Flowers for My Daughter

Eva Shelby

“I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through, Kay.”

That’s my best friend, Sally. And she’s right. She can’t imagine.

I’m using my imagination now: I see Beth, walking down an aisle, her arm threaded through Pete’s, as he leads her to the man of her dreams. This man of her dreams would love her, cherish her and… look after her. Better than I did? No, that’s unfair, I did look after her. It was taken out of my hands.

I imagine my grandchildren playing in my garden, running into their grandmother’s arms. My arms. 

I imagine dying. I imagine dying before Beth. The way it should be.

I look up from the table as Pete enters the kitchen.

“She’s here.” He touches my shoulder: “Come on love. It’s time.”

I sway as I get up from the chair. I put one foot in front of the other. Pete leads me out of the kitchen and towards the front door. I turn to look for Sally. She’s right there, behind me, pressing a tissue to her eyes.

Daylight invades my darkness. I pull sunglasses down from my head, onto my eyes. Black clothes. Black car. Black day. Everything; black as the cancer that brought this day here.

I force my eyes to look into the back of the car. A white coffin. Beautiful lilies, white and pure, pure as my beautiful little girl, who lay inside.

Eva Shelby is the Editor of Secret Attic.