When Chris came round to do the garden I asked him about the fuchsia. The branches had blackened and withered.
Do you remember how pretty it looked from the kitchen window? I remember you humming those perfect half-songs as you looked out at it.
We used to have to scrape by it on the way to the back garden, careful not to interrupt the bees waltzing from bloom to bloom, in love with each petal.
Well, Chris said:
“It’s the hard winter.”
“It got down to minus thirteen.”
“The poor thing just couldn’t take it.”
I agreed, as if I already knew this though of course I didn’t
So, he cut it back.
At first, I thought there might be a chance for it. But when I came back from the gym,
It was all gone. Razed. Erased. Did it ever happen?
Surely it did. I’ve got pictures of it. In Scotland. In Hemsby. In London. Or just normal places, doesn’t have to be anywhere different. It was there, wasn’t it?
I can’t believe it didn’t survive the winter. I mean, who could see that coming? What could we have done to stop the ice cracking its bones,
gnawing at the marrow so casually. Like it didn’t matter. It’s only a fuchsia.
I’ve cried about it. Silly, yeah. It’s only a fuchsia.
But, as small and unimportant as it was (and it was everything to me), it was flawless. Unique. Irreplaceable. It will never exist again, it can never exist again.
Even if something is planted in its place, it won’t be the same, it will be a memory of what once was there. A hollow echo of something else rather than something in its own right.
There’s really no point. That part of the garden is now as silent as the kitchen.
Honestly, how could we have seen that the winter would be so bitter? Who could have predicted that?
We would have been alright if it had been normal.
How could we have known?