Someone Special (Short Story)

Syed Muhammad Khan
5 min readApr 5, 2021
Photo by Philipp Deus on Unsplash

Shades of yellow and orange streaked the skyline as the evening set in, the sun fondled gently with the horizon, its brilliance seemed diminished, as if tired after a long day. But the bustling streets of the city were teeming with scores of people. Some gathered round outdoor coffee tables, while others seated themselves in diners for a bite to eat. Others marched briskly across the market square, shopping bags in hand, scanning the area for more to buy — the winter sale was almost over. Yet some were oblivious to their surroundings, couples seated in solitude, enjoying the sunset and each other, lost in each other’s eyes. She too was out but belonged to none of them, all alone, she glided through the busy market square with an upright gait.

She had dressed up for the occasion, even attracted some looks on the way. In her youth it would’ve been a matter of pride, now it did not matter. Her thick blond hair was done nicely into a bun, she wore an elegant blue cardigan over a milky pink shirt with a prominent collar and a grey knee-length skirt. She walked comfortably in her black low-heel shoes that accentuated her style. Were it not for some graying hair and slight wrinkle marks on her face, that her light makeup failed to conceal, anyone could’ve mistaken her for a thirty-year-old, a thirty-year-old. Mrs. Susane Thompkins was an exceptionally beautiful woman for her age.

She had had everything in her life and then lost it all.

She tried hard to keep her face expressionless, holding back a frown as she read people’s faces — she could do that, almost like a psychic. A teenage girl, dressed casually in a pair of ripped jeans and a sleeveless top, smirked as she passed by — her eyes said it all — ‘Going on a date with someone?’ Susane glared at her and answered in her mind: A middle-aged soccer mom seated on an outdoor coffee table, sipping on her latte, eyed her enviously — ‘Darling, you’d better get a sense of dressing yourself before you judge others.’ The answer was right on her lips, but she did not say it out loud: ‘Wonder where she’s headed dressed up all like that?’ She shook the thoughts out of her mind, telling herself that she did not care what they thought, but she did. It ate her up. ‘You’d be better off watching what sort of junk you are stuffing your body with instead of being jealous if you want that figure to last.’

As she continued to pace forwards, a panorama of colors welcomed her sight from a distance, and as she drew nearer, her nostrils filled with a mixture of soothing scents, the effect was elating, she was at the florist’s shop. Flowers of all sorts were arranged in bundles: roses, lilies, daisies, lavender, buttercups, tulips… she thought. The florist was tending the flowers, spraying them with water, the sound of approaching footsteps caused her to turn around. With a smile fixated on her face, and eyes glistening with excitement, she said: “How are you, Mrs. Thompkins?”

“I am fine, Amy. How are you and how’s your boy?”

“I am fine too. Mike’s great, the other day he said his first words ‘car car’, could’ve said mama, but no.”

“Kids, these days”, she replied, holding back a laugh.

“They sure are a hoot and a half… Anyways, how may I help you?”

She fished out a bunch of yellow tulips and handed them over. “You get these every Saturday, are they for someone special?”. Susane smiled and said, “Yes, he’s very special.” She paid her and went off to find a taxi and in no time, she was seated in one. The engine roared to life and the cab cut through the city streets, stopping just once at a red light.

Everything seemed to pass by in a blur.

The car screeched to a halt in front of the St. Louis Church on Parker Avenue. She got off the cab and waited for the driver to drive away. Once the car was out of sight, she walked a few paces along the lane, and then cut through an alley, to the other side. There stood the entrance to his place, two wrought iron gates, on the other side of the road.

With a slight push, the gates yawned open and she walked along the dirt-path, counting her steps, never looking up — she didn’t have to. After about seventy paces, she turned left and walked on the soft grass for a few steps, and then stopped.

In front of her stood a white marble stone plunged into the earth. A cross, bearing the engraving: ‘Here lies Alexander Thompkins, a beloved son.’ Beloved son, and nothing else, he never lived long enough to be anything more than that. He did not live, because life was unfair. She tried hard to convince herself that the wounds would heal over time, but she knew better.

She stood there silently, her cheeks were wet with streams of tears that trickled down her face, her face, she looked much older now with her makeup washed off. The only person who made her feel young and lively, lay buried beneath her feet. She gently placed the Tulips at the foot of her son’s tombstone, forced a smile on her face, and whispered “I will always love you, my boy.”

No longer able to bear the sorrow, she turned around and made her way out of the graveyard. As she stepped outside of the gates, a winter breeze gently pressed against her, caressing her body — this was her son, embracing her. She wiped off the tears from her cheeks and smiled, for real this time, and promised to return the next Saturday evening.

The world could think whatever it did about her, but she knew that Alex understood her like no one else could.

Originally published at https://www.short-story.me.

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Syed Muhammad Khan

Muhammad is an SEO writing expert on UPWORK; here he showcases his work in lifestyle, science, and history niches, plus he republishes some of his old writings.