By Andy Hamilton
He walks to the window slowly, dragging polished shoes across the cold tile floor.
“It’s been so…” he offers, working the blinds with his knotted fingers, “unexpected. More like April than November really. Not a bad day for it, as days go.”
A shaft of white light enters the room.
“You’d enjoy the Nasturtiums this year,” he says, shielding his eyes against the sunshine. “They’ve been sending out waves of new buds. It’s like they haven’t realised it’s winter. They’re fierce this year, or foolish. I can’t tell. But you’d like them.”
He turns slowly, opens his mouth and closes it again.
“Mary won’t be coming,” he blurts. “She can’t. She’s so busy and I think she’s… well, you know how busy she is. You understand, I’ll tell her you understand.”
With slow, deliberate footsteps he walks to the bedside. Creaking, he bends and kisses her on the forehead and then, after a moments, on the lips.
“I miss you,” he whispers.
He rights himself and pauses thoughtfully before making his way to the door. A thin smile forms on his lips.
“You would have loved those nasturtiums.”