About 40 years ago, a man, David, was madly in love with a beautiful young girl while they were still at school.
Christine was wealthy but David came from the wrong side of town, which had no effect on her love for him. His mom had a thriving rose garden with beautiful and fragrant white blooms.
Every morning, on his way to school, he would choose the best bud in the garden for his Christine. They had sworn an oath, that no matter what, if one of them should ever die, the other one should be there with a single white rose for the one who was dying.
After graduation, Chrissy wanted to study for a degree and so did he, unfortunately, in spite of several distinctions, his parents could not afford to send him off to University, so, he got a job to help support his family in raising his younger siblings.
Soon after graduating, David was conscripted into the army and was sent off to the Namibian border battlefield to fight against the Communist Swapo guerilla forces where they corresponded regularly by snail mail. Suddenly, the letters were fewer until they stopped altogether. He kept writing but never got a reply again.
After his tour of duty, he returned home and called on her at her parents home, her father answered the door and was clearly annoyed when he saw who it was. Glaringly, he spoke, saying: “David (not his real name) you had better forget about Christine, we have sent her to America to study and she has met someone who she is going to marry. Get someone from your own neighborhood.”
David did not believe him and asked if she had left a message for him and her Father said no, only to tell David that he should move on with his life and forget about her.
He left reluctantly thinking that her parents who had never really liked him at all, had sent her away on purpose.
Regardless of the reason, he never heard from her again. David eventually met a woman, Dawn, who was kind and loving and good for his restless soul and they got married and tried to have children but after a series of miss carriages, they finally simply gave up.
They had a good life in spite of his latent sadness. He had told Dawn, from the onset, about Christine and that he would never be able to forget her. She loved him anyhow.
Eight years ago, Dawn complained about a pain in her chest one morning at the breakfast table. He got up to fetch her a glass of water, but as he got back to her, she had quietly passed away.
After Dawn’s funeral, David never married again, mourning, both her passing and also the huge chasm left in his heart, by Christine’s sudden leaving.
A year earlier, in November 2016, a dull pain in his groin which had initially come and gone, had returned and grew steadily worse and he had difficulty passing water.
A dozen biopsies and several tests later, the specialist told him that he had inoperable prostate cancer and at an advanced stage, he had at most 6 months to live.
The battery of tests and biopsies had kept him hospitalized for several days. The day he was discharged, as he left the hospital, he noticed a woman’s handbag lying on the ground in front of the car parked next to his.
He picked it up and waited a few minutes to see if anyone would come and claim it. Finally, seeing no one looking for it, he unzipped it and found a wallet with cash, some credit cards and an Identity document with a woman’s personal information. He had his cellphone handy and dialed a number written at the bottom of the page.
A woman answered and said that she was frantically trying to find her handbag. He arranged to hand her the bag at the hospital restaurant.
He sat down at a table and waited a few minutes for the woman to turn up. The next moment he almost blacked out from shock, because, standing in front of him was his long lost love, Christine!
Eyes wide and staring in disbelief, he simply sat, staring motionlessly. “Hello, are you David?” the woman asked.”Yes, but how on earth is this possible?” he asked. This woman could not have been a day over 40.
Next to her were two young girls of around 8 and 10 years of age. “Sorry,” she said:”I don’t understand what you mean.” There it was again, he thought, even this woman’s voice was identical to Christine’s. He invited them to sit, handed her the bag and ordered coffee.
As they sat there Cecelia asked him why he was shocked at seeing her, as she was quite certain they had never met before, so he explained briefly about the love of his life, Christine and their star-crossed love of 40 years earlier, and how she had left without saying goodbye.Then it was Cecelia’s turn to be shocked!
She told him that her mother’s name was also Christine and that she, Cecelia, was born in America and had a wonderful stepdad who had died, and an amazing husband, Mark Rogers, an American Airlines pilot.
He asked whether she had her mother’s address or perhaps a phone number, as he just had to know if she could be his childhood sweetheart from long ago. Suddenly, it was Cecelia’s turn to start crying and David asked what the problem was. She told him they had just moved back to South Africa after hearing that her mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and she and her children were actually here to visit her mom, at the very same hospital he had been in for almost a week. Cecelia and the kids were there because her mom’s doctor had called to say that her mom was fading fast and that if they wanted to say goodbye, they should come today.
David managed to find a single white rose at the nearby flower seller’s stall before accompanying Cecelia and the kids to see her mom. As they walked into the ward. he held up the rose for her to see. “David!”, she said excitedly: “my dearest love, you kept the promise we made to each other.”
There was no mistake, this was his only love, his “Chrissy”. He placed the rose in her hand and gently lifted it up for her to smell its scent. A white rose was her special flower in the whole world.
David held her hand firmly and only briefly let go to lovingly stroke her face. So, he remained, holding her hand until a few minutes later, she suddenly smiled briefly, saying, “it is time my love.” and with a gentle squeeze of his hand, she sighed and passed away.