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Tomorrow by Jim Washburn
SUMMARY: Flash fiction for July: keyword - Deception
Sunshine streamed into the hospital room as he opened the blinds. The many cards, plants and flowers scattered about burst into color as the dim early morning gloom was replaced with summer light.
Smiling broadly he turned to the bed and saw his wife looking up at him. Though looking pale and having lost a good bit of weight it was still the same face he had fallen in love with decades ago.
"Tomorrow you will be home then we can plant some of these flowers in the garden" he said. "Though I'll do most of the work until you regain your strength"
She sighed. "That means an endless amount of supervising given your ‘black thumb'. But I can wait. At least I'll be able to harvest the vegetables in the fall."
The vision of a weed choked yard filled with dead plants, last autumns leaves and a fresh mound of dirt amid the disordered garden rose unbidden in his mind and threatened to overwhelm him. He turned away to look out the window again.
The bed linens rustled as she sat up and leaned forward also trying to look outside though the window was a little to high. He turned back giving another bright smile and sat down in the room's only chair.
"Even if I can't work in the garden right away we can just sit on the porch and watch the sun set. Maybe you could grill something tomorrow, it has been so long and I miss your cooking." She paused. "Though I'm not feeling hungry right now I'll bet as soon as I smell the barbecue my appetite will be back with a vengeance."
"You used to eat two hamburgers, a hot dog and corn on the cob yet still have room for desert" he smiled and patted her hand.
"I am so happy today dear, please give me a big hug right this moment"
He got up and leaned over his wife giving her a careful embrace, feeling her frail shoulders through the light gown.
"You are really filling out and getting stronger by the day sweetie." He gave her another hug, and a kiss to go with it.
"She looked up with teasing eyes her smile filled with anticipation of future happy nights together.
"You know, it has been a long time and you owe me some cuddling and a nice massage."
"I am way ahead of you dear. I have already made reservations at the little resort where we used go on mini vacations before the kids came along. Winter is a long way away, but you need time to get healthier."
"OH! That is really wonderful, I can't wait. We haven't been there in so many years. The mountains and forest were always so peaceful. I wonder if it has changed much."
"I don't think so, something came in the mail some months back about the place and it looked the same to me. We could probably even find the tree that I broke my leg on skiing that first year."
Another mental scene rose to haunt him, this one of a brochure advertising townhouses and carriage homes, along with a ‘convenient shopping mall', all fronting a still familiar mountain scene, minus most of the trees. This time he began pacing to cover his discomfiture.
"Oh stop that." She said.