This week's prompts are:
“Pushing the envelope...” or the alternate prompts are: use: flat tire, cell phone, a type of liquid or “You want me to do what?” or use: have something to do with food in the story or use: ceiling fan, candle, dead plant
What would you do for love? How far would you go to please the person you loved most in this world? Even the little things count, as you'll see in my story.
I Will Do Anything For Love- by Lily Sawyer
“You want me to do what?” Tom asked his partner, now husband. Tom knew that one of the most important things for a long-term relationship was compromise, and being a good listener and, sometimes, having to do things with your significant other that make absolutely no sense at all.
“I want you to come to Elizabeth’s funeral.”
“Ben, I love you, you know I’ll do anything for you. But this, honey? I just don’t know.”
Ben’s lips grew grim; the smile… the laughter… those kissable lips took on a different persona, one Tom didn’t like. One he knew put him in a very difficult situation. One he didn’t want to go to—a fight. He and Ben had fights like all couples, but they were usually rare and far between. They’d gotten to know each other so well that they finished each other’s sentences.
“Tom, I don’t ask for much. You know how much Elizabeth meant to me. I’ve known her for two years. It was a very quick end. I’d like you to be there by my side.”
“If you really love me you’ll be there. The ceremony starts in an hour. “ That said, Ben walked out of the kitchen. Tom made a cup of coffee, using one of those Keurig machines, to calm his nerves. Right now, he wished he were at the firehouse instead of here, having to go through something he really wanted no part of. But this wasn’t just anyone ,this was Ben—the man he’d go to Hell and back for.
An hour passed and he went out to the backyard where Ben was already standing in their garden. Tom stood next to him.
Ben looked at him, a smile on his face and tears in his eyes. “Thanks, Tom, you don’t know what this means to me. I know Elizabeth is just a plant, a dead plant. But you know they all mean a lot to me. She was such a beautiful rose bush, gave food to so many bees and other insects, and gave me a lot of joy.”
“I know. It’s a shame the aphids got her.” Tom remembered when Ben brought home the pink rose bush; it was called Queen Elizabeth, after the British monarch. Ben loved gardening; they had a vegetable garden in one part of the backyard. Which was why they rarely had to go to the produce department in the grocery store. They had a flower garden in the back and front yards that made the neighbors jealous. Tom had taken a photo of it and secretly sent it in to an online contest.
Ben said a few words over the shriveled-up remains of Elizabeth. The aphids weren’t the only things that attacked poor Elizabeth; there were other pests that did the beautiful plant in. Tom remembered getting a phone call at work from Ben, telling him about the sick plant. Ben did everything he could, but nothing worked. So now they stood in front of their gas BBQ, about to reduce Elizabeth to ashes.
Ben said a few words and Tom lit the BBQ up. He put his arm around Ben’s shoulder and held him close. They watched the cut-up rose bush become engulfed in flames, reduced to ashes. Ben scattered those ashes around the flower garden.
Ben was bummed for a bit, but he didn’t lose sight that they were plants and sometimes plants died. He put his heart and soul into that garden, and when a plant died it affected him.
A few weeks passed and Tom came home from a day of errands. Ben was outside, tending to the vegetable garden. He’d picked some string beans and peppers and said he was going to make some stuffed peppers for dinner that evening.
“Hi hon, I’m back.”
Ben looked up from the peppers he’d been picking and rushed over to envelope his man in a hug and kisses.
“Mm, I should go away more often if this is the reception I’m getting.”
“I missed you.”
“I missed you too.” It didn’t matter if they were away from each other for days, like when Tom had to do his time at the fire station, or for a few hours like today—they always missed one another. “I got a surprise for you.”
“A surprise?” Ben’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. “What, what did you get for me?” He acted like a little kid on Christmas morning.
“Now hold on, let me get it out of the backseat of my car.” He went out to his Honda Accord and pulled out his surprise. He turned around and noticed Ben had followed him from around the back of the house, through the side gate to the driveway.
“Oh Tom!” Ben’s right hand went to his chest. “Did you get that for me?”
Tom held a rose bush in his hands. It was cherry pink; he’d picked it up at the local garden center. “I asked the guy at the garden place. These are knock-out roses. They’re very disease and drought resistant. I figured after what happened to Elizabeth you wouldn’t…” Tom never got the rest of his words out; his lips were being smothered by Ben’s.
“I love you, Tom, have I told you that?”
“Yes, but I never get tired of hearing it.” Tom smiled as he returned Ben’s kisses. He saved the plant from being crushed by holding it away from him.
“Well, I’m going to tell you that so many times I’ll get into the Guinness Book of World Records.”
“Not if I get in there before you. I love you too.”
“I love you more.”
“No, I love you more.”
“Hey, how about we set the record together?” Ben suggested.
My fellow flashers