Touch of Regret

Pink flowers etched on to the couch. Faked a smile at the wilting flowers outside the window drenched by the grey. Velvet fabric mocking the outdoor fleshly petals crusting over. At one point in their life, couch and flower, they might have felt the same. But today they are not the same. Unnaturally preserved vibrant. Unnaturally dying in the grey. 

Time to think. Time to listen. Time that has drained out of the beautiful blue. Outside is grey and heavy. It’s been long time of the same color. The same smell the same hidden sun. Blur days running together down the window that should be clear. sky. Memories flooded the blank still day after day. It seemed like it should have been more meaningful. The meaningful memories. Not today, they were just as important as the meaningless hour before and after. The meaningful memories. What did they mean. now.

Her fingers pressed into the couch. Remembering the flowers that he brought home one Tuesday afternoon. Delicate dying flowers, only to blossom before her eyes on the kitchen table. Snipping each stalk at the tip, so that it would drink up the perfect amount of nourishment. Carefully clipping the leaves that would bring them to rot too soon. Stacking soft head upon head. Sweet flowers enjoyed only for a beautiful moment. Sweet flowers remembered only in a beautiful memory.

Did she regret those distant flowers and their moment of softness? No of course not. Even as she enjoyed the birth and beauty of their bloom, it was sure to end soon. This is how she knew. What those tiny wilting flowers felt like. What those soft passing petals felt like that she couldn’t touch right now. Outside the window. Living and breathing and dying and wilting in the grey.

And there was a time. Running her fingers against the fibers of the fake couch flowers. When she held the blooms too tight. She may have spoke too loudly. She probably stepped too far. She must have acted too bold. She crushed the delicate bloom a little too much. Willingly, unwillingly, she sped along its inevitable curse. And it was so. Sweet flowers only remembered in a beautiful memory.

Did she regret those lovely flowers of her past? Even if she could not hold on to them. Even if they had been bruised and crushed before their time. No of course not. They were just as alive and dead as all the other memories that flooded. Those tiny fresh petals that lived beyond her reach, out of the window. Out of her grasp. Out of her time.

Regret. She doesn’t regret the things she’s done.

Because she knows that her redeemer lives. Good or bad, long or short, beautiful or ugly. The gifts were alive for a moment. But her promise of life is eternal. The flowers that she will know, they will last forever. The flowers she will enjoy will heal and endure. The flowers that she tried to make last, were only of a shadow of the blossom to come. And this was not her reward for keeping a few passing flowers alive. A few passing moments to live a little longer, a little better. She would not receive payment for the impossible task of tending an everlasting season without decay. No, sweet dear flowers, a never-ending garden, that was the ultimate end of this grey monotonous story. That is why she couldn’t begin to regret all the flowers she knew before.

Tracing a leathered finger over and across the artificial print of a flower on her couch. Meaningless. Representing the meaningful. Bought this couch with her husband almost 45 years ago. When he could see. When he could speak. When he could breathe. The pink flowers balanced a dark green masculinity of the long past living room. Thats why he agreed to buy this couch for her. But he most certainly did not ever like the pink flowers, really. She was sure that he preferred to give her the ones that would die too soon.

Velvet couch flowers. Preserved. Unchanged.Their endurance seemed like they should have been more meaningful. Than the sweet dear flowers that always died. They were couch flowers. Unnaturally preserved. Unnaturally sweet. Unnaturally alive. Unnaturally a flower of a remembrance. Unnaturally a memory of a breath to come.

And she thought of those flowers. The ones she held. And she cried. For the ones she never touched. That she wouldn’t remember their soft sweet leaf. That she wouldn’t know how to hope for their beauty that she did not know. That she was too careful. That she was too afraid. And for what. It was all living and breathing dying and wilting. But those quick passing flowers taught her everything that she hoped for today. Scents and shadows of an anticipated garden. 

Regret. She doesn’t regret the things she’s done.

No, she only regrets the things she didn’t do. She didn’t say. The flowers she never held.