“So, I’ll see you tonight?” Lucas smiled softly at Melanie as he spoke.
Saying goodbye was always hard, but today, it seemed especially difficult. He wished her boss had been more understanding and given her the whole day off – it was their anniversary, after all. And, if Lucas could have had it his way, they would have never left the bed all day…
She nodded. “Maybe I can even pull a few strings and get out a little early.”
“Okay, just let me know.” He leaned forward, kissing her gently.
“Mm…” Melanie smiled against his lips. “Love you.”
“You too. Have fun at work.” He said.
Melanie rolled her eyes, but smiled. “Thanks, I’m sure it’ll be a blast.”
Lucas arrived back at home just in time to see his father leaving for work. “Get called in again?” He asked as he approached.
Damien nodded. “We’ve been so under-staffed lately…” He shrugged. “But it is what it is. Mel working today?”
“Yeah… Can you believe her boss wouldn’t give her today off?” Lucas sighed.
His father almost laughed. “From what I’ve heard of this guy… Yeah, I think I can.”
Lucas couldn’t help but smile. “Well, she’s supposed to get out early, so I guess it’s not so bad.” He shrugged.
“If I don’t see you tonight…” Damien laughed under his breath. “Who am I kidding? I uh, probably won’t, huh?”
Lucas laughed, shaking his head.
“Well congratulations, then. One year down…” He smiled. “You found yourself a great one, son. Make sure you hold onto her.”
“I will, dad. Don’t worry.” Lucas smiled.
With his mother at a meeting with her publisher, Lucas found that he had the house to himself. Perfect, he thought. It was so much easier to get his work done without his parents’ constant questioning.
He had become so adept at using his father’s genetic analyzer that it took only minutes to get his results – and it was exactly what he’d been hoping for. After countless failed attempts, he’d successfully managed to splice together samples from his lily and snapdragon flowers. Today, he tested the resulting seeds and discovered…
Orchid. Hmm… For the second time, he’d managed to create a new plant from the existing ones in his garden. It just had to mean something, didn’t it?
Lucas headed outside immediately, eagerly planting the new seeds into the soft brown soil.
He looked down for a moment, satisfied with his work, when suddenly his face fell. It felt like he was making progress… But for what?
Lucas crossed the yard slowly, making his way around the tall hedge. Today may have marked one anniversary, but last night had marked another, far less joyous one…
A whole year… He stared down at the white marble of Evelyn’s grave. Lucas knew how much he had hurt Evelyn, and he’d felt like a monster for it ever since. Not a day went by that he didn’t regret the way things had ended. He knew Evelyn probably hated him now, but he never dreamed it would go this far…
He still visited her grave from time to time, trying in vain to get her to respond. Some days, it was like he could feel her. She was there, hidden in the darkness below, listening. He was sure of it.
But other days… Other days, he wondered if she was even there at all. He wondered whether she had fled that night, and truly walked out of his life forever. But where could she have gone? The answer remained a mystery.
“Hey, Ev.” He muttered sadly. Today was one of the bad days. He felt almost foolish – Surely he was only talking to himself. But a small part of him still hoped…
“I miss you.” Lucas continued. “I can’t believe it’s been a whole year…” He shook his head. “I just wish I could talk to you… I wish I could see your face again…” His voice became thick, and he fought to choke back the sob that threatened to break through. “You’re still my best friend, Ev. And… I need you. So just… come back, okay? Please.”
He lingered for a few minutes longer, lost in thought, before taking a deep breath, tucking away his sorrow, and heading back inside to start preparing his surprise for Mel.