Deep Purple

Deep Purple

A Story by Kate

A short story.


They met in her yard, as she sat chewing an apple next to the lilac bush. Its tiny leaves were angled toward the sky, basking in sunlight and praying for the miracle of rich purple flowers. He couldn’t have been more than eight, sauntering from his next door house to fetch a ball that had flown over the fence and squashed a bush on a poorly aimed toss. Startled, the girl dropped her apple, and as she watched it role far from her pale hands an indignant expression crossed her face.


“Look what you did!” she accused, standing up and wiping juicy fingers across her pants. He stopped in his tracks, stunned at her proclamation.


“You can get another apple, and it’s only a bush. It kinda looked more like a weed anyways,” he shot back. Angrily, the girl picked up the football and threw it at his head, a wobbly spiral forming in mid-air.


“Nice throw,” he grinned.


“Get out!”




She was putting her dish in the sink, bubbles obscuring the remains of the waffles that now filled her stomach. The light was pouring through the eastern window, and as she paused to watch the sun rise, a shape passed through it. A football crossed the sky, crash landing on the perfectly trimmed grass.




He had crossed over into her yard and was now sitting under the lilac bush, flowers blossoming above their heads in crystallized patterns.


“My first day in middle school is tomorrow,” he announced proudly, inspecting her face for reaction. Her eyes filled with awe, but she tried to hide it with offhand comments.


“So what?” she asked in a bored tone, twirling grass between her fingers.


“You’re going to be stuck in elementary for another year, that’s what!” At this he jumped up and began to climb the white fence. “I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.” His pant leg caught on the fence, jeans tearing down the calf.


“You may act all big and mighty, but you’re still a short, clumsy little boy!” she giggled, a single lilac coming loose and drifting from the bush. His red face disappeared over the fence.




A pile of flowers lay at her feet, growing larger as she trimmed more. The bush was her height, and no branch was left unscrutinized. “Aw, all this for me?” a deep voice chided. She spun around sharply and jabbed the scissors at him teasingly. “I’m not sure that you prune bushes with scissors.”


“Well, I don’t have anything else, and if I don’t do this now the rain will drown them tomorrow.” She said hotly.


“Even the most perfect flower must wilt.”


“How poetic,” she said sarcastically.




They were tossing the football back and forth as he talked to her about the wonders of high school. “… and I’m going to this girl’s party next weekend! She’s a senior! Freshman never get that lucky.” He laughed and threw the football. She watched as it landed short, just at the tips of her toes.




A stone hit her window, jolting her from sleep. Below, center stage in the moonlight stood a dark figure, faintly recognizable. Slipping on her shoes she tip-toed down the stairs and opened the door, stepping outside to greet him. “What are you doing here?”


“Hey,” he spoke quietly, “I missed you.” Her heart raced, bursting with joy and hope. “I love you,” he slurred, stumbling over the air. Behind her euphoria she felt something wrong. It didn’t take long to notice the alcoholic stench that was slowly penetrating the lilac strewn air.


“Are you… are you drunk?” she stuttered disbelievingly.


“No, I really love you! Promise! I’ve always loved you, and always will!” he protested, reaching out for her hand and missing as his eyes swam into and out of focus.


“You don’t,” she swallowed heavily, feeling her happiness drain.


“I don’t love you, or you don’t love me?” Heavy silence weighed on the air. “Love isn’t one sided!” his voice rose, straining, “I can’t love you unless you return it!” His slurred speech became incomprehensible as he waited for her to interrupt, fill the atmosphere with how much she really did care.


“Calm down,” she urged, grabbing his shoulders restrictively. It was not what she had intended to happen.

“You won’t return it, will you?” he whispered, ripping away from her. “But I can still keep my promise. Until the end.” Turning, he stumbled into the street, ignorant of the blazing car horns around him.




She wore black to the funeral, and even after had remained encased in the dark cocoon, replaying and regretting the night over and over.


Three words would have saved him. Eight letters. One truth. If only she could have spoken.


She pruned a single branch of the lilac tree, watching as it fell to the ground. One by one they sunk, the scissors clicking loudly, speaking in untold volumes. Above her birds sang silence, below the grass was frozen. She left the ground a sea of purple, the bush fruitless and barren, yet new once more.

© 2010 Kate

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Added on January 20, 2010
Last Updated on January 20, 2010



Norwalk, CT

Just a 16 year old girl writing in my spare time. more..

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