Dandelion Button Holes
Emily Wood, Grade 10, Woolooware High School
Dandelions are my favourite flowers. They are not the most fragrant, the largest, or the strongest, but it is their beautiful simplicity that catches me. A simple joy; my childish wonder at the bright yellow bliss and perfect circle of dainty petals. Simply Beautiful.
‘I’m full’ I stated with a satisfied grin on my face. Full of fish and chips, and so crammed with joy it spilled out of my mouth in a quiet giggle. Miller stared me deep in the eye; a playful grin played at the corner his lips. I layback on the grass, protected from the cool evening breeze by Miller’s jacket, draped around my shoulders, the stresses of year twelve forgotten.
His once familiar smell covered the op-shop, pinstriped statement. I breathed in deeply, committing it to memory. This evening was the first time in a year we had seen each other; a year since the awkward goodbye in front of our parents as his family boarded their plane to their new home. Unbearable hours and cruel distance hold us apart. But tonight we are together, the best birthday present any one could give me.
Under the stars we danced, swaying to a symphony of wave hitting the shore. Miller held me secure and tight against his chest. His warm breath whistled over my ear and rolled through my hair.
Hand in hand, shoes in the other, we walked towards my place. As we approached the crossing he got down on one knee, his perfect eyes held me as he slipped a dandelion in to the button hole of his jacket, still draped around my shoulders. “Just getting some practice in” he whispered, his face luminous. My broad smile disappeared as we kissed gently under the street light.
When ever I pick out a dandelion from a patch, I look for the brightest yellow, or a complete circle of petals, the crushed and broken ones do not appeal. But I only wanted to be by Miller’s side as the ambulance took away his battered body after the blow of a drunken p plate driver, no older than his victim.
Everything happened around me, While Miller was in surgery, people ran around calling his parents and organizing the first available flight to get them into Sydney in the morning; people left in a slow tickle and the fuss died down, until just I was left stroking his hand in intensive care. Silent tears turned in to curbed sobs shaking by body, till I was too exhausted to feel anything, except his warm hand limply folded in mine.
Dandelions, given the power to speak in their last few seconds I am sure, would mirror the final words spoken by Miller, only to me, ‘Simply beautiful’.
They would deliver it with the same smile in their closing eyes, the same rasp as they fought for breath but only Miller’s words would bring tears into my blood shot eyes and a smile into my broken heart.