Home Editor's Picks “Rose”


by Olivia Yayla

It wasn’t about the roses…

If I’m being totally honest, they were beautiful. Doesn’t every woman want their man to gift them flowers without asking?

But the closer I look, the more they don’t fit. Like a bloody murder scene on my white marble counter. They were carefully placed within view of the front door from the kitchen. No doubt purposefully set to catch my eye upon my return from card night with the girls.

Stunning, and freshly cut I assumed from the sweet stench invading my home. It was as if it was tangible; sensual red fog traveling up the stairs, seeping into my uneven mattress. I weighed my steps on the safer, quieter slabs of hardwood. He could be anywhere– the man who has been lurking in my house for 10 years.

I never thought of the saying “the old ball and chain” as funny, only in the sense that it was the complete opposite in my case. For 10 snowballing years, I have been held in one place by a beautiful man with a stubborn bone that weighs 10 metric tons. He withdrew his attention slowly, so slow I didn’t notice until business meetings seemed more enticing than date night. I stood before the crimson intruder, house keys still clutched in my hand, burning into my palm. I tried to remember the last time our house smelled as romantic as it did now.

Maybe when he forgot our anniversary that one year, or when he canceled our first vacation since the kids moved into their college dorms. Always following with a cheap wilted bouquet secured by a $3.99 sticker tag and a dry kiss on the cheek.

But these roses were different. They were secured with pink lace ribbon and a card. Dare I even look at who it’s addressed to.

Reeking of spring rain and sin, I glared at its soft petals, stopping my stem count the moment it hit 20. A scarlet smoking gun beside my white barn sink. The way the morning dew still clung to its crimson peach fuzz. The way the silver ribbon expensively cinched the stems like a corset.

The roses weren’t a gift, but an admittance of guilt.

“She must’ve been damn beautiful.”

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