F is for Flowers

Actually, the wedding bouquet was handed to me without pomp or ceremony.

I just happened to be at the right place, at the right time. Or maybe it was the right place,wrong time.

Or maybe, I should’ve just gone straight home.

But lets stick to the point at hand here.It was after the wedding dinner and most of the guests had gone back but I stayed back to soak in the atmosphere which I hope would help me realise that Jill is now a married woman. I still find it a little difficult to imagine her as a wife. Funny, I once thought that I’d be at this place in my life before her.

While I was giving my felicitations, she turned to me with her wedding bouquet and shoved it in my hands. “Here, take it,” she urged. My eyes went slightly wide and I looked behind me to see if perhaps I could shove it to someone else. But just my luck, I seemed to be the only unmarried there. I turned to Carol (NOT an unmarried, with two children in tow) with outstretch hands hoping she’ll take it from me – “No, it’s no use to me,” she said, “married. Remember?”

Great.

“Wah, you caught the bouquet ah? You’re the next one lah!” Jill’s dad exclaimed as he saw me still clutching the bouquet trying to make sense of it. I smiled weakly and tried my best to answer convincingly, “No lah….” I don’t think anyone was fooled.

I wondered to myself why I was letting a harmless bouquet spin me a little out of my controlled world and I surmised that it’s probably because I’ve been without hope for so long and have been perfectly content to let my friends and family do the hoping for me as they seem better at it.

Somehow this bouquet showing up when it did is a physical manifestation of all the hopes that others have for me. And I felt torn – I would love to accept it but I don’t really need it. Needless to say, the cynic in me is strong and shows no sign of weakening.

As I looked at the bouquet and then, up at the people looking at me looking at the bouquet, I could see their hopes for me clear as sky in their eyes. And this made me feel a little warm, a little more wanted, alot guilty.

Is this, then,  what hope looks like – 23 roses and sprigs of baby’s breath?

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Listening to Jason Walker’s Down as I post this.