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Summer Flowers

George could hear the sniffling as soon as he came through the front door. It was early October, prime territory for fall allergies.

But this was no hayfever.

He set the Sunday morning paper on the entryway table and took a deep breath. Head high, chest full.

Be strong, he told himself.

He walked down the hall and through the kitchen. Stopped on the threshold to the little eating area — a kitchenette, he supposed, but they’d always just called it the “homework room.”

Which picture would it be this time? He peeked his head around the corner and took it all in.

It was the drawing of the barn against the far wall that had snagged Lisa’s attention … the one with the mommy and daddy and little boy out front, and the horse poking his neck through the barn window to join the family.

Lisa’s gray head bobbed gently as she cried quiet tears. She sniffled again, and George moved across the room to place a hand on her shoulder.

“That was a long time ago,” he said.

She nodded and lay her cheek against his hand.

“I know,” she said. “But the memories are still so fresh. How did it all go so fast?”

“Because we did it right,” he said. He moved his hand from her shoulder to her waist and pulled her closer, then turned her to face him.

He was glad he had waited until that morning to pick the last of the summer flowers.

“What do you say we go for a drive, maybe stop for a picnic?” He smiled at her. “It’s gorgeous out, and I’ve had my allergy medicine already.”

“Then why are your eyes watering?” she asked, grin spreading across her face.

“Because I know we’ll do today right, too.”

Published inFlash Fiction

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