It’s raining outside. It’s breezy. Just how I like it. Just how she likes it. It’s sweaty inside. Or maybe it’s just me. I am fidgety. I am nervous. She turns, and she asks for a pen. Yeah, yeah sure, I mumble. I give her one and smile so quick as if there’s bonus points for saving time. She returns the smile and turns back away. I breathe out. I realise I gave her the pen that had stopped working. Shit! Why am I so bloody nervous around her? How hard is it to say- I like you, would you consider me? Ok… it’s freaking hard. Flowers would make it easier. A rose? But no… I can’t do it…. I don’t know why.
It’s so hot. It’s like the Middle East! I’m at the field trip. I came because everyone else did. She did. She’s sitting all alone a few rocks ahead of me. I’m sitting all alone a few rocks behind her. I should just go for it. What am I so scared of? The worst that can happen is she’ll laugh and tell the whole school what a jerk I am. But that’s not new. And she seems a nice girl. A very nice girl… God, I’m such a typical fool. And the typical fools always just sit at the back of the hall and see their love walk away with the football captain. I wish I didn’t hate football. Maybe I should take some flowers. Maybe I should take these wild flowers. I wish i knew their name. They are as blue as her eyes. But.. no… I shouldn’t do it. I don’t know why.
It’s cold. She did walk away with the football captain. That makes it colder. What makes it even worse is today’s their wedding. It’s freezing inside the church. I wonder if she’ll wear a gown. She has. God… she looks like sunshine. She has brought the summer inside. She’s bright as the flowers I’ve brought her. I don’t know their names either but they are fragnant…like her. They are warm… like her. They are beautiful… like her. Of course, I can’t say it now. Maybe I’ll give her the flowers this time. I should have said it, but I didn’t. I don’t know why.
It’s never been as dry as today. There is no wind. I’s dead silent. The sun hasn’t shown at all. It’s the perfect setting. It’s her funeral. She died in an accident, saving a little girl from being run over by a bus. In fact, from the bus her little girl was in. There she is. Standing with her daddy. The football captain. I’ve got them flowers again. But I won’t keep them on her grave. Flowers never did reach her. On her wedding too I had had to leave. I couldn’t… I don’t know why. I’ll give the tuberoses to her daughter. I’ll make a start with her. I will give her all the flowers I didn’t give her mom. All the flowers I should have. But I didn’t. I don’t know why.
I cry. For the first time in twenty years I cry. If only I had tried. If I had just tried it once. But I chose to watch as she slipped away. As the girl I loved, and who loved me, slipped away.
The post arrived as usual today. But not quite as usual, this time I had a real letter. A letter, not just bills. A letter from her. Her daughter posted it, with a note that she found it in her mom’s old stuff and saw it was for me.
I sit here all alone, and I cry.
Because this is what it said.
I’m going to be married next Tuesday. And though this isn’t the best time to say this, I must tell you before I take the vows.It’s been too late already but I must not stop now.
I wish I had had the courage in school. I wish I hadn’t asked for a pen when I really wanted to ask you to come to the movies with me. I wish I hadn’t spent the entire hour sitting on the rocks pretending my feelings weren’t real, but told you I liked you. I wish I hadn’t fallen in love with another guy because I had never had the courage to fall in love with the person I actually liked. I wish I had done all of these things. But I did nothing. I don’t know why.
I can’t expect you to understand. You’re probably not even coming to the wedding. But I just had to do this one true thing before I went back to my life of being scared into doing other things.
Please keep in touch. I don’t want to forget you. I really don’t know what else to say.
I wish things had been different.
I cry so long and so hard I can hardly breathe. Why didn’t I just try. The letter is creased in so many folds I know she had crumpled it up. But she had kept it.
Something flutters out of the envelope. It’s a dried rose.
I wish I had just tried. I wish I had given flowers a chance.