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Bitter End

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“Would you please pass me a sandwich, Ed?” you ask your boyfriend. “I’m starving.”

“Of course,” he replies, handing you one of the packed food items the pair of you had packed for the day. It was a serene late afternoon in the woods - birds chirping, crisp and colourful fallen leaves on the ground, and the soft earth under the blanket Ed had brought with him. A perfect time for a picnic after all your hard work earlier.

“Thank you, dear.”

“You’re welcome, darling. Oh-” Ed stops, looking at you with a sideways smile. He wipes your rosy cheek with this gloved thumb. “Just a little dirt, there.”

You lean in to kiss him, nibbling a little on his bottom lip. A couple strands of Ed’s hair fall forward in front of his face. Pulling back, you look into his eyes as he holds your own gloved hands.

“It grows and blossoms, dies and wilts, it happens in the beginning and happens in the end. It can make you cry, it can make you sad, make you smile and can make you brave. What is it?” Ed’s grin gives away the answer.

“Love,” you answer brightly.

“Correct.” Ed is always pleased when you guess his riddles correctly. “I think you deserve a kiss for that.”

“Yay, me,” you giggle, bringing him in closer - but the noise of one of the shovels falling to the ground startles you. Your body gives a start before Ed’s lips touch yours. Both your heads whip around to see if anyone had intruded on your moment.

No one.

Ed chuckles, pushing his glasses up his nose with a finger. “A little skittish, aren’t we?”

“Yeah,” you nod, settling yourself so that your back rests against his chest.

“No need. There’s no one for miles, and not a single person knows what we’ve done.” You and Ed sit there under a tree, keeping your eyes on the filled-in hole of dirt a few feet from where you rest. “Save for, well, them.”

“True.” You take a bite from your sandwich and make a pleasant noise, “but we’re in this together until the bitter end.”

“Well said, darling. Now, would you care for some wine?”