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Carol Marlene Smith

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Member Since: May, 2012

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   Recent stories by Carol Marlene Smith
· The Poem from Napoleon House
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Fifteen Roses
By Carol Marlene Smith
Thursday, May 03, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Ever have a secret admirer? Ever have an experience that remained unexplained? Ever dream of love and romance beyond what you now know it to be?

Fifteen roses came one day.  Not a dozen, not two dozen, but fifteen.  They were yellow,like daffodils — like spring — yellow and bright, nodding their heads as I immersed them in cool water waiting in a long, straight vase.  Silver dewdrops shimmered on velvet petals, and I stepped back to admire and view the brilliant splash of sunshine in a dark, overcast life.

Not me, said my husband when asked if he were the sender.  Roses are expensive, especially those long-stemmed kind from that high-priced flower shop on Dundrel Hill.

  Then who?  I asked the air because my husband was no long interested, turning instead to his newspaper.

  My mind raced through a dozen reasons why those sweet roses could be a mistake, but not one concrete reason as to why they might be mine — from a secret admirer perhaps?  I almost laughed out loud and could have because no one listened — my dark-haired husband still buried his face between the pages of the Daily News.  A secret admirer?  My face flushed, and giddy, fleeting thoughts filled my mind.  The card was a puzzle too.  Fifteen reasons for you to enjoy the fragile beauty of a flower in competition with your own.  But why fifteen?

  Were the roses from someone I knew when I was a mere fifteen?  Thinking back, the only person I'd dated at fifteen was Tommy Harquail.  He had been the minister's son.  He was a gentle soul, and he'd kissed was meant for my mouth but landed instead on the tip of my nose.  I waited another whole year before I was officially kissed for the first time full on the lips.  And it wasn't Tommy!  And even though Tommy was the type who might have sent the roses, he didn't.  He died last year in a horrendous car crash.  So it wasn't Tommy.  Then who?

  Three days later, when the beautiful yellow heads began to wilt, I wondered had I not treated them right?  I'd followed the directions and added the sachet contents to the water, which I freshened each day.  On the back of the sachet bag I now read what I'd missed.    

These special roses need fresh water daily, and don't forget to clip the stems each time. If a rose head droops, as if broken in spirit, a prick with a pin in the base of the head will release trapped air and renew the flower for a further few days.

  Two days later the roses were done, all bowing, giving homage to the table on which they withered in the tall, straight vase. I dumped them in the compost but kept the card...a constant reminder that somewhere, someone was reminding me of how fragile beauty is, and how easily life can slip away, if we don't follow the rules.    

  Freshen daily...mend the spirit...release and renew.  Look backward and forward, but always remember to enjoy the present...cherish the gift of life.

  But, why fifteen?


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Reviewed by Donna Chandler 5/5/2012
What a beautiful story, filled with mystery, love and a meaningful message.. Thank you for sharing.


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