by Shaara voted
Who sent the red roses? That's what everyone wants to know, including Shaara.
|Category: under 500 words: Writer's Block Short Story
The Red Roses
It was actually embarrassing. Everyone in the school office wanted to know who'd sent me roses. They knew I wasn’t married. They were pretty sure I didn’t have a boyfriend, so they kept pestering me to tell.
But I couldn’t. I had no idea who'd sent me roses. I took the bouquet to my room, and stood awhile trying to figure it out.
My best friend dropped by to take a peek. I wondered who’d told her about the roses. Gossip travels faster in a school than -- children!
“Red roses?” Donna cried out. “Red means love! No secrets, now!”
One look at my face, and Donna shut up. I explained again that I didn’t know anyone who would send me roses. It was a pretty sad thing to admit.
My students started entering the room then. Their eyes swept over the flowers, but the children were too intent on asking me about the assembly being set up in the cafeteria. The kids ignored my roses.
At lunchtime, I stayed in my room. Dorothy, one of the other second grade teachers, dropped by to chat. It was soon obvious she didn’t really need to check on the grade level exchange date. Her eyes flew immediately to the roses on my table; she didn't look surprised.
“It’s not your birthday,” she said. “Any other important date I should know about? You haven’t got that book of yours published, have you?”
“No, no, and no,” I said, sighing.
All that day, I wondered about the roses. After school, I put my thermos and coffee mug in the cloth bag that served to carry my lunch, picked up the flowers and left. Amazingly, I managed to arrive home without spilling rose water all over my car.
The moment I walked into the house, I glanced at my answering machine. No blinking lights. I checked my e-mails and went into Writing.com, to shuffle through my reviews. Mysteries were supposed to be solvable, but how could one be solved without clues?
David called at 7:00. He’s my agent. I listened as he kept making small talk, wishing he’d say whatever it was he wanted me to send to him this time.
“You got the roses?” David said at last.
“You sent them?”
“Yeah, with a card. I thought you’d be excited!”
“David, slow down. Excited about what? There wasn’t any card.”
“Actually, uh, the roses are from your new publisher, and a check for $10,000 is in the mail.”
My life flashed before my eyes. I must have died and gone to heaven! I breathed in deeply and smiled. Then I thanked David, hung up the phone, and sat down on the couch.
I guess I was still in shock. I didn’t call anyone. I just sat there thinking about how I could finally tell everyone why I’d gotten the roses!