The Rose

In the gray day the rose was perfect, studded with little rain jewels, that upon plucking fell like diamonds to the ground. He sang softly to himself through a small smile on the way home, dashing in puddles, the rain playing on his face. He burst in the front door and passed through the living room into the kitchen, where his forlorn wife sat.

He slid to his knees, clutching the green stem in his beaming smile. “O the dismal and dreary day brings bright tidings…” he drew the rose from his teeth with a flourish and lifted it to her upturned nose. She sniffed at it distastefully and turned away, revealing a pale neck luminous in the stuffy light. He longed to nuzzle its length, inhale her quiet musk.

She looked back at him with dark brown eyes.

“Did you get it at the market?” she said, averting her gaze again.

“No,” he murmured tenderly. He smiled at her neck. He took her limp hand. It was cold. “I picked it out myself, by the pond.”

“Cheap bastard.”

The rose lay on the floorboards until the next morning when the maid was by to sweep it out.

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2 responses to “The Rose

  1. Oh. I’m so sad for this man. it hurts so much to have a caring or loving gesture rejected. of course, who knows, maybe this man has been a horrible jerk and this gesture means nothing, but my initial thought was “how sad, he was so happy about that rose” and i love the description of the rose in the beginning.

  2. Even I am left wondering what really happened between the two! And what does the maid think about it? Does she gossip with her fellow maids at the laundrymoat? “Oh my gosh, I’ve got to tell you…”

    The ambiguity was intended. It leaves things a bit more open-ended, though that might piss off some people. I love ambiguity.

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