Soft pink petals, parting. You pluck them. Pastel hues, gathered into bunches. An offering that makes me smile. I say a tiny blessing that I trust this gift. Once upon a time I used to get flowers from somebody else. Receiving them never felt as pleasurable as this. More often I felt the thorns in those offerings. As though there was an apology in them, for things I didn’t know were happening. Sad things, behind my back. I blink the unhappy thought away.
I smell the bouquet and and sneeze. A tiny squeak that always elicits giggles from anybody nearby. Your face is warm and your energy is open. You wrap your arms around me and I bury my face in, inhaling your smells and feeling the texture of your cotton shirt against my cheek. I grasp a wrinkle of jersey in my free hand and press hard into you.
I take them to the sink and fill a faded blue glass antique jar with water. The smell of green as I snip of blades to tidy the ends. Dropping them into the vessel I parade them to the table, sitting them on the lace tablecloth near the tea cups resting in a puddle of sunshine.
There is beauty in these small things. These gestures. And the beauty blooms and grows in new ways inside of me now that so much pain is behind me. I am not in a constant state of receiving apologies for things I don’t know that have occurred. It is plain. You offer a gift that you were thinking of me and I accept the gift with trust.
We lay down together, spooning in our own ray of sun. Your hand resting in the valley of my hip. Your breath on the back of my neck.
“Tell me a story,” I say, only slightly childish.
“Once upon a time there was a mermaid…” you begin a tale made from familiar places and happy endings as I drift off to sleep.