Yellow Petals

Gently, I sit up in bed, letting the yellow silk of the sheets caress me. I reach one hand over to the small table next to my bed, extracting the yellow rose from the small, narrow-necked prison it has been confined to through the night, while with the other hand, I draw open the curtains, letting the light cascade over me.

My fingertips gently outline the contours of the soft petals, one after another, remembering. Remembering when she handed me this very rose, plucked it from the garden…

Carefully, I pull the leaves from the stem, setting them in a small green pile beside me, contrasting with the sheet beneath them.

I run my forefinger along the stem, but soon pull back in pain. I have forgotten that roses have thorns, too. I put my finger into my mouth, but not before two drops of blood have spilled—one onto my nightgown; the other onto the yellow silk of my pillow. The red droplet spreads, spoiling the perfect yellow of the sheet.

Slowly, I pull the petals off, letting them drop to the floor.

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