Autumn has crept into our garden early this year. Stems gaunt and leafless, the cleome lean precariously close to the Russian sage. Outside Bea’s window, a few white blossoms still dance on the gaura, but the tired plants already bend in the brisk breeze. From beneath the skirts of the Grosso lavender, a renegade clump of Mexican Hat pushes forth new sombreros, as if to entice the merry nasturtiums to play. The nasturtiums never let go until the first frost. My mother always used to plant nasturtiums, one of her favorite flowers.
With the change of seasons comes a reckoning.
“I’m going to die this week,” Bea announced yesterday. It was one of the only things she said and did not invite comment.
How do you know? Do you welcome death as a release? Why give up now? What makes you so sure? Questions tumble through my mind, but remain unspoken.
I stare at her face, beautiful in its angular hollows and transparent skin. Bea is a rare flower whose time has come. Our garden will be barren without her …