THE ROSE

Thoughts spoke of tangerine days in silence— re-living what was. Tears, pooling in melancholic eyes, rippled a momentary bliss of reminiscence to starting up the prelude to playing the moving photographs.

“For you, my dearest,” I heard you say as you surprised me with a rose in your hand. I hadn’t seen a rose as redder. It looked so lovely I wanted to keep it for the rest of my life.

“Oh, it’s beautiful, Darlin’!” I took it, and with my eyes closed, I buried my nose in it. It smelled of salt and sugar. It smelled of this man. I stood up on tip toe, wrapped my arms around you, and whispered in your ear: “I love you.” A kiss was all I got in return.

“Where did you get this?” I asked in curiosity. I seemed intoxicated in its natural perfume.

“Somewhere around here,” you replied. Your hand played through strands of my hair.

“What, you just picked it?! You just deprived it of life.” I said in a melancholic voice. Facial expression was that of a child.

“I just didn’t pick it. I picked it for you,” you uttered, kissing my forehead.

“But, I—“ I couldn’t finish a statement with your lips on mine. When the kiss ended, you looked at me in the eye for a long time. It was even longer than the last time. I was no poet, but I sensed something. I broke the stare, and then looked away. Somehow, tears leaked in the corner of my eyes.

“Why the tears?” you asked softly. I felt your hand on my face, caressing, wiping the tears away. Then, you continued, “When a lady receives a flower from a man, especially a rose, it doesn’t only mean she’s special. It gives meaning to it. That’s what it’s here for.” Looking at those hazel eyes, I got the same message again. They were trying to tell me something. This time I cried as harder as I could.

“Rose dislikes the taste of tears, you know. Don’t kill it,” you comforted, trying to keep me calm. Your humor always amazed me. “Look at me, my dearest, and listen with your heart,” you spoke as if this was our last conversation. Then your voice aired out, overpowering all else, “This—” taking the rose from me, “—only has existence when left unpicked, but once given to someone, it starts to get its value.” You took my hands, joined it with yours, and the flower seemed to flourish within our grasp. I smiled, but I cried still.

I looked up, and softly spoke, “But it’ll die.” Tears threatened to fall again.

“Won’t we?” Upon hearing this, tears came out fast. You hugged me. A man your size seemed just like a child with your head buried in the crook of my neck. I heard myself sobbing. Then you said, “Any flowers look lovely in any garden, but they aren’t for display, My dearest. They are messengers. They carry the message with them. Do you have any idea how you give life to their existence just by taking them with all your heart?” A masculine grin getting me to agree on what had been said. I covered my face with my hands, concealing any hint of emotion. I was too confused. I had this feeling this meant more than what it was.

“Now take this,” I heard you say as you handed me back my rose. I took it, and smelled it again. I stared at it and murmured, “It’s lovelier when not ignored”

“And livelier, too” you added. I was so grateful that I touched each petal with my lips, relating my own life to it.

Quarter of six, and the dusk reminded me of the day that had just ended, but the twilight of a love shared never died with you. I ran my fingers over chiseled words. The feel of your name still ignited the passion. I tried not to cry, tried not to fall a tear. You were right about the rose, and I was right you were trying to tell me more. I just didn’t figure it out sooner. I did now.

© Gheeneil

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