Burning Roses

Posted: July 27, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
Tags: , , ,

burning roseLeslie hugged Derek and kissed him goodbye on the cheek. “I hope we can still be friends,” she said.

Derek held up her rose. “Do you want to take this with you?”

“I… no. Sorry. It would just…”

“It’s okay.”

“It’s sweet.”

“It’s okay. I’ll talk to you.”


High school sweethearts. All good things come to an end.

She left the rose on the table by the door. Derek couldn’t bring himself to throw it out. He couldn’t just toss the past away. He felt that he needed something more permanent. The whole situation did. There also wasn’t any poetry in using the trash can.

An hour later he stood next to a fire pit on the grass near Mission Bay. He stood framed by red starlight as ashes from the wood he bought caught fire and burned. The flames caught eagerly when he lit the matches, as if they’d known why he’d called them here, and were eager to perform their task. He dropped the rose like a dilapidated body into the fire. Morbid, but the loss he felt was the same.

The leaves caught first, burning away, smaller flames working their way in to the stem. The bud took longest to burn, burning down to ash by the time the stem was engulfed and burning through. Derek smiled. His face lit up in the orange glow. There was an amazingly pure sense of completion about it as he watched the ashes fall away, or be blown away by the wind.

The more smoke blew into his face, the happier he felt. That whole sacrificial ashes in the hair, ashes on the face thing. Derek understood. The flames consumed everything, leaving nothing. Even though he knew that his feelings weren’t going to leave the same way, not so fast, he could hope.

Photo credit: “Fiery rose” by Zyada at Flickr
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license


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