Kate walked the garden alone. She stopped in the shed doorway, turned and considered the activity. The bees hard at work at the cabbage flowers. The tomatos full and ripe. All was well. Putting her early morning tea on the bench, she allowed only a sigh at the neat row of tools, all clean, all in their place.
Back then she had put down her mug and said “Not cabbage. Disgusting stuff!” Laughing, she’d offered him another drink.
“Three beds. Just for you”, he’d teased back, big and loud, leaning forward to make new marks on the crowded plan. The plan required many tools. They spent weekends cycling the local garage sales but they were almost there. And their plan was ready to live. The first bed was half built.
It remained half built for three years.
She had cried. Gulping sobs of air. Later she drank the drinks cabinet, still crying. Over time she drank, sang karaoke, slept with a sales manager. And cried. Sometimes she reread the newspaper clippings. She cried, because she could.
Three years passed. It was the anniversary of the day they’d laughed together in bed. Laughed at his new lycra cycling shorts. They’d laughed together, before Daniel was run down half a mile from home. On that third anniversary, Kate made herself a cup of tea and went out to the shed.
Making the first bed was the hardest.
This piece was submitted to the October edition of Flash Frontier – the Romance edition. Submissions closed 30 September 2019 and were for pieces 250 words long.
It was my first ever submission. And my first run through a writers critique session. The piece was not accepted for publication. In explaining their choices the editors stated:
“There were some well-written entries for this month’s edition of Flash Frontier which didn’t make the final cut because they depicted the death of relationships or the unhappiness of them. These entries lacked the hope, the promise at the end that defines romance.”
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