What's growing in the garden of our emotions?
|It wasn’t as if Phillip Favreau had found a bullet in his backyard. But still, he was startled by what he did find, hidden in a flower bed. He pushed aside some foliage while snipping the brown and wilted head of a formerly resplendent red Barbarossa Dinnerplate dahlia bloom, and there it was. A plastic freezer bag. It appeared to be the one-quart size, and inside rested a folded sheet of white paper. Phillip reached in and retrieved the plastic bag. He turned it, examining both sides. It wasn’t new, but there was nothing written on the outside to describe the bag’s former contents -- no “Heirloom Tomato Sauce,” “Concert Tickets,” or “Fountain Pen Nibs.” No clues, and what was it doing in his dahlia bed?
Phillip removed his leather gloves, wiped his hands on his chambray gardening shirt, opened the bag, and extracted the paper. He unfolded it to find five words printed in thick blue ink: “I love you, you know.” Phillip looked up and stared straight ahead, motionless. He suddenly swiveled his head, looking about the yard in all directions. He walked to the side fence, the low barrier between his yard and that of Genevieve Whipple. They had shared many conversations over that fence since Genevieve moved in six months ago. Gardening and cooking, life’s pathways, roads not taken. As they talked, Phillip would notice how her hazel eyes complemented her hair, the grey so effortlessly streaked with soft blonde. Her smile invited confidences. But he had never seen her handwriting. Phillip looked down again at the note from the plastic bag.
From an upstairs window overlooking the backyard, Annette Favreau clicked the top of the blue marker into place and smiled down at her husband, sympathy brimming in her eyes. She shook her head. Men.
(Word count: 300)