Forget Me Not
I waited in The Vicar’s Garden. The late morning still held on to the cool, sweet air. I strolled a while among the flowerbeds along the narrow, stone labyrinth taking in the garden’s beauty, while thinking how the Vicar had labored all spring on his small botanical plot. He arranged the shrubs and flowers in such a lovely fashion. It was right to name it after him.
I came across the perfumed, white roses the Vicar promised me for my bouquet. There were quite a few in full bloom, and many more buds just waking from their natal sleep. Their aroma lifted on a breeze, and I breathed in deeply letting out a sigh of contentment. But I passed them by.
As I strolled on I thought of you, and the promises we made to each other – the love we shared. The miles that kept us apart were no match for our affection. I knew you’d come.
The prettiest little forget-me-nots caught my attention. Their sweet blue faces looked up at me as if they had some great prophetic words to speak. I bent down to greet them. I don’t know what possessed me, perhaps it was the ache I briefly felt in my heart, but I picked them for a nosegay. Suddenly everything in nature seemed still. Even the breeze, that pleasantly and often made itself known all morning ceased, and I found there to be an uncanny quietness that often precedes a storm.
I, too, remained motionless until a sudden, ghostly zephyr animated my surroundings once again, and chilled through me like an unwelcomed phantom. I glanced down at those perceptive little blossoms in my hands. Peering up at me in unison they seemed to lament “forget-me-not, forget-me-not”, but I knew you’d come.
I continued my reminiscent journey along the pathway of self-knowledge. Time seemed to have stopped, but it didn’t. Truthfully it was long passed the hour, but I knew you’d come.
As I found myself standing in the center of the labyrinth. I looked up; the sound of the metal latch of the back church door caught my attention. There he quietly and calmly stood. His graying hair made him seem more comely and sober than ever before. I smiled at him sagaciously as he glanced at the blooms in my hands, then back to my face. Our eyes met with an understanding, and I pressed the flowers to my breast. A willful tear slipped quickly down my cheek as the Vicar slowly closed his holy book and turned back into the church. It was gracious of him to move first, sparing me from my uneasy and self-conscious position. I tarried a moment.
I thought my heart would burst, but it didn’t. Bemused, I began my way back through the labyrinth, but this time on passing the perfumed, white roses that were promised for my bouquet, a thorn tore the sleeve of my dress as if to scorn me for not choosing them. I ripped off the remnant, and cried and laughed at the irony of the piece; for in my hand the residual, soft yellow cloth took the form of a heart, chiding me for wearing mine on my sleeve. I ran from the church, across the fields, and up a knoll, where breathlessly I leaned against a tree for support and composure. There I let the flowers drop from my hand as if at your feet. “Forget-me-not”, they still chorused, “forget-me-not”!
copyright©2003 Marianne Coyne
Note: The above image is from a photo of an original oil painting, “Forget Me Not”, by Marianne Coyne, Copyright©2003. “Forget Me Not” is an original story by Marianne Coyne. All rights reserved.