I lie on my bed, daydreaming about life-size teddy bears, snow cones, and Mike Parker. My friends are at the carnival, probably having a blast. Rumor has it Mike is selling pretzels. He doesn’t know I exist.
I’m stuck at home with Aunt Bev. She’s visiting the states from England, and will be in town for only one day. She’s seventy-five and prefers tea over coffee. I’m certain we have nothing in common.
My parents entertain her on the patio. I stay in my room, listening to CDs. On the nightstand, my daylily–vibrant orange–dazzles me.
My mother gave it to me this morning. “Their botanical name, Hemerocallis, comes from two Greek words, meaning beauty and day,” she’d said. “Enjoy it while you can, Audrey. The daylily lasts for only one day.”
“Yeah?” I’d mumbled, bored.
After awhile, Aunt Bev wanders into my room. I force a welcoming smile. She doesn’t seem to mind Nirvana’s moody lyrics, or my poster covered walls. She marvels over my daylily, then asks about school. Ugly gym shorts and algebra make for boring conversation, until I mention Mike.
“Give it time, Audrey,” she says, “you’re a pretty girl.”
CDs shuffle in my stereo, preceded by loud, distorted guitars, which segue into The Beatles’ “Revolution.”
Aunt Bev looks up, breathless with excitement. “The Beatles…”
I widen my eyes. “You know this song, Aunt Bev?”
She laughs. “I can’t believe you do. Aud, I saw these guys in concert. I was, oh… about your age. “
I’m speechless. Aunt Bev’s eyes gleam like sapphires. “It was amazing. I was in love with Paul McCartney. I had hoped, somehow…”
She’s still smiling, but I see a moment of longing. “There must have been millions of us girls screaming. You talk about a guy not knowing you exist…”
We laugh until our stomachs hurt. My chances with Mike suddenly seem feasible.
For the rest of the night, we’re inseparable. Later, when she hugs me goodbye, I remember, with admiration, the story of the daylily. My bottom lip trembles. How I wish we had another day.