Roses This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Her last boyfriend had always given her flowers. Chocolates, too, and jewelry, and stuffed animals, and cards every six months or so. In fact, over the course of their three-and-a-half year relationship, he had spent more money on her than she cared to think of. She didn't ask him to spend all this money on her, though she admitted she enjoyed all the attention he gave her ... at first. But the flowers he would bring her had always died quickly. Especially the roses.

She had always been a hopeless romantic, and she was delighted by symbolism in literature, and usually even happier to find it in real life. But not this symbolism. It was depressing to watch over and over again a dozen red roses die even before they bloomed.

And so, after watching the last petals fall from the last sad rose, she took a good look at her relationship with her boyfriend, decided that she didn't like it even after three and a half years, and dumped him. Surprisingly, that was the end of that. No problems, no tears or depression, no try-agains, just the end.

With all ends come beginnings. And about a month later, a "friend"- they were not quite in a relationship, but they were "seeing each other"- gave her a single red rose. One petal was falling off, and there were neither leaves nor thorns on the single thin stalk, but she shrugged and put it in a vase with water. He wasn't the richest person in the world, she reflected, but it's the thought that counts.

It bloomed like no rose she had ever seen before. On its solitary stem, it slowly opened its deep red petals and at full bloom became a glorious shade of pink. It was the largest, most beautiful rose she had ever seen, and it seemed to pervade her room with its beauty, filling it with light and color.

The gifts reflect the giver.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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