The segments in italics represent a flashback sequence. :D
With a long black double-breasted coat, Edward stopped at the foot of her grave. His face, expressionless; but his mind was going through all the painfully happy memories he still had of Sally. He was still unsure of what he was doing there, rather than paying condolences after one year of her dieing, but there he stood. He stared to his left and saw the endless line of tombstones and memorials, all without visitation or any loved ones or friends. But as he turned his head and glanced to his right, along another seemingly endless row of graves, he saw a child. She couldn't have been more than 4 years old, and yet there she was placing a single red rose on the patch of grass in front of her.
Edward now knew why he was there. He swallowed down the excess saliva he had within his mouth, and began to speak.
"I remember when we were that young." His eyes weren't looking down, but rather staring straight out in front of him, looking into the distant hills. "How I miss our freedom, simplicity and innocence. I wonder where all that went..."
Edward paused for a moment, but continued. "Do you remember how we first met?" He nodded as if she had somehow said yes from her grave. "I was outside in the yard, walking around in the garden, and out of nowhere you approached me. We must've been five years old at the time, maybe younger."
"What are you doing?" Young Sally curiously asked.
Startled, little Edward wheeled, clearly inexpectant of anyone being there with him, especially a girl. "I... uhh, I'm trying to find a pink rose." Little Ed was clearly nervous.
"What's a rose?" Sally asked yet again.
Ed was surprised she didn't know. "Well, It's a flower, and it's very pretty. I have a red one here." He turned back around and picked up a red rose that he had found merely moments ago. "See?"
Sally smiled in a way only a child can, and laughed. "It IS very pretty. Can I keep it?" She gazed into Ed's eyes, hoping he'd share.
"Okay." Ed didn't know why he said okay, he had been searching for a red rose just as long as he'd been searching for a pink one! But maybe it was her eyes. He had never seen eye's like that. They were a piercing blue that glimmered in the sunlight. Realizing he'd been staring for quite some time, he asked, "Who are you?" He desperately wanted to know her name.
"I'm Sally! I live right there." She pointed to her left, to the house nearest. Apparently she had just moved into the neighborhood and was looking for a friend. "What's your name?"
"Eddie," he couldn't help but giggle.
"Hi Eddie," she giggled back. "I have to go back home, bye!"
"Wait!" But it was too late, she was already gone. Still on his knees, Ed was left in a state of awe by this strange yet mystifying girl who he'd known for less than a minute. But from that point on he knew he would love.
"It's weird how your presence made me feel... happy. And after that, I was always on the lookout for more red roses which I could give to you. Growing up, you and I were inseparable, it seemed. And you would always want to be my Valentine whenever February came 'round. I'll never forget that. It's a shame you and I never really got to be closer than friends. Well... except maybe that one time when we were 15."
"Ed! There you are!" Sally was now a lot taller than Ed, and was sprinting toward him on the hilltop. They embraced each other with a hug.
"Where have you been Sally? You were about to miss it!" It was the fourth of July, and it was 9:51 P.M. A mere 9 minutes away from blast off.
"Sorry, my friends were holding me back. Ugh, how dare they, right?!"
Ed chuckled, admiring the fact that she would rather be with him rather than anyone else. "Yeah, how dare they!"
Sally laughed and chit chatted with Ed for a bit, waiting for the fireworks to come along. But Ed noticed the goose bumps on Sally's arms. "Take this," he said as he offered her his jacket.
"Thank you so much! But what about you?" She was happy at the fact that the jacket was still warm.
"I'll be fine, don't worry." And out of the corner of his eye, he saw it. A flint of red light, which was followed by an explosion of light and sound. Looking down at his watch, he saw that it was 10:00 o'clock on the dot. "Perfect timing."
The spectacle went on for a while, and both seemed to be enjoying it very much in a nice silence. Sally was particularly enjoying it. She was always fascinated by light, and it's power to awe. It's why July 4th was her favorite day of the year. She turned to Ed, expecting him to also be left in a state of awe. She was half right. As she looked at Ed, she noticed he was not looking at the fireworks at all, but rather at her. He had a very faint but noticeable smile.
Sally chuckled and asked, "What?"
"Oh nothing, they're just so beautiful."
"Yeah, I love fireworks." She looked back out into the sky admiring the display.
"I know you do, but I was talking about your eyes." Ed didn't know why he was saying this, or who was saying it for him. But he never lost his composure.
Sally of course wheeled, not expecting that to happen. She thought he was just trying to be flirty and spark some conversation. But as she looked again into his eyes, she knew this was far from the truth. She could see something, something different about him. This was not the playful Ed she had known since she was a child; this was a serious and compassionate Ed. One who had never introduced himself. Unsure of what to say, she let her mouth hang open slightly; as if she was about to say something foolish but caught herself at the last second. Instead, she just continued to gaze into his eyes, realizing what a great guy he was. After about a minute of gazing, she let her emotions take over.
"It was my first kiss, late I know, but it was easily the most memorable. I had so many mixed emotions at that time, but one thing was certain." He finally decided to look down at her grave, as if he were looking right into her eyes. "And that was that I wanted to spend the rest of my life by your side. It's a shame we never became boyfriend and girlfriend or anything, but I know that deep down, we always loved each other.
The breeze picked up slightly, and Edward felt peaceful. It was very quiet, but he invited the serenity for it made what he was about to do all the more easier. Edward tried to clear the notch in his throat, but couldn't. Instead, he slowly kneeled down on one knee, looking at Sally's named etched into the stone in front of him. He read the epitaph beneath her name and was hit with another wall of pain.
She went too far in the search of flowers.
His voice quivering, he continued. "I don't really know what I can say now. It's too early to say see you soon, but it's also too late to say goodbye."
Hesitant at first, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a single pink rose. With water forming in his eyes he blinked, letting a small tear escape from his eye, climb down his cheek, and then plant itself into the ground below. He slowly placed the flower down on the dirt.
"Thank you for helping me find what I was looking for."