If you know me, you know that reading and writing are my havens, my RX and my go-to salvation. I love when I'm given something that someone poured emotion and concern into. The following short was sent to me by a fellow writer and friend- Megan Eggers. She's such a sweetheart and a bright literary talent I have no doubt will shine bright in the very near future. She sent me this short-story to--to me--show not all roses wish to shine in the garden.
Some just wish to be left alone to flower in the dark.
Thank you Megan. It's beautiful.
The greatest gift of all is words inked from the heart and penning from the soul.
By Megan Eggers
For Jas T Ward
She had always likened herself to a rose. Not in a conceited or selfish way. A rose didn’t ask to be beautiful, just as she didn’t ask for her beauty. And the fate of that beauty was to forever be sought out, plucked from her home to be displayed as a trophy, then to be discarded when the beauty faded. Like any rose, she had thorns, had to have some protection against those willing to use her for only her beauty. The price of protection was to be alone, a solitary rose, untrusting of the world around her.
Lila pulled her mind back from the melancholy thoughts and focused on her work. Leaning over the drawing table, her long red hair fell forward, hiding her face as she preferred. The house on the blueprint in front of her was coming to life, its base drawn in dark, straight lines. Now she focused on her favorite part…the details that made this house stand out, made it extraordinary.
The office bustled around her, but she paid no attention. Her philosophy since childhood was still her guiding principle. If she ignored them, they would ignore her. It didn’t always work, so she helped it along by dressing in baggy, drab clothes, wearing her hair long and glasses she didn’t need to hide her eyes. She walked with her head down, hoping that one of the snakes in the garden wouldn’t notice her. It was a lonely life, but she preferred it to betrayal and pain. Hiding in the weeds would protect her and her aloof, impersonal attitude would work as thorns when someone got too close. Lila tried not to let anyone too close…except one.
Adding a second sloped roof that gave the house an angular feel, she set down her pencil and shook out her hand. Opening and closing her fingers into a fist, she stretched her fingers out, but kept her head down. She longed to lean back in her chair and stretch, but worried that too much motion from her would incite someone to speak to her, to notice her. Packing her bag, she put it over her shoulder and slipped out of the office, no one noticing her in their hurry to get home.
The walk home was short, planned on the quickest and busiest route, the idea to get lost in the crowd, to be just a part of the ever moving wave of people. Her building was secure, but with no doorman, chosen for that very reason. In her apartment, she locked all the doors, paranoia forcing her to secure herself and her home before she could relax. Lila dropped her bag, pulled off the glasses she didn’t actually need, and hung up the ugly, baggy sweater she detested.
Cooing to her kitten, Jack, she poured food into his bowl and scratched behind his ears. Lila re-heated leftover spaghetti from the night before and then sat down at her computer. As she ate and waited for it to boot-up, she smiled. Now was her time to talk with the one person that could make her smile, the one person she could be open with. This was the person she loved. The one with which she could dream.