Over there near the window.
Six lonely daffodils stood in a vase. The breeze from the window causing them to nod their bright yellow heads like old ladies in church with their hymnals. Serena watched them, almost hypnotized by their languorous movements.
Seductive, almost. Sensual, definitely. She wanted to reach out and feel the – almost plastic-ness of the petals, curve her fingertip over the edge and smooth it over the bumps in the rim. She knew exactly how it’d feel, but she wanted the tactile sense of this moment, to be a part of that small dance of flowers.
“I just wanted to taste it once more, you know,” She said to no one in particular. “Just to know it again, feel that first rush, that first excitement, that jolt of passion. It’s been so long, and I’m so old now, I never thought it’d happen again. I just wanted…”
“I know,” he whispered, letting his hands alight gently on her shoulders as she continued to stare at the flowers, fingers reaching, but not quite touching yet.
“Then why was it so wrong?” Serena laid her head down on her arms, resting on the table, the blossoms inches from her reach, untouchable. “Why did it all have to go wrong?” Tears sprang quickly to her eyes, tracking down her face, falling silently on the wooden surface. “It was all so happy, so good…. until that moment.”
“……” He had no answer for her, just a gentle squeeze of her shoulders, and a carefully placed kiss on the top of her head before he stood back up again.
Serena lifted her head slowly. She’d known that Death had come for her when the horrid pain in her chest had miraculously stopped, much too quickly. She had known for a long time that He would visit her soon, there were too many hints along the way. The twinges, the shortness of breath… but she’d pushed them all aside for him. To be in love again, she didn’t want to spend those magical days of beginning in hospitals, with wires and tubes. It would’ve spoiled it all.
And it had worked. They were happy, so happy, she and her knight in shining armor. He who’d showed her it was possible to fall, one more time into that passion, that fervor of emotion. Who’d shown her that, even in the later years, it was possible to feel like a child, once more.
But she’d known all along that Death was waiting, just around the corner. And, in an odd way, she’d prepared herself for that too. Tried to prepare him. Of course, he was having none of it. They were going to “live forever ever after”, as he put it.
“Naïve innocence”, she’d say, and shake her head and laugh at him.
“Eternal optimism”, he’d fire back at her, and laugh in return, grabbing her up and kissing her soundly.
And now it was time.
Serena sighed heavily, knowing she couldn’t put off the inevitable, hesitant to let even this one, last moment go.
“I just wanted to love, one more time, to be loved in return. And now, it’s all gone.”
“Not all,” came the voice, a little stronger, from behind her, and Serena lifted her head, unsure if it could truly be.
“No…” her cried denial, voice cracking, “No!”
Turning slowly, Serena expected Him to be cloaked in black, pale as chalk, and ready to lead her past the Veil… instead, an outstretched hand-
“Beloved, let’s walk, shall we?”
“Yes, I’m ready.”