Remember the Violets – by Anusha Pillay (College)

Karen felt a sudden lump in her throat as she stared at the crumbling yellowish paper in her hand. Memories came flooding back- Grandma playing with her, cooking her favourite dishes; Grandma in her last days, ravaged by dementia. Four years after her passing, Karen had received a letter from Grandma’s solicitors. “Your grandmother had instructed us to send this to you on your 21st birthday,” said Mr Martin. “We are not aware of its contents,” he added.
Penned in black ink in Grandma’s elegant hand were a few lines-
“We may pass violets looking for roses.
We may pass contentment looking for victory.”
And below that-
“That’s all I will say, Karen. You were always a smart one.”
This sounded like one of the quotes Grandma was fond of repeating to her grandchildren. What was so special about it that it had to be sent to Karen after all this time? In any case there had been no ambiguity regarding the division of her property. Violets…her grandmother had been partial to violets; in fact violet was her own favourite colour.
She got up and walked out of the house, through the side door to the garden that had been Grandma’s pride. A profusion of flowers greeted her- roses, dahlia, tulips, chrysanthemum, all well-tended. The violets were in a quiet little patch and looked like they had not been watered in ages.
Without knowing why, she got down on her knees and started to dig under the violets with a spade. There was nothing, only more earth. What had she expected to find? Probably those words of wisdom were what Grandma wanted her to imbibe. But she went on digging. There was something therapeutic about it. Then she heard the clang of metal on metal. Something was buried there! She reached down and pulled out a small, nondescript box. Fingers trembling, Karen opened it. Nestling inside was a veritable treasure- pearls, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. A note tucked inside said “Dear Karen, this is all for you. But above all, remember the violets.”

Learn more about this author:


Anusha Pillay

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-03 – Violet

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