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The Thorns of the Rose
It was a normal fall day at Caraville High School. Students were jostling each other to get to their classes on time. Four students in particular were hurrying to their classes.
“I am not going to be late for English. I am not going to be late for English,” chanted one of them like a mantra. She had long curly black hair, hazel eyes, and an olive skin tone that gave her an Italian look. Her gold hoop earrings jangled as she walked, but that was the only noise she made, because her red half-calf boots were made of cloth. The cream-colored blouse with Latin embroidery across the bodice set off her back tights very nicely.
“I think we may be early, Rose, so don’t freak out,” suggested one of the others. She, like the other two, had dark red hair, pale skin, and big dark green eyes. Her hair was long and curly, like her sister, and she wore a purple sundress that matched her sister’s down to the stitch. Their brother had curly hair that stuck in every direction. He claimed it was because he had so many ideas that they were all looking for a place to go and that was why his hair was so curly. He had on a purple sweater and a pair of black skinny jeans.
“But, Reese, it was 8’o’clock when we left! English starts at 8:15!” wailed Rose. “Ms.Rowe will have my head!”
“Rayann, what’s your opinion?” asked Reese of her sister. “Will our friend be late and have to go to prison with Ms.Rowe after school?”
“My opinion is that we will have to have a very nice funeral for our friend, dear sister,” said Rayann solemnly.
“Richard! Help me!” Rose cried out. “I’m outnumbered!”
“I think that this is your classroom. And I have English as well, so if she kills you for being late, she’ll kill me too,” replied Richard evenly. “Bye Reese. See you later, Rayann.” The other triplets nodded and went on to their Science class. Rose smiled affectionately.
“Those two are impossible.”
“And that is why we love them,” Richard pointed out. The two walked into the classroom.
“Ms.Wilde and Mr. Roberts, so nice of you to join us,” remarked Ms.Rowe as they stepped through the door. Richard ducked his head as his face turned the color of his hair. Rose, however, was not at a loss for words.
“Ms.Rowe, how nice of you to so acutely point out the fact that you were perfect in 9th Grade and were never late to class,” Rose said with a sneer. Ms.Rowe glared at her least favorite pupil, who returned the glare wholeheartedly. Richard grabbed Rose’s elbow and led her towards her desk.
“Calm down, Rosie,” he whispered, “or you’ll get me in trouble too.” Rose sighed, but nodded and turned attentively towards the front of the room.
“I swear, Richard, if you weren’t one of my best friends in the whole world, I’d punch you.” Rose said fiercely.
“Rose, I just didn’t want either one of us to get in trouble!” Richard defended himself. Reese and Rayann walked up.
“Hey, you two! What’s up besides the sky?” asked Rayann.
“Not my mood, that’s for sure,” grumbled Rose as she grabbed the lock on a locker and began twisting it.
“Excuse me? Rose, isn’t it? That’s my locker,” said a deep voice. Rose turned to give him what-for and for once, she lost her voice. Standing in front of her was Garrett Black, her old nemesis. He had nice muscles, brown hair, sparkling blue-green eyes, and a tan skin tone from playing sports. Rose snapped out of her daze.
“Sorry,” she apologized, stepping back. The Roberts triplets looked at her like she had gone bonkers.
“Garrett! I’ve been looking for you absolutely everywhere!” came a breathy voice. Everyone turned to see the beauty queen-cheerleader Ashley Hill run up and grab Garrett’s arm. “What are you doing with these geeks?” she asked with a pout.
“We have lockers right next to each other, Hill. I think that’s reason enough,” Rose said.
“Put a sock in it, Wilde,” advised Ashley. Rayann and Reese both put an arm on each of Rose’s shoulders.
“She’s not worth it, Rose. Breathe. Remember breathing? That thing you have to do to survive?” the twins said simultaneously. Rose closed her eyes and breathed in and out. Ashley flipped her blond hair over her shoulder and blinked her blue eyes innocently. She pulled on Garrett’s arm and tugged him over to her locker.
“Let’s go to lunch,” said Richard. Everyone agreed this was a good idea, and started for the cafeteria.
“When did Garrett get so cute?” wondered Rose on the way there. The trio made choking sounds and looked at her in astonishment. “What? He did.”
“Look at the way she is clinging on to his arm, like a sea squid,” grumbled Rose. “If he doesn’t break up with her soon, I’ll go nuts!”
“Easy there, Rose. They look pretty happy,” commented Reese. Rayann nodded her agreement, while Richard was lost in thought- and a grilled cheese sandwich.
“You don’t know what he’s feeling inside. If I were him, I’d be annoyed,” argued Rose. Reese sighed, and Rose turned back to watching Garrett and Ashley. She focused in on their conversation.
“Oh, Garrett, I am just so excited about the dance!” squealed Ashley. Garrett nodded, and Rose turned to the triplets.
“There’s a dance coming up?” she asked.
“You didn’t know?” asked Rayann.
“She was probably to busy daydreaming of Lover Boy over there to notice the poster,” said Reese. “It’s in two days. Don’t worry; we don’t have dresses or dates yet. Shall we go to Zoë Noelle’s after school to find a dress?”
“I need a date first!” Rose exclaimed. Richard’s head slowly came up.
“Well, Rose, I’d be happy to take you. If you want to go with me, that is,” Richard said hopefully.
