The petals feel soft, I am on top of them, timidly adjusting my body and wishing this would dim the unwelcome stream of wistful, wakeful flashbacks. I can only alter my position ever so slightly each time I move and hope for peace and, with it, sleep. One rose, two rose, three rose… That’s better… I wish I could drown in this sweet-scented plot with busy bees, distinct shapes, gentle colours, non-gentle thorns, love, life, end of love, end of life…
I slowly shut my tired eyes and picture these blooming walls closing up on me, wrapping me gently like the lightest blanket, I lazily writhe around and pretend they don’t prickle, I bury my head underneath the pillow of white petals and breathe in every molecule of the incredibly familiar scent. The anxiousness subsides slightly. My breathing gets lighter, my eyelids feel heavier…
I could have been happy in this garden. Or I wanted to be. When last night he lay on the petals with me, in his white T-shirt, his pale blue Levi’s and no shoes, smelling of roses and unabashed about the mess, the thorns, the lack of warmth, I believed I had it. Well, I was close. Who the f-ck breaks up with somebody while looking at the stars surrounded by walls of fresh, blooming flowers? How was I meant to see it coming, to calculate an appropriate response and to make the according moves? Instead, banally and predictably, my world collapsed in a frightening, deafening bang, with only soft, innocent blossoms to shield me. The night is as much of a blur as it is painfully vivid, I want to forget it as much as I will remember it, it is as definite of an end as it is just the beginning.
The light of my eyes, light of my life, life of my life – that’s what he was. We would have created a flawless existence in this garden. I would wake up early and water each and every root so that each and every flower could appear unblemished for when he looked from our window. We would weave a pink thorn-less bench and spend the most serene moments of our rose existence under the pleasantly warm Sun. When it rained, we would hide under the white rose arch, red rose to red rose, not afraid to have no one but afraid to not have each other. We would be still and silent, feel everything so as never to feel nothing again.
They say you can’t force love, you can’t force a life in a rose garden. Now that I am a night and a trashed heart wiser let me reiterate: that is some rose-coated bullsh-t. Useless philosophy that serves no good to anyone. He explained to me last night that only one in a relationship gets to be the precious flower, not the gardener. Drama, drama. We could have been both, silly. But not given the chance, I am on top of the soft petals, unwilling to move, with my clumped hair sticking to his red-rose blood, blood I wish could penetrate and crawl and rush and swirl under my skin.
I don’t want to turn my head and look, don’t want to hold his hand or run my fingers though his hair or smell his clothes. I picture his eyes, framed by beautiful long lashes, open and alert, and imagine how glittering and surprised they look. I confront the sudden feeling of wanting to simultaneously apologise to his family and to hug him. I do neither. Instead, I allow myself to pretend that life is not going to stop, that it will simply transform when the unlived memories and unfulfilled plans bind and twist together to then calmly flow into the narrow stream of blood which has begun to creep from underneath me and cover the blameless petals with the unmistakable crimson dye.
While the red brook is forming an undisturbed and seamless trail in tiny twists, I allow myself to feel grateful for the rose new day. I fill up my lungs and drift away in the sensation of unbothered fragrance sent out by the glorious rose garden.