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Two Dozen Roses

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There’s a man sitting on a park bench reading a newspaper. The headline states “11th Anniversary of the 9/11 Horror”. He sits quietly, unmoving. A passerby might not notice he was there, nothing particularly stands out about him.
He seems to be around 40 or 50 of age. He wears a suit and next to him lies two dozen white roses.
He may be meeting his wife or girlfriend for lunch, or maybe he’s taking them home for her. He has something to atone for, someone might infer.
He folds the paper carefully and sets it with a finality next to the roses.
If one of the many people walking by looked at his face, it would seem apparent to them that he’s experienced a great loss. Pain stains his deep set eyes and his mouth seems as though it’s been decades since it’s had something to smile about.
If that person had gone further and looked through his wallet, he would see sever care-worn photographs of a beautiful woman and a young girl, no more than 5 years old.
Their smiles say a lot. The colors more vibrant than reality seems. It was a time before rocketing gas prices, a time before heavy airport security and wars on terrorism. A time before madmen steered airplanes into buildings.
The man lets out a heavy sigh and stands, his eyes turned to the sky. He picks up the roses, but leaves the paper. It is September 11th, the year is 2012. His daughter would be 16 years old, driving. He smiles at the thought. She would be experiencing the excitement of first love and the sting of heartbreak.
Instead, she’s six feet underground in one of New York’s overfilled cemeteries.
He and his wife would have been celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary in less than 2 months. Her body was never found.
A single tear escapes his control and rolls down his worn face.
Two dozen roses in hand, he walks away.




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