“Thanks, Rich. I’ll go with you if I can’t go with Garrett. You’re a great friend,” said Rose with a smile. Richard looked a little sad at this statement, but then drowned himself in his food and the girls began talking about dresses, dates, nails, and shoes.
“What do you think of this one?” asked Rayann as she pulled a dark green dress of the rack of clothes. It was a beautiful dress, with an empire waist that had a black and silver belt studded with emeralds underneath her bodice. It had a scoop neckline and sleeves to the elbows. Rose and Reese both squealed.
“You’ll look perfect in it, sis!”
“It was made for you!” Rayann blushed and went to try it on. Reese had been lucky and had found an indigo dress with black lace on the long sleeves and the sweetheart neckline, as well as on the hem of the long skirt. Rose hadn’t found anything that wouldn’t either clash with her, or either of the boys, and she was getting very annoyed. Rayann came out and there was more squealing and blushing and arguing over a price. Just then, the bell above the shop door rang.
“And what are you doing here? Come to add to your wish list?” sneered the one and only Ashley Hill.
“Hill, if you can’t say anything helpful, keep your mouth shut,” Rose said.
“That dress makes you look like a string bean, Roberts!” Ashley continued. Rayann looked like she wanted to cry, and she probably would have if Reese hadn’t saved the day.
“Don’t pretend you weren’t looking at the exact same style of dress, only in blue, just the other day!” Ashley gasped, horrified. Rose smirked, and Rayann looked up.
“I’m going where there is some more style!” sniffed the beauty queen as she strutted towards the door.
“Any place that you walk into loses its style the minute it sees your ugly face!” Rose shouted after her. The door slammed close. “That was satisfying,” she commented.
“So, what’s the problem with most of these gowns?” asked Rayann as she looked through the pile of clothes that Rose had tossed away.
“I can’t wear the black ones, because they clash with Garrett, and the red and pink ones clash with Richard,” explained Rose. Rayann and Reese looked at each other. “What?” Rose asked.
“Let’s see. You normally wear cream and gold, but that’s getting old.”
“Hey, that rhymed!”
“It’s true. Anyways, what about a yellow one?”
“No. Absolutely not. I look terrible in yellow!”
“Well, what are the guy’s favorite colors?”
“Green and grey.”
“Grey? Let’s find a grey one!” And so the search continued, until Reese yelled,
“EUREKA!” Rose and Rayann scurried over to her, and their mouths fell open. The gown was dark silver that hugged tight to the body till it hit the knees, and then it flared out into silver and white feathers. It looked like the dress split on the bottom half into smooth white satin. The top had ruffled sleeves that came just below the shoulders.
“Eureka was an understatement. I’m thinking hallelujah!” Rayann said. Rose nodded happily. Then they chose some shoes. Reese chose black flats with little purple satin bows on each one of them. Rayann chose dark green wedge heels that were about 4 inches long. Rose found some white leather boots with spiked black heels. The girls payed for their purchases and walked out arm in arm.
“Great party, huh?” James Hill asked Richard, who nodded at his blond best friend and took a swig of punch. The dance was in full swing, and everyone was going crazy to Lady Gaga’s new hit, “Just Dance”. Just then Rayann walked up to James. “Why, hello, gorgeous.” James said with a wink. Rayann blushed.
“Thank you, James,” she said shyly to her date. Richard looked out on the dance floor, looking for his date. When he saw her, his breath caught. Her dress was a beautiful sapphire color that just barely skimmed her knees. Her golden hair was up in a French twist, and she had on black high heels. He smiled and walked out to the dance floor.
“Hey, Ashley,” he said. “Did I mention how lovely you look tonight?” Ashley laughed.
“No, but now that you do, thank you.” A different song came on. Richard had never heard this one before.
“What’s the name of this song, bella?” he asked.
“Tell me what bella means and I’ll tell you what the song is,” she challenged.
“It means ‘beauty’ in Italian. So what’s the name of the song?”
“’You Belong With Me’.”
“Alright, but what’s the name of the song?” Ashley laughed and took his hand. They began rocking back and forth to the music. Across the room, Reese and Rose watched them.
“They look happy,” Rose commented. Reese glared at her.
“You would be so much better for him!”
“It’s just for tonight. It’s not like they’re boyfriend and girlfriend now.”
“You’re taking this awfully calmly.”
“Hey, I’m happy too!”
“Right, because you got the date you wanted!”
“Yes, but have you seen him dance?” Rose turned and saw a certain, bespectacled brunette Austin Peterson dancing like a mechanical chicken, and surprisingly, to the beat of the song. She laughed.
“Rose?” said someone behind her. She felt her breath catch in her throat, and she turned.
“Hey there, handsome.”
“May I have this dance?”
“Of course.” Rose took Garrett’s hand and they stepped onto the dance floor. She slipped her arms around his neck, and he slipped both of his around her waist. The song ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele came on. “I love this song,” Rose said.
“Do you love it more than me?”
“Of course not. And I forgive you for insulting me all those years ago.”
“Did I apologize?”
“No, but you’re forgiven anyways.” They both chuckled. Ashley and Richard looked over.
“Well, who would have thought? The jock and the rose,” Ashley said with a smirk.
“He’d just better watch out for her thorns.”
“I think those thorns are what he loves about her.”
“He’s not alone in loving the flaws of his flower.”
“Oh, Richard…..” And the rest of the night passed by in pure bliss for everyone- well, everyone except for Reese, who was embarrassed by Austin for the rest of the night, and the rest of their lives….but that’s another story.