Three Roses



Anna watered the rose. It wasn’t too big or too strong, but it was something she’d done with her mom. She didn’t get to do a lot with her mom since her dad ran off to live with his girlfriend and her mom took up three jobs on her own.

The rose was bright red, glowing in the garden. It seemed to enjoy the droplets Anna gave it. She imagined that with each drink, it got taller and taller and eventually it would touch the clouds.

She thought about flying away. She could be a rose fairy, like her favorite book character, Rosina the Rose Fairy, and have ruby wings and delicate crimson slippers. She would soar in the clouds with the rose.

But looking now, Anna realized that the rose was pretty situated in the dirt. Its roots made sure of it. She’d put it there not a month ago. Trapping it. Dooming it.

She gave it more water. If it was big and tall, it wouldn’t mind be stuck so much. It would be able to feel all the parts of the atmosphere and look the stars in the face. Nobody could really suffer when they were strong and healthy.

Anna coughed. She looked for her mom’s car pulling up the driveway, but it didn’t show. Saddened, and with an empty bucket, she trudged back inside.

Soft thunder started. A little bit of mist fell outside. Anna opened up the curtains and stared at the rose. Although it was two stories down from her little apartment, she had no trouble finding it. Its redness made it seem like it kept staring back at her. She kept staring at it when the lightning flashed and the harsh rain pellets hammered down on its petals, staring until she fell asleep with her chin on the back of the couch, waiting for her mother.


Of all the things Ellen expected to get in the mail with Gabriel’s return address, this was not on the list.

It wasn’t a hate letter, it wasn’t a desperate plea for her to come back. It wasn’t even a scrapbook of memories. It was wrapped up in bubble wrap and buried inside three envelopes under that.

She sniffed it. The rose smelled like a rose, despite its obvious age. A little bit of pink hid at the deepest corners of the petals.

At one point this rose had been the perfect shade of magenta. That had been over a year ago. Ellen cradled it gently in both hands, inspecting it closely with her eyes. She remembered exactly how Gabriel had looked when he’d given it to her. He was wearing black skinny jeans with a tuxedo jacket, Converse and a tie. Her first thought when she’d seen him was that she’d never seen him look more handsome. She’d smiled ridiculously. He’d blushed.

Now the flower sat in her hands. The flower told Ellen everything she needed to know, without giving a word. It was the time capsule of every promise Gabriel had ever made her, and for that reason she felt herself start to cry. She couldn’t stop remembering. She couldn’t stop looking at the blossom.

The band was still attached that she’d worn around her wrist all those months ago. Mindlessly, she put it back on.

It was almost like Ellen could feel the steps she took with him, every time she’d laughed with him. Every word she’d yelled at him before she slammed the door, every meaningless thing that had blown through her mind since then. None of that matters now, the rose seemed to say. It’s all over.

The rose was intimate, as though it brought Gabriel into the room with it. She touched it tenderly and a handful of withered petals fluttered to the tile floor. Something broke inside of Ellen. It was all over.

III–Knowing Sophie

The old man spoke as if he’d never met the girl he was talking about. He kept saying that she was always so cheerful, and loved nothing more than a day with her friends. He said things about her fantastic grades. Like that was all there was to know about her.

The Sophie that Christopher knew was much different.

He twiddled with the long, green stem of the rose in his pocket. Christopher was never good at sitting still, and now was no exception. His right foot was bobbing around in the air, and he thought one of those distant aunts had started to notice.

The rose had plenty of room in Christopher’s pocket. He’d given it a little plastic cup of water to rest in, and wrapped it in the design he’d cut out from Sophie’s favorite band shirt. Christopher had been careful to pick every needle off the stem so Sophie couldn’t hurt herself. The rose had lush, red petals, Sophie’s favorite color.

The old man said something about her love of drawing. He made her seem like the next Michelangelo.

Christopher’s foot started dancing around more quickly as he waited for the old man and everyone else to leave. It seemed like an eternity before they finally did.

Christopher walked gingerly to the grave. Soggy leaves collapsed under his feet as he made his way. Cautiously, he lifted the rose from his pocket. His hands shook as he read her name on the granite, like it was just now coming to him. With all the tenderness in the world, he set the cup by Sophie’s grave. The rose seemed to shine redder and redder next to the drab, misty colors of the rest of the world. That was the first time he cried for his little sister, and he stayed there crying until his parents pulled him away.




