The conclusion to The Love Story of a Single White Rose
Holding the steaming cup of coffee she rocked gently on her glider. The morning sky was such a deep orange today, Laura felt intoxicated by the sky’s beauty. Another year had passed. Were the days growing shorter each year or did it only feel that way?
Drinking her coffee in silence she let the memories of years gone by convene upon her once more. The memories might bring a tear or two, but only because they were so precious.
Later that morning she made her yearly trek to the train station. In her hand she held two white roses.
She also held a bagged lunch for the young man Corey. He waa a nice man who worked at the ticket booth. A few months ago she had helped a friend buy a ticket for her first trip by train. Her friend Elsie was so shy, but the young man was so patient and understanding with her as he answered her questions.
Once she was safely on the train Laura thanked him again and he said, “May I ask you a question Ma’am?”
She was slightly surprised but replied with a yes.
“I have noticed you make a yearly trip here on the same day every year and you leave behind a single white rose. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but please Ma’am, what is the story behind the rose?”
Laura had smiled and thought for a moment and then replied, “I would be glad to share my tale if you can but wait a few more months?” She winked , as he told her that would be fine and he would be waiting for her. Now the day had arrived and she would keep her promise.
She sat down on the bench a few minutes before the 12 o’clock whistle sounded.
“Hi Miss Laura. ”
Corey was right on time, it was his lunch break and Laura handed him the bag. He pulled out a honey ham sandwich with mustard, some carrot sticks and a big slice of cherry pie.
“Thank you, Ma’am!”
“You are welcome, Enjoy! Now let me begin my story that you have so patiently been waiting for. “
“Kyle gave me my first white rose years ago after our first train ride together.” She told him how they had met and instantly clicked on the train. How they didn’t want to part.
The single white rose stood aa a promise that he wouldn’t forget me. He told me that he would have liked to have bought me a dozen white roses, but money was tight. I looked into his tender brown eyes and told him I didn’t mind, that a single white rose was perfectly fine.
Often he had to leave for business trips, and never would he forget to give me a single white rose when saying goodbye at the train station.
Oh my charming Kyle, he had a heart of gold.”
Laura’s eyes grew wistful as she paused. For a moment Corey felt like he was intruding upon her special memories.
“Sounds like a fairytale, thanks so much for sharing.”
“It was our fairytale and not even Disney could write a better one.”
The look in her eyes challenged you to dispute that fact.
Corey felt such emotion in her he couldn’t dispel the feeling that there was still more to her story. More that was being left unsaid. But he had to get back to work.
“Thanks again for sharing your story with me, I hope to see you again.”
She gave a sweet smile and patted his hand. “Thanks for listening, young man. Always is a pleasure to talk about my Kyle. ”
Walking hack Corey couldn’t help but wonder what he couldn’t bring himself to ask, was her sweet Kyle still alive?
Laura arrived a little later today at the nursing home and he was waiting for her as always. Sitting in the courtyard, for the sun was shining bright.
Giving Nurse Theresa a nod she squeezed Laura’s shoulder as she got up to leave. “He is about the same today.”
Leaning in to him, Laura gave Kyle a soft kiss. His face remained passive, at least he didn’t resist her today. Today he was calm. She continued to talk, keeping up the one way conversation.
“I brought you something today.” She held up a white rose. She would always take one to the train station and bring one here, this time of year.
“I love you Kyle.”
He reached out to touch the rose, not looking at her but smelling the rose again and again.
“I had a pleasant conversation today with a young man at the train station.”
Hearing the word train, his face lit up, how he loved trains.
“Alllll aboard!” He called out loudly.
Then his eyes at last focused on her for a moment. “Did anyone ever tell you what beautiful hair you have?”
Laura thought of how her hair was turning gray and she smiled. He didn’t notice the gray, he was stuck back in time when her hair was a dark shade of brown. Back to when he had first told her that, when he had first seen her on the train.
“Did anyone ever tell you what beautiful hair you have?” He reached out to touch it. She had to be careful for sometimes he could pull a little hard. She remembered long ago traveling on the train falling asleep with her head on his shoulder. Falling asleep to the feel of him playing with her long hair.
This time once again his hands were gentle, as he ran his fingers through her hair. She laid her head upon his shoulder, holding onto one of his hands. “Did anyone ever tell you what beautiful hair you have?” he said.
Their two hands touched the single white rose that he had let drop in his lap. “I won’t forget you” Laura said, her voice choked with emotion, breathing in the fragrance of the single, white rose.