Daffodils, she loved daffodils. I knew that much about her. I was buying beer on the way home from another day there, in that place. I saw them. In a black plastic bin, sticking out their little canary trumpets at me and I thought of her. On the way home, I ripped off the reduced price sticker, also yellow.
On Tuesday, she had leaned back in her chair, turned from her computer screen, sighed and said roundly, ‘I love daffodils’. She had looked out of the window at the pale sun, then turned back to her work. No-one had listened except me. It was a sign. She was trying to tell me something, something important.
The daffodils lay on the draining board and I watched them as a poured my beer. I sipped and listened. I could hear tinny music coming from their soft trumpets.
I put my ear next to one of them and heard her voice. I can’t tell you what she said. It’s between her and me. You wouldn’t understand. On the bus on the way to work, I held them close, stroked them now and again, thought of the moment when I would give them to her and her face, smiling like I had always pictured. When I got off the bus I realised I had crushed one in my hand. My palm was sticky with pollen and smelt of green. I licked it off, making sure to take every last fibre into my body. I waited outside the revolving doors to the office. Looking for her.
And there she was. Wearing a black coat, her hair loose, her lips red. I walked towards her and smiled. I held the flowers out. She walked away, quickly, her heels clicking. I pulled her back and then it became all colours, the red blur of her lips, the white of her eyes, and, as I stuffed them into her screaming pink mouth, the yellow of the daffodils.