A Symbol of Hope
I started this flash fiction story yesterday while a pot of soup simmered on the stove. I didn’t get a chance to finish it until this morning.
When writing a flash fiction story, I try to keep it as lean as possible, keeping it around the 1000 word count. I hope you enjoy reading.
A Symbol of Hope
Anna permitted herself one final glance in the mirror before heading downstairs. Jimmy was due home any minute and she was looking forward to an evening out. As a surprise, Anna had booked a table at their favorite restaurant.
After all, a ten year wedding anniversary was worth celebrating. She couldn’t wait to see the look on Jimmy’s face when she told him about their reservations. He was always surprising her, and now it was her turn.
As Anna neared the kitchen, she heard the familiar sound of her husband’s Malibu. Jimmy was never late. He prided himself on being punctual. After leaving her job as an architect, time became a more abstract concept for Anna. She had a new dream that had no time frame.
“Hey, Hon! Traffic was backed up because of an accident.” Jimmy sung out while placing his briefcase in its usual spot. He placed the roses next to Anna’s favorite vase before joining his wife in the kitchen.
“Wow! You look great! Is that a new dress? It looks hot on you!”
Anna smiled before her husband’s admiring gaze. She was thrilled that he had noticed the dress, making it worth the extravagant price tag.
“Thanks, Hon. I thought you might like it. I wanted something different for this evening.”
“This evening? Did I forget something again?” Jimmy had a habit of forgetting anything not written down, and he loved teasing his beautiful wife, who spent most of her time covered in paint since leaving her job. Anna often shared her latest painting with him. Jimmy was always amazed by her talent. The owner at the local art gallery had promptly offered to showcase Anna’s work during her visit. Jimmy couldn’t be more proud of the woman he married ten short years ago.
“I just remembered!” Jimmy ran out the kitchen, retrieved the roses, and ran back to where Anna still stood.
“These are for you. Happy anniversary, hon.” Jimmy passed the small token of his love to the woman he called his wife. He knew not to buy an expensive gift. Anna preferred simple gifts with meaning. And flowers were her favorite. After her mother died, they were also a reminder of her mother.
The loss had been hard on Anna. By the time they found the lung cancer, it was too late. A few months later, Anna left her job and picked up the family tradition of chicken casserole on Fridays, not once deviating from her mother’s recipe. Anna loved having her father over for dinner on those days. After the first invitation, the three of them understood that Friday’s tradition would now be carried on by Anna.
“Earth to Jimmy.” Anna kissed her husband back to reality. “The roses are beautiful, hon. I have a surprise for you too.”
While Anna tended to the roses, taking the time to admire their fragrance as usual, she told Jimmy about their reservations at Kasey’s. It was the restaurant where they ate on their first date, but hadn’t been to in years.
“I wanted to surprise you, so I booked a table three months ago. The restaurant is always full, so I didn’t want to take any chances. I wanted this anniversary to be special. I can’t believe we’ve been married ten years already. You’ve always stood by me, Jimmy. When Mom passed away, you held me up when I couldn’t.”
The roses taken care of, Anna walked over to her husband and wrapped her arms around his waist. Even after a day at work, she could still detect a faint whiff of his cologne. Taking a deep breath, Anna picked up where she left off. “Our reservations are at 7, which gives us plenty of time.”
“The perfect change in plans, hon. You’ve always wanted to cook for our anniversary, so I never suggested going out. Maybe this could be the start of another tradition, and save you all that time in the kitchen. Plus it’ll give me a chance to enjoy how good you look in that dress, before helping you out of it.” Jimmy’s grin was filled with mischief.
Even after ten years, Jimmy still made her feel sexy. It didn’t matter what she was wearing. Anna continued to be grateful for his love and support. When she had announced that she was leaving her job to paint full-time, he didn’t ask a single question.
Instead, he converted the guest room into a studio. The other bedroom would be a nursery some day. After their wedding, they decided to wait until they were financially secure. Anna was hoping to bring up the subject at dinner this evening. She was ready to start a family.
Anna could think of no better answer to Jimmy’s words than a slow, tender kiss. The kiss reminded her of their wedding day. She loved him then, and she loved him even more today, if that was possible.
“If we leave now, we’d have time for a drink before dinner.” Jimmy wondered how this beautiful woman had ever come to be his. He was a lucky man.
“I’ll get my purse. Tonight is my treat.” Anna hugged her husband a little harder before getting her purse from the bedroom.
“I’m ready, hon.” Anna stood in the kitchen doorway, waiting for her husband. She reached out her hand.
“The roses are beautiful, Jim.” Sarah admired this man’s dedication. For the past year, he always made sure his wife had fresh pink roses next to her bed. Although today the roses were red.
“Thank you, Sarah. Today is our anniversary. Anna loves roses, so they’re an anniversary tradition. I know she can’t see them, but maybe she can smell them.”
“I’m sure she can, Jim. Anna’s room always smells so lovely. The hospital could use more of them.”
“Anna said flowers allowed her to feel close to her mother after she died. Mabel loved her flower garden – being especially proud of her pink roses. Anna never had much of a green thumb, so I’ve been surprising her with pink roses since her mother’s passing. But on our anniversary, I still like to give Anna red roses – a small symbol of my love. It’s been a year since the accident, but I know Anna’s going to wake up. Until then, the roses give me hope.”
Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time, be kind to yourself.