– Julia Anna –
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge # 70: Balloons.
He hadn’t seen her in so long. Father always said “It would excite her too much.” So, he waited. He made her cards. Every year, on her birthday, Father would make the long trip. Each year, he waited, hoping, this would be the one. The time when his mother wasn’t too excitable. He would take his father’s hand, walk from the train station to the large brick building where he imagined she stayed. Her room faced east; she liked the sunrise best. “Just the beginning. Not the end.” Floor to ceiling windows opened out onto a garden of pinks, greens, blues. “Like Monet,” his Father said. “Like the garden at Giverny.”
She sat on a bench, watching the lily pads floating on the pond. Her golden hair tied back with a blue velvet ribbon. A book in her lap, a smile on her face. When she saw him and Father, she opened her arms wide. A big hug and a walk across the bridge spanning the pond. One hand in his, one in his father’s. The sun was warm, the stream’s banks bright with yellows and reds.
Yellow like her hair. When he thought of his mother, he always thought shades of red, too. A red and white dress. A red and blue ribbon. A red . . .
“He does so much like balloons,” commented the woman.
“It’s her birthday.”
“How long now?”
“Does he remember?”
“I hope not,” Father responded, taking his eyes from the woman’s face. Returning his gaze to his son. In a room facing east, with floor to ceiling windows. Garden spilling out beyond. “I hope not.”