Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)
By Yvonne Blake
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
There is a tray on the dresser. It has a cup of coffee and a plate with toast, spread with butter and marmalade—just like always—but today a thin vase holds a single branch of yellow forsythia.
Michael must have left my breakfast hours ago. It’s probably cold by now. He’s always greeted me with a cup of coffee, a kiss, and “Good morning, Fuzzyhead.” I didn’t hear him today. I wonder if he kissed me while I slept.
I turn back over.
The rain has stopped. I can’t hear it swishing against the windows anymore, but it’s still dripping and gonging on the trash can lid. A spot of rainbow flickers on the wall. It must be from the glass vase.
My eyes wander along the parade of photographs—a timeline of our family. Michael and I were so young. I look like a child with my blond hair and skinny waist. I’d never fit in my wedding dress now.
Rebekah was so small, so fragile—my only baby. I see her growing up in the frames. She’s hugging her dolly. She’s swinging at the park. She’s riding her bike. She’s cheering her team. She’s showing her diploma. She’s throwing a bouquet. I’m sure Andrew will take good care of her, but I miss her.
My favorite picture is the one of her handing me a dandelion. It was typical of her. She was always bringing me a flower—she got that from her father. The look on her face is so loving, so full of life. I miss my baby.
I feel Butterscotch jump on the bed and I turn over on my back. She rubs against my chin and purrs. Rebekah named her Butterscotch—a good name for her. It fits. The cat probably thinks I’m sick. I am, but not with a fever or headaches. My heart aches.
“I’m getting up.” I pick up the breakfast tray and shuffle down the hall. Catching a sight of my reflection, I pause to look at myself. My wrinkled clothes look like I’ve been sleeping in them—I have. There are dark bags under my eyes, and my white curly hair is frizzing this way and that.
“Good morning, Fuzzyhead,” I say to my reflection. Poor Michael—is this what he sees every morning before he goes to work? I must try to shake off this dreary gloominess for his sake. He is still here, still going on, still living day by day.
“Okay, okay! I’m coming.” I continue to the kitchen. Setting the tray on the table, I dump some food in Butterscotch’s dish and put my coffee in the microwave.
While I’m waiting, I head for the bathroom to relieve my bladder and wash my face. I make a face at my fuzzy head and tackle it with a damp brush. There’s a note taped to the mirror. I hold it close to my face and squint because my glasses are still in the bedroom.
You are beautiful to me.
I am praying for you.
Ahhh…Giving the note a kiss, I hold it to my heart. I love you, too, Michael. You are so good to me.
My coffee is hot. As I sip it, I finger the tiny flowers in the vase—how happy they seem. I wish I felt happier.
I read the note again. “I am praying for you.” I haven’t prayed in a long time. I feel so empty.
God, I don’t want to be this way. It’s not fair to Michael. It’s not fair to me. Please, God, show yourself to me. Let me live again.
“Meow.” Butterscotch paws at the back door.
“I’m coming. I’m coming.”
The sun streams into my face as I open the door. Raindrops on every leaf sparkle with delight. I gasp! The whole backyard, the neighbor’s yard, the fields as far as I can see are dotted with cheery yellow dandelions. There are hundreds—thousands—millions of flowers from my loving Father.
“Thank you, Lord,” I whisper.
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”
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