Edward’s tea, not even half finished, had gone cold.
So had Edward.
Elizabeth picked up a crisp, white napkin and dabbed at the corners of her mouth. She had grown fond of him and his confident, though chaste, advances. In fact, of all her suitors, she respected him the most.
She would plant sunflowers above him. Their wide, yellow heads would be the sign of her feelings.
Elizabeth began to clear the table, shaking crumbs into a folded napkin. She gingerly picked up Edward’s teacup and frowned at the leaves swirling at the bottom. She always wondered if the portents of their final breaths floated there. None had ever sipped his way to the dregs, so any potential warnings remained submerged and unheeded in the clouded Darjeeling.
She began humming while she worked, and casually swatted away a bee that had settled on Edward’s upper lip. The insect circled the room, then flew out an open window into a garden alive with color.
White lilacs for innocence.
Lotuses for eloquence.
Yellow roses for friendship.