Edward sat upon the wooden bench as he had done so at the very same time every day for 3543 days.


Always dressed smartly in gabardine, Edward held the single poppy in his hand just as he had done so upon every such day. The satin petals he had fashioned from his wife’s wedding dress were now rather weak around the edges, but it held its form despite everything. Every day Edward would hold on to that poppy as hard as he could as all around him other people’s lives went on, their forms merely blurred edges.

Edward had lovingly created the flower in moments of clarity. With every clumsy thread his eyes glowed a little less and his eyes watered a little more, until the moment the last stitch went into the fabric and he placed it upon the oak table, exhaling stoic breaths and placing his sore, blood specked hands upon grubby arm rests.

Mary had been out of his waking life for 10 years now. Each day had provided Edward with a metronomic rhythm of something akin to being slammed against a brick wall. He took each heavy contact with spittle glistened lips trying desperately to smile. Had he truly smiled since she left, Edward wondered?

He doubted it.

And still he clung on tightly to the poppy, the flower he would eventually pass to his wife when she returned; when she walked along the path to the bench, where she would smile softly to her husband and kiss him gently on his lips.

That very morning, day 3543, Edwards’s daughter Lily had arrived at the house as she often did, to cook a meal, to wash clothing. Every 23rd May she would bring Edward flowers, a big bunch of poppies and offer to take him to place them upon her mother’s resting place. Edward looked into her eyes and said thank you, but no thank you. I shall put them in the vase she loves so much, the one that always made the poppies look so beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as she is.

I shall put them there, he said.

Edward sat upon the bench thinking of nothing else but the words he would say when she came walking by. After she had received the flower, kissed him upon his lips he would say three words, and he would mean them with every inch of his being. Words that take so little time to say, such small effort, but appear so difficult for many to utter. Not for Edward, no. He lived only to finally let go of that poppy, the cloth flower he had made so passionately, and to say those three words again.

And then, and only then, he will be able to truly smile again.

Three words.

Just three. Just three simple words, but when placed together can fill one’s heart with a fluttering fizzle of joy.

I Love You………..

By ianbourneart

I draw. I write. I do stuff.

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