The barbecue tasted great. The potato salad too. We sat in the garden enjoying the wine, his hand intertwined with mine. We looked into each other eyes, communicating without words. He was happy. I was happy. So were the bees and other insects around us, they zoomed tirelessly between flowers, collecting nectar. I laid my head on his shoulder, he gathered me into his arms. Together, we watched how nature works. We stayed there until late listening to the birds.
I was looking at the fire pit watching the flame. I lighted it earlier and sat in the gazebo waiting for him. He uncharacteristically late today. So, unlike him. The dinner I prepared and laid on the table turned cold, the candles had burned out. He finally came at eight looking different, haggard and somewhat worried. He sat opposite me and said he wanted a divorce. He is in love with someone else. Outside it started raining. Good. I didn’t have to water the plants.
He’s gone. Packed his bags and left. He said he was going to stay in a hotel. I found out later that he moved in with her. I watched him marched through the garden with his suitcase. He stepped on my rose bushes on the way to his car. He probably didn’t notice they were there under the blanket of snow. I closed the curtain and laid in the dark.
I stayed there for days. Sometimes weeks, lying in my bed without moving. Standing up just to get more wine. And smoke. I took up smoking again. I found out cigarettes were a good substitute for food. It filled my stomach and quieted my nerves. A good companion during those dark long lonely cold days and nights. I took the phone off the hook and disabled the doorbell. I didn’t want to hear or see anyone. I just wanted him to come back and say he made a mistake. I waited in vain.
I went outside and found out that crocuses and snowdrops had pushed through the layers of snow. A little farther, cyclamens were also putting a good show. So was the grape hyacinths. I lower myself to the ground and fingered them. Tough little flowers. Soon Dutch irises and narcissus will be joining their efforts and the garden will be alive again with a riot of colors. I smiled for the first time in months.