An affinity for capturing segments of my life through my little camera and trying to be artsy with it led me to join a photo challenge group on Facebook. There are daily prompts that we are free to interpret in our pursuit of a photogenic moment. Then we post our choice on the group page. A couple days ago the prompt was ‘yellow’ and on a walk at the beach I found something that made me ask “Why? What? How?” My sister ‘hinted’ that I should write a story that answers those questions. Thus the following story emerged. Don’t know if the questions are answered but painting this scenario with words gave me some satisfaction and I’d like to share it with you.
Bouquet in the Sand
By Anita van der Elst
January 14, 2013
Rose petals flurry onto the sand, stems flopping in random array along with the yellow daisy and the orange mum.
“How could he do this to me? This is how he ends it? With flowers?” Rivulets on her cheeks mirror the estuary on the bay. She shakes clinging pale pink petals from her fingers; furiously swipes at her eyes with the backs of her hands. A man in a yellow kayak dips his double-ended oar from side to side on his steady way into the marina. It is a soothing sight. For a moment.
She climbs onto the rock jetty, remembers moonlit cruises from this very harbor. Fine dining on the yacht; promises made; whispered words of love—a cliché of clichés. She should have known, seen it coming. Meeting his family that first time gave her fair warning. Their condescension cloaked in political correctness. She ignored it, convinced love could conquer all such prejudice. Hers could. Apparently his could not.
A breeze tosses the twisted branches of the lone tree above her, eddies down, scattering the rose petals, drawing her back to the floral mess. Her heart breaks anew. Romance, once sweet and fresh, now compostable. She cannot bear it, sinks to her knees.
Knowing the impossibility of reassembling the petals, she reaches for the stems, pulling the remaining intact blossoms together, forming a bouquet. Tenderly nestles it between two knobby-kneed roots exposed in the sand. Her heart deserves this memorial.
She faces into the wind, welcoming the tingle on her skin.