I realized recently that I am the most important person in my life. Everything I know is tainted by my own bias. Everything that happens in my life is connected to me. I am shrouded in a blanket of my own cares and worries. My decisions affect everything I do or say. No matter what I do, I can’t avoid me.

Sure, some people might say that’s narcissistic. And they’re probably dead-on. But narcissism is a natural state for human beings. We can’t escape being obsessed with ourselves because we are constantly surrounded by ourselves. That might just be me, though, because I don’t have a great number of platforms for love but I still have love to give.

Although I am not a fan of my current position in life, I know that I am severely important to at least one person. Even if that person is me. It’s nice to know this when I don’t feel like I’m important to anyone.

So go ahead. Tell me I’m lonely, I’m egotistic. I won’t deny it. I’ve simply found a way to beat the system.

Ciao for now,


You and Me

Once upon a time, two people fell in love

in a place flooded with light.

The grass was littered with dandelions,

and he picked them and made her a bouquet.

He said, “For the lovely mystery

whose hair glitters in the sun,”

and he gave her the flowers.

She said, “For the handsome vision

whose eyes sparkle in the starlight,”

and she gave him her hand.

Quietly, they pressed their fingers together,

watching the sun disappear behind infinity.

The moon came to fill the hole in the sky

and brought a purple blanket.

He said, “The moon is ours.”

She said, “The sky is ours.”

They fell onto their backs and

watched the comets fly by in his pale irises.

Each time, she made a wish.

In the morning, he woke to the sight

of rainbows. Gently, he touched his hand

to the diamonds of her pale curls.

In the morning, she woke to the sight

of a closed smile and put her lips to it.

He said, “You are the wonders of the world.”

She said, “You are everything that is right.”

He said, “You are the allure of the day.”

She said, “You are the splendor of the night.”

It All Happened on the Way to the Fifth Floor


Cautiously, I walked up and pressed the glowing “up” arrow. I did it cautiously because I do everything cautiously. When I type, I do it slowly and watch my fingers. When I get dressed in the morning, I think about all the pros and cons of every pair of pants and every shirt and pick the one that will make me stand out the least. And don’t even talk to me about dating.

I hid myself in the back corner of the elevator, where the bars meet, and then realized I hadn’t chosen my floor. So I took a few careful steps over to the yellow lights with numbers.

“Don’t worry,” came a teenager’s voice. “I can do that for you.” A guy, about seventeen, wearing a leather jacket, very tight blue jeans, and sunglasses came into the elevator. He had his hair slicked back to complete his greaser look.

“Okay,” I replied warily. “I’m going to the fifth floor.”

The teenager pressed his thumb against the five button without looking, and then he used his elbows to prop him up against a bar. “Funny,” he chuckled. “I’m going to the same place.”

I nodded and looked away. The stainless steel door sealed together and the churning of the machine went up through my feet.

The elevator dinged as it reached the first floor.

“I bet you’re name’s Linda.” The teenager scooted closer to me. “Blonde hair, brown eyes, dressed like you work at an office, sitting in a cubicle all day.”

I nodded. My name was Linda, alright. Although I was not going off to work. My eyes kept staring at the doors to avoid him.

The teenager scooted closer to me. “A lot of people say I’m a bad guy for a girl, just based on how I look. But I’m a good kid. I’ve got a job, good grades.”

I took my right foot and crossed it over my left, then brought my left over. I was now successfully a few inches further from the teenager.

A ding showed that we’d gotten to the second floor.

“You seem like a nice girl.”

For some reason this sentence made me turn around and glance at him. He was about three inches taller than me, with a single pimple on his chin. When I wondered what color his eyes were, my head turned back to the elevator.

Third floor.

“I’ve known a few girls like you,” the teenager said. “Dated a few of them too. They’re all nice girls. Like you. But I’ll bet you’re better than the rest of those girls.”

Fourth floor.

“I’ll bet you’re better than a lot of girls.”

This set off a fuse somewhere inside me. “I’m not a girl, I’m a woman!” I blurted without thinking. “I’ve been a legal adult for three years! If you want a nice girl, go back to your highschool and kiss the first girl you see in a turtleneck!”

