By Kim Martins
He smashed another vase this morning. Petals swam through the air. Thorns fell to the carpet and burrowed in. If I watered them, would they turn into blush pink rose bushes?
I was seated by the open window. It was a particularly rosy-hued morning. The front room was my own once more. My pounding heart quieted.
There he was in the rose garden. Shovel in hand. Shirt sleeves rolled. Like a wild man, he took to the rose bushes I had planted on our fifth wedding anniversary. Their hardy heads bobbed in the warm summer breeze. Their rhythm was in time with his digging.
I watched him and drank some tea. Blood-red fingernails curved around a porcelain cup.
He dug deeper into the thick roots. Used pruning shears to lop off heads and slash buds. Sliced off the razor-sharp leaves. His chest heaved from the effort.
I breathed in the powdery perfume and the sweat that filled the air. Took another sip of tea.
He straightened his back and laughed. Turned to the remaining bushes in the corner of the garden. Near the feathery purple catmint.
He was deep in the bushes now. They crowded around him. He muttered to himself once or twice as thorns scratched his hands and face.
Then, all I could see was red. Fingers bled. Wounds wept. Thorns bit the soles of his feet.
“Roseanne dear, how are you?” Muriel asked. “Where’s Bob? I haven’t seen him in ages.”
We were seated by the window of the front room. Morning light blazed. I poured her a cup of piping hot Earl Grey tea.
“And what’s happened to your beautiful rose garden? It’s a bit of a mess”.
I placed a hand on the windowsill. “Yes,” I said. “Those rose bushes were too thorny. I had to dig them up. I must plant something more suitable.”