Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Dozen Roses

Day 30 of StoryADay September (the last one!!).
The Prompt:
Jeff  was walking to the parking garage after work when he comes upon a flower stand full of beautiful roses. Jeff decides to buy a dozen roses for his lover. 

Jeff slows to a stop, the riot of color drawing his eye. Roses. Red, yellow, white, pink. Blue? He reaches out, glides a finger over a velvet petal. If red signifies love, and yellow friendship, what does blue mean?

“Hey,” Jeff calls to the man behind the stand, competing with the ear buds planted in his ears. The man pops one bud loose, releasing a stream of thrashing guitar into the air. “What do the blue roses mean?”
“I don’t know man,” he shrugs. “I’m just here to take the money. Why don’t you Google it?”

Jeff watches as the man replants the dangling bud. He has a fleeting thought about kids and work ethic, then realizes there are probably only five years between their ages. He takes the kid’s advice, pulling out his phone and typing blue rose meaning into Google.

When the entry appears, Jeff’s eyes bounce from the text on his screen to the roses and back again. These aren’t supposed to exist; blue roses are a myth, white roses tinted with dye. Fake, in other words. The color represents mystery and the unattainable.

Jeff pulls a single blue rose from the basket, lifting it close. The blue was deep, rich, evenly spread throughout the petals. He doesn’t think they’ve been dyed. The rose taps his nose, perfume crawling into his thoughts. He closes his eyes. “Bridgette,” he breathes out her name.

Jeff’s eyes open, focusing on the kid again. Jeff lifts a hand, waving it to get the kid’s attention. “A dozen of these blue.” The kid pulls a sheet of green plastic from a stack, bundles the roses and twists a rubber band around the bunch.


Jeff slides the cash from his wallet, trading the kid for his prize. They are perfect. Just like Bridgette. Jeff nods at the kid, then continues to the garage and his car.

As he drives, the scent of the roses fills his car. He has to fight back the images of her to maintain sight of the road in front of him. He sees her, looking back over her shoulder, her eyes skimming over him. He sees her, lounging by the pool, lowering her book and sliding her shades to the top of her head to look in his direction. He sees her, tipping her head back, a laugh bubbling up, oblivious to how it affects him, makes his toes curl in delight.

He pulls to a stop at the curb, walks to the front door and rings the bell. He hears the dead bolt click free, then the door swings open, bringing them face-to-face. Finally.

“Can I help you?” Bridgette asks as her puzzled eyes take in the flowers and the man’s face behind them.

“These are for you,” Jeff says as he pushes his way in and kicks the door closed.

Bridgette turns to run. Jeff smiles. Time to attain the unattainable.

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