He walked out of the house and as he shut the door behind him, he imagined shutting out the fresh memory of his heart-aching loss. Would it work? He knew it would not, but at least he tried. The memory of Emilia was too great and too grave to simply be shut off with an imaginary door.
Hope Street seemed darker now and the glee of the people, which he once saw, had faded. John knew at the back of his mind that Hope Street was still the same; it was just his heart that refused to see it all. He saw it when he had seen Mrs Sanders’ loss but he could not see it anymore when loss was in his own heart. He saw the little girl with the white rose standing where he last saw her. He walked up to her and said hello. Maybe it was the desperation for company in his heartbreak, or maybe it was the innocence of the little girl, or just his curiosity that made him walk up to her, he’ll never know — but he did, and he said hello.
“Hello”, she replied.
“I saw you earlier when I was walking past. Are your parents around?” John asked her as he bent down a little to talk to her.
“My Dad knows where I am. I have been waiting for someone to give my rose to, but I can’t find anyone who wants to take it.” She said looking a little sad.
“What do I have to do to get that rose?” John asked feeling a little confused and curious at the same time.
“Nothing much really. You just have to promise to take care of it and maybe pass it on to someone who needs it.” She was smiling now, realizing that John was interested.
“Alright then, I promise to take care of it until I find someone to pass it on to.” Saying this, he held out his right palm and smiled at her. He nodded his head to the right, gesturing to his hand, trying to reassure her.
“Thank you for taking care of my flower. I can go home now.” She placed it on his palm ever so gently, smiled and then started to walk away from John.
John watched her walk down the street for a while just to watch out for her and make sure she knew where she was going. When he was certain that the little girl was fine, he turned around and continued walking on his way to Mrs Sanders’.
The little girl stopped in her tracks; turned around and said to a now disappearing John, “Take care of my flower John. Mrs Sanders will love it.”