The Right Roses
I put down the canvas bag and pushed it over to her ankles. She was still sleeping. I pulled open the zipper and grabbed the three dozen roses in my right hand, and then started to place them around her body, making a sort of blueprint outline of her. The hotel phone rang and she came back to life. “What are you doing?” She asked. “Surprising you,” I replied, “good morning.” Outside, a seagull landed on the windowsill and cawed two times before flying out into the summer sky. I got into the bed beside her and closed the covers around us.
The sun set early that night and since we still hadn’t left the bedroom, we just kept our clothes off and laid under the bedsheets all the way through the evening and into the night. She laughed when the hotel bird clock jingled hummingbird sounds at four AM. “What’s so funny?” I asked. She rolled over and brushed the hair out of our faces. “It’s crazy,” she replied, “look at us.” I pulled a rose petal out from under my back and placed it on her forehead. “Because we find magic in just laying here in this place for like twelve hours straight?” I asked. She watched the rose petal unstick itself from her head and tumble down her nose, off her lips, and crest finally onto her bare chest. “Yes,” she said, “but also because the only thing I want to do right now is just spend another two days and nights with you in this bed, and make this vacation replay itself on loop for as long as I don’t know when.”
We woke up the next morning and packed up our things and left the shore. On the ride home, she slept with just a single rose in her hand, the only one that made it through the vacation without a single bend or bruise. We didn’t go back to that hotel for years. But, on our honeymoon, when I asked her if she remembered our vacation by the sea, she said, “yes. You must have picked the right roses that morning, because it’s felt like we’ve been there ever since.”
Photograph by Veronika Sulenská