An Open Window by Anna Kenworthy

The window is slightly open, letting in the sound of children playing in the park. Lawn mowers hum as the scent of freshly cut grass floats through the gap in the glass. A second hum harmonises with the monotonous lawn mowers. A bee has found its way in. I watch it bounce against the glass, trying to get out. It hovers near the opening, before diving down and missing it completely. It sits on the photograph in the silver frame, Robert and I on our wedding day, smiling faces faded from the sun. The photograph was taken thirty five years ago almost to the day.

The bee starts again, more determined this time. Repeatedly, tediously, hitting against the glass. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Thump. Thump. Thump.

This time it rests on the vase, sunlight refracting through the delicate flowers cut into the crystal. A gift from Robert for our first wedding anniversary. My gift for this year is still hidden in the drawer upstairs.

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Thump. Thump. Thump.

Thud. The bee tried too hard this time. Now it’s lying on the sill, its furry little body exhausted, fuzzy limbs twitching.

It stays there. I think it’s dying.

I watch the bee for a few moments, its legs have stopped moving. I remember sugar is meant to help, so mix some with water in a mug I bought Robert one Valentine’s day. Holding a spoon of the liquid out gently, I wait, hoping it will know what to do. It crawls on the spoon cautiously. Within seconds it returns to its frantic attempts at escaping.

I place the cup in the sink, catching my finger on the sharp chip in the handle. I hadn’t noticed when it happened, too distracted by the look on Robert’s face as he dropped it.

The bee is still there when I return. With more patience this time, I guide it towards the window with my hand. After many tries, the bee finds the gap. Away it flies, and once again, I am left alone.

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