Cherries on the Cake
Mrs. Ephemera entered the dining room; flashes of light sparkled from mobile phones aiming at capturing her amazed face in a photo. All her family was there, clapping at her.
She reached for the table gaining the place of honor behind the cake. Eighty little candles shone like golden fingers. Eighty spheres glittered reddish under the flames.
Cherries. Her memories came flooding back to seventy springs before.
She was ten; snow was falling. That was not snow! Under the cherry tree in her family’s backyard tiny flowers stretched downward; from long brown branches they caressed her temples like pinky locks of hair. “Please, let me meet a prince,” she whispered to the cherry blossom tree.
Fading sounds echoed in the distance, as if they came from another world. Cheers, laughs; then the song, happy birthday to y...
Back in her dining room she was standing behind the cake, surrounded by her grandnephews for the group photo. She blew out the candles.
The door slammed open; wind came rushing in. Happy birthday to you. Happy…, the song told; her grandnephews cheering up. Nobody else felt the wind, nor saw him entering the room.
Cherry blossoms in his hand, her prince was back. “Happy birthday, my lovely wife,” he whispered. Petals floated in the air landing on the cake.
“This cherry cake is delicious,” her youngest grandnephew exclaimed, his mouth full.
“Let me tell you how I met your grandfather,” Mrs. Ephemera said. “I was ten; our cherry tree was covered with thousands of blossoms. I made a wish before they fell… They were as beautiful and fragile as life is.” Then she whispered, “I seized that moment as the most precious thing. Everything is ephemeral; but if you catch beauty and love in your heart, your beloved ones will always be with you.”
The day after, her oldest grandnephew showed her a picture. The cake… the children… but those tiny flowers floating in the dining room? ‘As if from the ceiling a gentle prince’s touch shook an invisible cherry blossom tree,’ Mrs. Ephemera thought. Her nose upwards, she smiled.