Garden of Memories – by Natalie Beer (Adult)

Many memories of our lives together bloomed in this garden.
The memories always come flooding back when we visit: Lora asking me to be her girlfriend, the first walk we took with our puppy, and celebrating Lora’s promotion with a picnic and champagne.
The garden was the perfect place for today, with its memories and community atmosphere. A group of students sat on the grass near the rose bushes, textbooks scattered around them. A mother strolled along with her son, who ardently blew bubbles and chased after them under the gently swaying tree branches.
Lora leaned down to smell the peonies, her favourite. The flowers from this garden had inspired the candles and diffusers scattered throughout our flat, bringing a piece of the garden back to our home.
Lora did not notice as I pulled a small, velvety box from my bag. My knee brushed against the soft grass. Once certain in my kneel and with my heart in my throat, I found I couldn’t give more than a slight cough to catch my girlfriend’s attention.
“Hmm, what did you say Kenna?” Lora said, turning around. She gasped as she saw me kneeling before her.
“Lora,” I swallowed hard, trying to talk around my heart, “will you-“
“Wait, wait!” Lora waved my words away, and I felt my throat tighten as I watched her scramble about in her own bag.
It must have only taken seconds, but it felt like a lifetime before she pulled out an identical little box from her bag and joined me in a kneel. We opened the boxes. The two engagement rings flashed in the late afternoon sun and tears of happiness glittered in our eyes.
The young students cheered.
The mother smiled as her son blew bubbles our way, their flight over us creating spots of iridescent light on our skin.
Still, neither of us could speak as we crashed forwards into a hug, our laughter answer enough, more wonderful than a simple ‘yes’.
Many memories of our lives together bloomed in this garden, but this is the best one yet.
Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Photo Flora 2019-03 – Garden Magic
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