“Where have you been, Emma? I’ve been waiting here a long time.” Sam gripped his wife’s hand.
“I’m here now, Sam.” Emma gazed into Sam’s eyes. They were the same soulful eyes she fell in love with sixty years before.
Sam smiled. “Well, I’m awful glad you are.” He touched the breast pocket of his jacket. “Say, have you seen my boutonniere?”
“Which boutonniere, Sam?” Emma already knew the answer.
“The one with the red rose. Why, I haven’t missed wearing a red-rose boutonniere to church in more than half a century. But I can’t find it anywhere.”
Other parishioners were passing by now, filing up the stairs and in through the door of the only chapel in Stark City.
Sam flashed a sheepish, quizzical look at his wife. “What is this shindig, again?”
Emma patted the top of his hand. “It’s a funeral, Sam.”
The door to the church opened, and Reverend Wilson walked out, looking somber in all black. Sam was just about to ask the preacher about his missing boutonniere when a wagon rattled to a stop behind them.
“It’s getting late, Tom. Did you have trouble?” Wilson addressed the driver.
Tom shook his head. “No, Reverend. Took awhile to get them loaded and drive back over here, is all. They look nice, though.” He pointed to the red-rose boutonniere on his jacket.
“Good,” Wilson said. “Now let’s get the rest inside so everyone can honor Sam during the service. I think he would have been pleased.”
The two men began to unload the wagon, teeming with red roses.
Emma whispered in Sam’s ear. “They’re all for you, dear.”
She walked away from the church, and as Sam followed, he clutched the breast of his jacket.
The red-rose boutonniere was there, just where it belonged.