“White roses in her hair and her childlike smile, she looked like an angel…”
He had a melancholic smile and his blue eyes were filled with tears. I just stood there, listening, thinking that his story should be a novel…a love letter…a song…He wiped away his tears, looking at my daughter.
“Forgive an old man…tears come so much easier lately. Here…take them…these roses, I planted them in my garden and loved them as I would love her…my Theresa. And you, little miss…you look just like her.”
I wanted to pay for the roses, but he didn’t even wanted to see the money…
“How could I take money for them? Can you buy a soul? Or can you buy love?”
I asked him to tell me more…he smiled.
“She was 15 and I was 17…young and foolish. I loved her but, back then, in times of war and hunger, love wasn’t a priority…Her family had bigger plans for her…I told you she was beautiful…eyes like the clear sky, hair like the golden sunflower…Me, just another 17 years old fool, like so many others who fell for her. She liked white roses…”.
He stopped for a moment, trying to find his strength…looking at the sky.
“The storm is coming. I shouldn’t keep you and your little princess…Here, I have a picture…that’s how they made pictures back then…”
The picture was unclear and yellow and it looked more like a painting. A girl with long blond hair, smiling, a rose in her hand…
“Do you see the resemblance? I stole this from her home, after she…was taken away…Her parents accused me…but…was it my fault? I would give my life…a thousand lives…to change things…Our last encounter…that cursed morning…Do you want to know?”
I nodded, unable to speak, feeling like, in any moment, I would cry too…
“I was leaving…going to war. I met her behind her house, in our secret place. I asked her if she loves me. She said no. But she was laughing, like it were a joke, playing with me. I asked her again and this time I was desperate: I am leaving to war. When I come back, will you marry me? I’ll buy you a big house and I’ll take you to town every time you want…Say you love me, so I can go more easily…You don’t? Then lie, pretend it’s a game, but say it…”
My voice trembled when I asked him what happen next.
“She looked away, I got out of my minds and kissed her. She yelled, her father came and threw me away. I left…but…”
Teardrops on the rose’s petals.
“Forgive me…A storm begun, out of the sudden…She ran on the field to catch me and a lightening stroke her. She…she never told me…why was she running like crazy…what made her chase me on the field…she never had the chance…”
The rain was cold and he insistently told us to leave.
“I’ll be okay…I like rain, is good for my garden…But you should go…I’m just an old man repeating the same story till it gets boring even to my own ears. See…little miss…some love stories are not meant for this world…
Some love stories are meant for Heaven.”