I met Primrose as two of four unacquainted friends who were lurking around in a young widow’s house,
Doing whatever we could to help the children, and the mama get ready for their daddy’s funeral.
The four of us stayed for two and a half days, and even though Primrose was reticent, shy,
Inwardly backward, and plain in every way on the outside, she laughed at my jokes, and loved me,
And when I began to realize it, I chose her to help with the laundry, dishes, and everything else.
We didn’t school or work together,
Didn’t live near each other, and would have never run into each other at church
As I was a Presbyterian, and she was a Catholic,
And that’s not really done,
But I was determined to get to know her a bit better,
So I called her up a few times, and we
Met for breakfast or lunch or whatever.
Every time I saw Primrose, I was struck with happiness by her
Soft and gentle ways, and her ability to see your soul, and her wonderfully
Genuine, one hundred percent ability to listen to another person, me.
I had looked past the shyness to appreciate Primrose for who she was, and she was a love,
And when I was with her, I felt delightful.
Eleven years after I had last seen Primrose.
Her name came up, but not in a good way.
“Do you remember Primrose?”
“Yes! Of course!” I said.
“She disappeared on her way home from Parish about ten days ago.”
Not MY Primrose.
In an instant memory, I could see her howling with laughter about
Something I didn’t even know was funny.
Something I’d accidentally thrown out,
Not realizing, she was waiting,
To build me up,
And make my heart laugh.
I began to pray, and I prayed hard.
A week later, the bearer of the bad news sent me a newspaper article.
Primrose’s husband had not felt like attending Parish that day,
So he had stayed home.
Primrose made it to Parish, saw lots of friends, ate a chocolate chip cookie,
Hugged a few friends, then had left in her little white Dodge coupe,
The roads were icy by the time she was trying to steer
Around the ninety-degree corner on Highway H.
Apparently her car went airborne, landing upside down in a pond
Forty-three feet from that damned corner.
Primrose had told me once that her shyness had held her back all of her life.
I wanted to be famous, she had reported. “Someone people talk about.”
Well, you could be a hooker,” I replied, watching her grayish blue eyes get big and wide.
Her mouth fell open, but nothing came out, making me think at first,
Uh-oh, you have gone too far again
But after a brief pause, Primrose’s throat screamed with laughter,
Which made everyone in the restaurant stare at us.
Then her face turned neon pink, and I began to howl too.
We laughed until we cried; the best kind of laughter.
I remember thinking on the way home from the restaurant
How lucky those children are that she teaches reading, and
How much I would miss her when we moved four hours away,
In just a few weeks.
From Primrose’s elevated golden seat in heaven she is probably
Howling with laughter that she has at last made the ten o’clock news.
Famous at last, because her car slid into a drainage pond
And her body was under the water, hidden quietly, for two weeks and a day.
Well done, my friend. Well done.
Copyright © Caren Krutsinger | Year Posted 2018