My collection of plant "life" grew in our time together to include a baby cactus from Salt Lake City, 6 pink carnations that looked oddly similar to the ones that used to grace his neighbor's front yard, and your basic easy to maintain indoor plant with 3 leaves - the kind for dummies lacking a green thumb. I don't remember the name. I'm sure he convinced me it was something more exotic than "green plant." "Red rose," I muttered, upon accepting this other piece of half-life. Well into two days of failed efforts to grow the damn thing, I added it to my collection in the kitchen trash can.
One day, though, I did come home to a dozen long stemmed red roses. He remembered. My plugs for red roses had alas been effective. But timing was not Kenny's strength. You see, I had ended our relationship the night before. The break-up was incredibly dramatic and tear jerking. I, for one, was calm and collected through it all. So when I came home exhausted by the prior evening, I picked up the bouquet. They are beautiful, I realized. They are red too, and they are roses after all. The note consisted of a seemingly heartfelt apology, a plea for my forgiveness and a new start. I counted 12, a perfect dozen, deeply red, sweet smelling, and in half bloom. A shiny pink ribbon held them together. I decided I would appreciate and maintain them. As I reached for a vase in the upper kitchen cabinet, I noticed a bright red spot of blood on my right index finger. I dropped my head to eye the stems. Thorns! Damn blood-inducing thorns! To the trash they went.
Perhaps I should have seen that one coming. The flowers did lack the eloquence and serenity of your typical red rose. They well represented the end to a sweet, troubled, exhausting romance. "Thanks for the beautiful roses," I emailed. That was pretty much the extent of it.
At 43, I still await the perfect bouquet. I'd settle for one lively red rose that does not draw perfectly red blood at any point.