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48 Tea Roses

A Poem

N Rice Tea Roses 2018

It's a windy morning; hood pulled up, my hands keeping busy gathering bits of trash in my hoodie pockets.

A brisk walk cutting across the local park.

The only sound besides the music on my ear buds are my boots hitting the concrete in short, blunt shots.

Five Finger Death Punch on random play, an exhilarating way to start the day.

I stop to toss my hoodie pocket lint at the first trash bin and I'm struck.

Dumbstruck at first, then completely awestruck.

I grabbed up, what to me, was the most treasured find ever.

The epitome of what is to be a girl washes over me the second I touch them.

And within moments I'm sitting on a park bench looking down at the most amazing bouquet of flowers.

Everything I had to do right then, I forgot.

Everything I was rushing to would wait.

The most beautiful bouquet of tiny tea roses sat on my lap.

I began counting them, one by one, each time hitting another dozen and catching my gasp out loud.

Forty eight of the most perfect pink blossoms laid in black tissue from a florist I had never heard of before.

The name alone was captivating and I read it out loud and it sounded even fancier.

An International Marketplace, an Italian name, black tissue, gold lettering; fit for a princess.

"These must have cost a small fortune," I softly said out loud.

I wonder if the giver knows that his or her attempt to create an atmosphere most flawless resulted in such a blatant scream of disregard.

Tossed on the side as if the entire day never happened.

In the trash bin even.

My mind conjured up different scenarios.

Jilted lover, beauty contestant runner up.

Married woman might have wanted them but just couldn't bring them home.

Too many thoughts clouded my head.

I shook them off.

Flowers like this certainly never came around twice, well at least not in my lifetime.

Not letting any more of the morning escape me, I got up from the bench and held the bouquet close to my chest as I walked.

Their fragrance was soul catching.

I couldn't help but to grin a little.

The colors were mind blowing.

I may have even giggled.

Holding these tiny pink roses even made me feel prettier.

As I walked, I found myself constantly looking down, almost like I was checking on a newborn baby.

I pretended they were from a secret admirer.

Placed in a spot he knew I was bound to find them.

A quick note accompanied, just signed by "X" that I discarded along the way.

My flowers, my story to tell.

I danced the rest of the way to work that morning, well figuratively speaking, you know.

The minute I got to work I put them into a vase we had in the kitchen.

The vase failed them; it was stained and old and much too short.

They still drew so much attention I felt like a princess for the day.

Coworkers stopped to peek and I enchanted each one of them with my secret admirer fantasy.

Each time my story becoming more and more elaborate creating such a vivid story line my listeners hung on every word.

At the end of the day I gathered up my little treasure, emptied the vase and rewrapped them in the tissue they came in.

I thought about leaving them for the next day, but I couldn't imagine parting with them even for a moment.

The sun was shining in spite of the cold which made the walk much more pleasant than in the morning.

I made it back to my apartment in plenty of time to catch my roommate before she left for work.

The tea roses captivated her also and together we arranged them into a vase and placed them on the fireplace mantel.

Later that evening I fell asleep curled up on the couch and I dreamt of my prince charming.

When I woke up the light coming in through the window illuminated the bouquet and it's colors began to sing.

How beautiful they were and how incredible they made me feel.

The next morning I stopped briefly in hopes that there may be a second bouquet, but there wasn't.

The day was slow and I couldn't take my focus off the roses.

I found myself doodling; drawing them over and over again.

After lunch hour I returned to work to find a message taped to my telephone.

It simply read, "Did you enjoy what I left for you the other morning? They are as beautiful as you are to me."

I was shaken for sure and I stood up and looked around.

No one was particularly out of sorts, so I approached my manager.

She said that in fact a gentleman had come in for me, but she told him I wasn't here and he said he'd return.

How the note got taped on my phone was as confusing to her as to me.

The rest of the day blurred, and walking home I was surprised to see a man sitting at the bench I sat at when I first found the tea roses.

It started with hello, and a surge of excitement ran through my blood.

He introduced himself as my secret admirer and I did all I could do not to giggle.

He asked me to sit that he would explain more and I gave him the opportunity to.

It turns out that he's known me since college and recently moved into the district.

I thanked him for the roses and even told him about my secret admirer fantasy.

I admitted to him a gesture so innocent as a bouquet of flowers for someone you liked could create such powerful magic in someone's life.

That bouquet of roses I found that morning boost my confidence and made me feel so special.

Three years later, I am standing in my living room in my wedding gown.

My secret admirer waiting for me in a chapel a block away.

And in my arms are the most lavish forty eight pink tea roses anyone has ever seen.

And for the day I am a princess.

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