Not even the wafting smell of the lilacs, a scent that had calmed her shaken nerves so many times before, could quell the tears streaming down Miranda's face as she knelt on the dew-covered grass beneath the flowering tree. In her hands she clutched a crumpled piece of paper, the words stained by her tears: "I'm sorry to inform you..."
She closed her eyes tight, trying to staunch the flood pouring from them, her breath heaving in ragged sobs. How could this have happened? She pictured his strong jawline, the feel of his arms around her waist, the look in his eyes when he said...
A new wave of sobbing gripped her as she drowned in memories of him, and she wailed, clutching her middle in agony.
Eventually, the sobs died down and she was able to open her eyes once more, tears still flowing freely from them. Miranda half expected him to walk through the back door to meet her, proving that this nightmare was all some elaborate prank. But he did not.
Breathing deeply, she sat down more comfortably, leaning her back against the tree and looking up into it's cone-shaped flowers. Despite the clouds inside her heart, the sky was bright and sunny, creating a warming blue backdrop to the lovely purple flowers. The lilacs look beautiful today, she said, just like that day...
She reminisced for a while, recalling the day he had first approached her, sitting out in the schoolyard under a lilac tree. "Mind if I join you?" he asked even as he sat down beside her.
She was startled by his boldness, yet oddly comforted by his presence. "You're Jake, right?"
He nodded, looking out into the distance. "And you're Miranda."
She smiled nervously and followed his gaze out to watch the groups of other teens on their way home from school, most of the rowdy and noisy.
"This tree is really nice." It was said as more a statement of fact, with a small amount of surprise evident in his voice. "What is it?"
"It's a lilac tree," she said, growing increasingly more uncomfortable as she noticed him shifting over slightly, inching toward her. "It only blooms for a short time, but the flowers are lovely."
He reached out and touched her cheek with his hand. His touch was soft and gentle, and while she was startled, she was not afraid. She looked into his dark blue eyes, and found herself lost in them.
"Not as pretty as you." he said, leaning in to kiss her quivering lips.
The memory brought a new batch of fresh tears trailing down her face, and she briefly wondered how she could have any water left in her body at all.
Looking up at the lilac tree the two of them had planted, though, gave her some feelings of comfort. She could have sworn then that she felt his presence with her, wiping away the tears from her cheek and whispering "I love you" in her ear, but it was just the wind whistling through the tree and brushing against her trembling body.
Feeling alone, she curled her knees up and hugged them close to her body, leaning her back against the blooming tree. Her breathing came in ragged gasps as she was overcome with grief again - crying - isolated with only her thoughts and a proud-looking tree who's flowers would soon die as well.ns 126.96.36.199da2