It’s a healing wind. Warming his cold hands as it brings to him the strong intoxicating scent from the wildflowers in the garden. Drying the small salt droplets that formed in the corners of his eyes when she let go of his hand to take hold of someone else’s. When she looked into his eyes and smiled, then kissed him goodbye.
He doesn’t remember when she became a woman. He closes his eyes trying to recall when exactly she had grown into her big brown eyes and string bean limbs to and turned into such a stunning creature, the vision of her mother.
He does remember much. He remembers that she loves sunflowers best and that she was never afraid to worm a hook, not even the first time. That she has a tiny mole at the back of her knee. That her blood type is B+, the same as his. Oh God, and the time he spent in a hospital bed, needle strapped to his arm as they prepared for surgery after the crash. And Gillian pacing so frantically in the hallway blaming herself for the bad turn and sure they’d lose her forever. But they didn’t. Not then. Not now really. It just feels that way.
He jumps as a door slams and he hears feet pattering down the driveway. He turns expectantly, waiting for her to find him here, her tired and already lonely old man, waiting for one last chance to hug her goodbye when he sees her veer for the deck and pop into the house. He hears her voice calling out to the other love of his life. “It won’t be a honeymoon without a passport!” And watches her come back out into the garden victorious and exhilarated. She waves giddily before turning back to the car disappearing inside its tinted panes of glass.
He watches until these is nothing left to see but the tracks left in the dirt country road. Then turns slowly back towards the sparkling waters, holding his face up to the sun.