Red Rose: A Sory by Neha Gupta

“I know sir it is always a red rose for you or, I must say, for your girlfriend; I wonder who this girl might be to whom you give a red rose every Sunday. When will I get the pleasure to see her?” with a lot of amusement in his eyes, the florist enquired.

I ignored his question and with a lost look in my eyes, uttered the words feebly, “She would love to have a bouquet today; can you make one full of bright red roses.”

I saw the effortless moves of the florist while he selected the best roses with glistening petals, brimming with youth.

I remembered how Naina’s face resembled these roses; her face shimmered the same way and radiated the glow of a freshly bloomed rose. I instantly fell in love with her; there was so much depth in her eyes, revealing a little and disclosing a lot, leaving me to wander on the path of mystery. Those eyes had undoubtedly gone through a lot, but my curiosity about her past was always brushed aside by a careless gesture.

We met at the airport of Kochi for the first time, she was wearing a blue dress and her loose silky hair was ornamented by a single red rose. We exchanged our phone numbers, smiles, and emotions during our three hours journey to Mumbai while sipping our coffees.

We started seeing each ohter; surprisingly, she lived in the same building as me. She was always very interested in my work, but since I work for the cybercrime division, I was not allowed to say much about my job. That irritated her, and she complained about me not trusting her enough to share all aspects of my life. She claimed to work for Brihan Mumbai Corporation(BMC), which I never suspected, hence didn’t feel the need to dig in.

The florist was ready with the bouquet and shook me back to the moment, “There you go sir, special bouquet for a special girl! Are you proposing to her today?”

I didn’t reply; I simply stared at him.

He assumed that I didn’t like his nosing around in my private matter and changed the subject by showing me the newspaper, “Did you see the headlines today; look at the face of this pretty girl. Who can say that she was a deadly terrorist? Well, she was gunned down last night by Anti-Terror Squad while trying to fix a bomb in the Local train.”

 The sixty-year-old florist handed me the bouquet and with a desperate plea, said, “I  wish I could see the girl for whom I have prepared this.”

“You just did.” That was all I could say with my choked emotions.

I took the most elegant bouquet from him and started strolling on the street in the direction familiar to my feet to chase the shadows of my dead love, and to figure out why the roses that look so beautiful have thorns in them!