They were her favourite flowers.
But that was before Derek left, abruptly, a month after they’d celebrated their first wedding anniversary, when he’d made a pathway of bright pink petals. Later, she’d collected the petals and kept them in a jar.
She smashed the jar the day he walked out.
A few months later she got a phone call and when she rushed to the hospital, almost didn’t recognize his shriveled figure lying on the bed. Somehow she was still listed as his emergency contact.
His eyes brimmed with tears when he saw her.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered.
When he’d found out about the cancer, the doctor had said it would be painful for him and his family. He loved her too much, so made the painstaking decision to have her endure what he thought would be the lesser suffering.
She held his frail hand and both cried softly. Then she saw the withered petals near his pillow.
“So a part of you is always next to me,” he smiled. “I took them from the jar before I left.”
She visited his grave every week, bringing him the same flowers, so he’d always have a part of her beside him.