

But it was too late for that now. This was what mattered now.

I felt uncomfortable, as if all eyes were on me, but I knew everyone was thinking about her. She really did look beautiful. All the flowers were too much, though. She hated flowers. She thought they smelled funny and it troubled her how something so beautiful could wilt and die over time. I wondered if that's what she was thinking right now.

Or, well, thoug-

I couldn't think like that. I wouldn't be able to control myself.

I saw her mother and father, who had tears brimming their eyes. My own mother sat misty-eyed in a pew just a few rows over. Her attention was mainly on me, but I could see she was deeply affected by this moment.

Music began the service, words were said, family and friends surrounded, and by the end, only she and I remained.

She smiled placidly behind her veil, and I felt a sudden impulse to raise it and stroke her cheek. I leaned over and lifted the mesh material, her eyes wide and very much alive as I stared intently into them.

"I love you so much," I whispered while rubbing her cold cheek.

Tears escaped my eyes as I thought about how close we were to our happy ending. Two more weeks and we would have lived happily ever after.

Now we were left in a near-empty church, with only a herse driver and an impatient minister aside from us in the building.

"You almost done up there or what?" One of the men called from the back of the service room.

I took her limp hand in mine for what would be the last time, and I kissed the top of it intently, holding the last tangible memory I would have of her dear. I took one last mournful look at her in the wedding dress she never was able to wear.

"Do you need help bringing all these flowers back to the house?" The other voice said, turning the sentence into an advertising reel. "My buddy does this flower delivery service for only a hundred bucks- flat rate- even for all-"

"No," I closed the lid to the casket and walked down from the pulpit. "Burn them. She hates flowers."


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