As he bumbled over the tiny wound, she dropped the secateurs. Clumsy with roses, clumsy with words, this boy—and yet, such clever eyes. They matched the emblem on his varsity blazer.

Taken by the spring, she held his finger to her lips and sucked it. His voice faded into the rustling distance.

The clocktower bell rang the hour. She left him clean and pink-cheeked.

“You’d better get to class.”

“I’ll call you later.”

She smiled. “We’ll see.”

Hands on hips, she straightened her hat and turned back to her work. The bushes always looked a fright this time of year, but no matter. Something would bloom soon enough.

Originally published in Dot Club #14 (July 2019)

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