a hundred red roses – one for every day i’ve known and loved you, his date simpers with a face full of flattery. Ted smiles nervously, rolling up the cuffs on his checkered shirt and unrolling them again, fiddling with the pearl buttons. he’d never noticed how the blue thread made a little cross in the four tiny holes before.
what’s up with you? his date says, cocking his head to the side and jutting out his bottom lip. is it the flowers? are they too red? too girly? Ted shakes his head, glancing in envy at the party-goers drifting through the restaurant – oh my, to be flower free.
who says men can’t have flowers? his date is saying, tucking a stray hair behind his Ted’s ear.
oh, it’s not the flowers. it’s not this bar, or this shirt, or this music.
it’s the hands that hold me. it’s the hundred days lost to someone who isn’t the someone i want, who isn’t the someone i want to get lost in, or get lost with.
Ted takes the flowers. thank you, he says. his date squeezes him with a smile.
he lets the fading light take over. he lets the web of sorrowed souls cradle him like a hammock, and swings into tomorrow unable to loosen the fingers that are gripped around his heart.