Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wedding cards

“Sir, which design would you like?”

“Number 23 and emailed to me, if possible.”

“Very well, sir. The email will reach you shortly. Thank you for choosing Little Greetings Design. Have a nice day…”

Jane put down the phone and turned back to her computer screen with a notepad in hand. She keyed in the number and attached it to an email before sending it to her customer. It was a year ago when she started this business and it has been running since. No doubt there are seasons when custom cards sold like hot cakes- take Valentines and Weddings. Nevertheless, Jane was satisfied with her job.

From her window, Jane saw the postman drop letters into her letterbox. She winced. She dreaded going through her letters. It wasn’t because of bills but of her trade- wedding cards. For years, Jane was without a steady partner and it seemed to her that everyone had already gotten hitched and well… they left her…alone.

Before her unsteadiness, Jane dreamt of being Mrs. David Foster. Well, that dream lasted for 3 years before David decided that he should work in Greece at an excavation site. He didn’t want to be tied down so thus ended the wonderful life of the Fosters- in Jane’s mind, that is. That was 5 years ago. David wasn’t all that ‘evil’-he came back home for two weeks every quarter of the year to visit his mother and also Jane (who lives next  door to his mum).

Jane shook herself and opened the letterbox. True enough- there were at least three wedding invites. Whoppie-do, Jane thought to herself. She placed the envelopes on the table. It’s another three for them while none for me. Well, those who can’t wed, designs.  

Two weeks passed and nothing new except the fact that two of her friends got married already. How lovely. Few more wedding cards came in the mail but Jane was too bothered to open anymore.

A taxi pulled up at Mrs. Foster’s house. David looked out at his childhood home and smiled. “Hello mother.” he said as he gave her a big bear hug. “You’re back earlier, Davie. Something wrong?” David shook his head and smiled affectionately, “Nothing wrong, mum…” Unnoticed by both, a redhead watched their every move.

It was a day after his arrival that Jane heard a knock on her door. As always, David visits her every time he’s back. Jane sighed, he had absolutely no idea how he kills her after every visit. In spite of that, she always puts her best smile. “Hi, David…I see you’re back early than usual. Something happened?”

“Why does that question seem so familiar? Nothing wrong, I can assure you.”

“You look like a Cheshire cat at my door. Could you make this quick? I got a hot date in an hour."

Jane was left perplexed when David left abruptly.

The two weeks of his stay finally came to an end and Jane hasn’t even figured out the reason nor did David come to explain why. An hour before the taxi was due to arrive, David knocked on Jane’s door.

“Did you at all check your mail??”

Jane was taken aback, “My mail? I don’t see why my mail is…” She was cut short when David pushed his way in. He went through the envelopes and handed a blue pastel one to her. Jane eyed him as she began to open the envelope. She pulled out the contents.

“I get wedding cards every month, why give me this? I have no time for games”

“Humour me and open the card.”

Jane let out her frustration. Fine, I will, it’s obvious he’s gotten engaged already and I’m about to be asked to be bridesmaid, just you watch. Jane opened the card and read.

Shock gripped her. It was true as soon as she saw his name and...

What?? She looked up. She was speechless.
David bit his lip. “If you say yes, then it’ll be the card design, it’s your design number 23, if I remembered correctly.”

Jane wasn’t sure if it was reality. She pinched herself then smiled though it hurt.
“Yes, a thousand times, yes!!”

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Canyons

“…how’s about we take a road trip to the Canyons?” her face beamed with excitement.  I glanced at her then back on the road, “Are you sure, honey? I mean like we been there for a million times already.” She slumped back to the seat, “Yea, I guess you’re right.” I sensed her spirits was down, “I guess we can drop by on the way to my parents?” She smiled then lean over to kiss my cheek. I grinned, “I don’t know why you love it there so much.”  She stopped to think and though in the dark I knew she was biting her lips, “I guess beauty never fades there, no matter how many times you go it’s still the same heart-stopping scene.”  Then came the bright lights...

I shut my suitcase tight. Alice’s already settled in the passenger’s seat. I loaded everything into the trunk. In no time, I started the long drive to Flagstaff. Yea, it’s the trip we’ve been planning for. I smiled. Spring finally came to an end, not that I don’t like the season- I just wanted it to pass. Summer’s now knocking on Mother Nature’s door and now’s the right time for a road trip. Nothing like sunshine, brownness and summer breeze to wake your senses- well, it beats the workplace.

Ah, the’ 62.1 miles to Flagstaff’ sign. My neck muscles ached from the long drive. I looked at my wife, “Here we are darling- where the beauty never ends.” I turn back to the road and she smiled.  I drove and headed for the North Rim. I switched the channel for slower tracks. I could hear her sigh, waiting patiently. If she had her way, I think I’d be persuaded to live in one of the caves here too- don’t tell her that though, she might just give me a smack. Now there’s a thought to laugh about.  

The day was about to end. Orange and red hue stretched its arms, colouring clouds and bathing the sky in the loveliest combination. The scenery just took my breath away. Alice was right, she always is. I bit my lip as I looked past the tall rocks and over the dry rocky terrain. Suddenly, I could feel Alice smiling, I smiled. “Beauty never fades here, no matter how many times.”

I opened the porcelain box.

“It’s time that you fly and rest forever in the place you love… I love you, baby.” I held the ashes on my open palm and the breeze-like cued- blew them away.  “Always your beauty will remain here, Alice.” For a moment, I could feel a warm familiar touch on my cheek. I closed my eyes.

 I will always love you. 

Then the wind blew it away.