The November air caressed her face as Olivia made her way up the slope and then back down to the other side where her friend was always waiting for her. She was having a hard time not falling flat on her face but after a few scares, she made it down.
From under her coat she took the beautifully arranged tulips she’d asked for this special occasion. Bending down, Olivia placed them in front of the gray stone that read Emilia Barton, loving daughter and friend. 1982-2009.
This time there were no people running around like they’d been when she came during the summer. It was just the two of them.
The wind picked up a few scattered leaves around her feet and she took this as her friend’s reply.
“I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner. But I’m sure you know it was kind of hectic. I’ve missed you most these past few months. You and Tracy would’ve gotten a kick out of planning all the logistics. Though I have to give her credit, she has been very patient. Still, it would’ve been fun to have you around to help me make up my mind.
“Anyway, these flowers are for you. They were meant for you all along. I just wished you would’ve been here to catch them. I don’t know if tulips are your favorite but they reminded me of you. They might look all innocent, slim and long, but the second they bloom, their vibrant colors just blow you away. Even if it was too late, you blossomed into a true friend and an amazing woman. I don’t have any quick T.V. reference about them, but I am sure you’ll think of one.”
Olivia knelt down again, careful not to step on her dress and carried on.
“I promise I’ll come back on December and do some decorating around here. Michael says hi, by the way.”
She heard the sound of someone approaching behind her. When she turned around she realized it was Sam, even though she’d never met him. He saw her and paused before continuing his approach to Emilia’s grave. Olivia felt a pang of sympathy for the man who carried an even bigger bouquet of flowers. Red and pink roses.
“Oh, I didn’t mean to interrupt.” Sam eyed the woman before him.
“I was just leaving. I am Olivia, Olivia Becket.” She extended her hand and shook Sam’s.
“Were you a friend of Emilia’s?”
“In a way, yes. We met just before the accident. You’re Sam.”
“Yes. I am sorry we never got to meet. You do seem like the type of person Emilia would be friends with.”
“It took us a while to get there but yes, we became very good friends. I am sorry for your loss, Sam.”
Sam nodded and turned to stare at his friend’s carved name on the stone.
“I am, too. I just came back home from Europe to spend Thanksgiving with my folks and to visit Emilia’s family. It’s been rough, moving on but I like it over there.”
“I think she would want you to be happy.”
“I just regret I didn’t have the courage to let her do the same. It’s funny, though. Right before I moved away, I was at my place packing stuff and I swear I heard her telling me it was okay, that she was okay and she wished me the best of luck.”
“It’s not funny. For some time I swore she was still here, you know nagging me about stuff. Chattering about every show on T.V. Giving me advice I was too stubborn to follow at first.”
Sam arranged both sets of flowers next to each other and patted the stone.
“That sounds like her.”
Michael said from behind. His dark coat billowing in the air and looking lovingly at Olivia.
“Hey. Michael, this is Sam.”
“Nice to meet you. I am sorry for your loss.”
“Thanks. Did you meet Emilia?”
“Sadly, no. But Olivia has told me all about her. From what I have heard, she was a very special woman.”
“Olivia, we should get going.”
“Yes. Nice meeting you, Sam.” Before she began to walk back to the limo waiting for them, Olivia said.
“Goodbye, Emilia. See you soon.”
Michael took her hand and together they left Sam alone standing at Emilia’s grave. Right before getting inside the limo she kissed her husband and he helped her lift her wedding gown and climb inside the limo.
“Poor guy. He looked sad.”
“Yeah, he did. But I guess he knows deep down they both made the right decision. It’s just sometimes destiny has other plans for you.”
“Well, Ms. Hurst. In our destiny I see a huge chocolate fudge cake, a Michael Buble song and a very pissed off Tracy if we are late.”
“I love you, Michael.”
“I love you too, you know that right?”
Michael leaned down and before touching her lips, he whispered.
“Oh, Olivia, believe me, I’ll never stop.”