There was one final ding and the doors flung open. Outraged, I huffed through them, imagining that my hair was disheveled. That hadn’t been very careful of me. Not at all.

I hadn’t gotten a yard away when a hand grabbed my sleeve and pulled me back in.

“You don’t have a turtleneck,” he said. “But you’ll do.”

“I’m not from your highschool,” I snapped.  “I’m a lot different from high school girls. Let me go. I’m not from your highschool.”

He now had me around both arms. “Yes, yes you are. I saw your picture in the junior section of an old yearbook in the school library. Kingsley East. And then I saw you get into the elevator. So I ran in.”

I was lost for speech. My careful instincts became very sensitive to the way he was holding me, but there was another instinct that had another opinion. The teenager bent over and kissed me, eyes closed and everything. And I guess I kissed him back. Eyes closed and everything.

We stood dead center in the elevator, an open spectacle for all to see, until the doors closed around us and we started to go back downstairs.

“Will I ever see you again?” he asked, as I walked out of the elevator and headed to the stairs.

“Maybe you will!” I shouted back, now so far away from him that I couldn’t make out his facial features. “Or maybe it all happened on the way to the fifth floor!”

The doors closed, cutting me off from him. And that was the last day I was careful.

This is Why I Love You

This box wasn't as lovingly wrapped as the one I got!

This box wasn’t as lovingly wrapped as the one I got!

Yesterday was going pretty badly. Not that anything bad happened in particular, but I was sad because there are a lot of people I won’t really see again until August.

And then I came home to the cardboard box.

I knew what it was immediately. Being generally obnoxious with joy, I set in on the nearest table and got a pair of scissors, cutting through the tape like it would tell me the secrets of my mysterious childhood. I got it about halfway sliced through when I started to see the messages on the box itself, so I began to read them. My favorite was:

“Personally, I think Romeo an Juliet could have handled the situation better.”

I probably said “Oh my god!” enough times to doom me in the afterlife. When I was finished reading all of those, I resumed snipping through the packing tape until a small fortune in paper and sunglasses was revealed. The sunglasses were red and irresistible, and I later realized that they were also “Pitch Perfect.” There were probably eight to ten envelopes, the little ones you use to mail letters, each filled with its own little treasure. One was stuffed with bits of song lyrics, another with funny pictures from the internet, another with a neat temporary tattoo. There was one loaded with confetti, which I almost opened when I saw what was in there. My second favorite had pictures of my favorite band in it. My first favorite was just loaded with images of Josh Hutcherson looking like the most gorgeous person on the planet (which he is, by the way)!

My friend apologized for it being late for my birthday, but I called her and told her it was right on time. I haven’t seen her in two years, and only twice since she moved seven years ago, but being on the phone with her reminded me that no matter how long we’re separated, it will be like we were never separated at all. That’s the thing about having a great friend. You’ll love them regardless of when and where.

That box was the best present I could have gotten. This is why I love her!

Ciao for now,



Every struggle is a battle,

every heartbreak is a war.

Some days I wake up in the morning.

Only now it means much more.


Some nights I wake to thunder

and lightning shots outside,

and then I curl up my covers,

weep silently, and hide.


Sometimes the news is chilling

just to hear or see

people being swept away.

It could have been me.


Some mornings I imagine not waking up.

Some night I imagine not falling asleep.


I bite my lips, and I cover my eyes

and I pray my soul to keep.


Every struggle is a battle.

Every heartbreak is a war.

I want to reach across the ocean

to reach another shore.


I want to stop the hurting, but I know it can’t be done.

Front Porch Serenade


I gave a dandelion kisses

Trying to make a hundred wishes

But in the end, I only scatter seeds.


I laid my body in the grass

And waited for the time to pass

But time can never fill my strongest needs.


I bandaged all my cuts and scrapes

I hid the living room with drapes

But somehow all the light kept getting in.


I wrote a song to sing to you

But never got the courage to

And now it’s just a tune that feels thin.


I counted every passing minute

Wishing that I had you in it

But my words don’t know how to do more.


I gave a dandelion kisses

Trying to make a hundred wishes

The seeds all floated softly to your door.