Memories Within a Flower

In some biologically unexplainable fashion, my stomach suddenly took residence in my throat, chocking me. I wanted to cry, I wanted to run away. Instead, I smiled and put on a show…

I had my reasons. First, it was Valentine’s Day and I really liked the boy walking my way, disoriented smile on his face, beat-up red rose in hand. Second, this was my best kept secret, because the one he adored, the recipient of that rose was my very best friend. My pride was bigger and more important than any feelings I could have for him or any other boy, so I smiled and pretended nothing was wrong. Sure, I had received cards and flowers, I was asked out on dates as well, but all I wanted was that one boy and that sorry excuse for a rose… and I was hoping for some sort of a miracle. When it didn’t happen, when I finally understood we were going to continue being “just friends” – blah! – I at least had my pride to keep me warm and decided to convince everyone I was having the time of my life. Ah, the dramas of those teenage years…

Then – not that much time later, in retrospect – another boy was heading my way, smiling shyly, red rose in hand. That time, my own huge smile and joy were genuine, derived from that all-consuming first adolescent love, which obliterates any other feeling, becoming the main raison d’être. That rose meant he knew me, he understood me and it was more important for him to make me happy than to be “cool”. I kept the rose on my desk until it withered completely…

Years flew by – not as many and not as long as they felt back then – and I found myself staring out the window, spying on a man who had just parked his car and was fiddling with something on the dashboard. It was our first date and he was early. I could have let him know I was ready, but what would have been the fun in that? He was clearly nervous and I felt a bit smug for a moment… because I was nervous too. A red rose was waiting for me on the dashboard and while it quieted many of my doubts and “what if’s”, it also triggered a variety of new ones. I loved roses, I told him. “Then I’ll bring you one on every date,” he replied. What sounded like a line that evening proved to be his sincere intention. I went to university in a different town, but every day that we were together, there was a rose waiting for me. When I visited him, he’d rush home during his lunch break to bring me my rose; when he was visiting me, he got up before I did and I got my rose at breakfast. We eventually went on different paths, but we stayed friends and for a while, those roses brought us the kind of magic and hope we both needed so badly.

Over the years, I got many wonderful flower bouquets from lovers, friends and acquaintances. I attach meaning to the flowers I receive, I can usually tell when they deliver a positive message and when they’re supposed to butter me up, cover a mistake or manipulate me in some other way. There are many beautiful memories, emotions and stories within those bouquets. But sometimes less is more, and one flower can convey a greater world of feelings.

In closing, I’d like to thank Cee (who is hosting this week’s Lens Artists Challenge – One Single Flower) for reminding me how much beauty and love there is in a flower, when it comes from the right person.

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8 Replies to “Memories Within a Flower”

  1. Oh my goodness Ana, it that really a true story about the guy who brought you a rose every time???? If yes, how in heaven’s name did you not end up together?!?!?!? Loved that story as well as your ever-beautiful images.

    Liked by 1 person

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