The Cherry Blossoms

The Cherry Blossoms

Lily Cooper

The cherry blossoms were her favorite.

She would awaken in the springtime after a long sleep of the gray, and the blue eyes of the sky finally opened up. All at once, the entire city would blossom into a pink-and-white wonderland. A royal blush carpet paving the way for Spring to come.

Blocks upon blocks of cobblestone streets would be blanketed with light pinks and
houses that have stood the test of time would be met with nature’s newest addition.

Her heels hit the stone in satisfying ‘clacks’ that spoke words to her, words of warning that she should turn around.

“Go back,” they seemed to say.

She pressed on forward, under the protection of the peony trees, favoring the strong and sturdy hold they had against the weather. Light petals fell down to the ground, her hair collecting each one like teardrops.

Her black silhouette of a dress was a stark contrast against the rows of white houses, while her pale, cream skin faded away into the paint. From a distance, you could see the single white pearl around her neck on a gold chain. The only pearl he could afford to get her.

She turned onto Sakura street and a wave of memories fluttered around in her soul. Images of walks in the rain and entering the pub soaking wet danced around like a curtain of movies.

She saw the first time they met down the road. The first thing he saw was the pile of
books in her arms from studying for hours at the university across town. The second thing he saw was her chocolate brown eyes that broke apart into a million different shades of amber when she walked into the light.

An image of the two of them talking at the bus stop tried to catch her attention. That was the first time he spoke to her— while awkward and jumbled, the words exchanged between them under the falling cherry blossoms and rain, was the step forward to their tumultuous relationship. Before she left on the bus, he reached up and grabbed a blossom and handed it to her.

“Until tomorrow,” he said and waved her off as she headed back toward her classes.

She still had the blossom he gave her tucked away in her journal. Flattened, crisp, dead, but full of color and memories.

She crossed the street and walked through the image of their first kiss. It was after his shift ended and he had tried to make her dinner, burned it all, and they decided to go out to eat. Her cheeks were flushed pink from the wine and he grabbed her by the waist of her matching jacket and kissed her, curving his body into hers like a puzzle piece finally finding its home.

She walked past the argument outside of his flat where she kissed him out of anger and lost her balance, causing both of them to fall down the stairs. They laughed so hard that they forgot what they were originally fighting about.

There was the time when the springtime bloomed and they just sat on the step and
watched the blossoms fall while drinking hot cups of white tea.

At the end of the street, she got to the iron bars looming over her, twisting and twirling as if they were trying to strangle her. With one foot in front of the other, she crossed the barrier and followed the light-petal path down to where he wanted to be.

By the cherry blossom trees. By her.

The procession had already started as she made her way past friends, family, relatives, strangers, and viewed the large black box. To the left of it was him.

She knew that smirk anywhere. It wasn’t full of the mocking and hatred that cruel school girls gave to the less desirables though. It was full of their inside jokes and memories of picnicking by the Thames in the springtime, the basket full of scones, sandwiches, and rose-tinted wine.

She took that photo.

A week later he left with nothing but a single letter apologizing, saying he loved her, but he couldn’t handle it anymore.

The man at the podium spoke of a young life lost and other words that didn’t quite sink in. However, with every word spoken, petals would fall down over her from the trees above. As if he was saying, “Don’t be sad. I’m still here with you.”

But he wasn’t. Not really, anyways.

The only thing that comforted her was the knowledge of the tool that was in her little black purse. The tool that she would use after she walked back through the pink wonderland of trees and to her home. The same tool he used and the one that would reunite them.

She loved the cherry blossoms.

If only they didn’t remind her of him.

Lily Cooper