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Roses (2022)

Ever since I could remember, I had rose petals over my eyes. Tied with a satin ribbon, blocking the outside world entirely. I’d been taught never to take it off no matter the circumstances. And I didn’t want to, my life was perfect. I had no intention of messing it up. Loving parents, a wonderful home, caring friends, and every happiness one could imagine for a child. Despite that I could not see them, I knew no different so it was of no loss to me.

As I grew, so did the cracks in the perfection. It started slowly, with the occasional snide remark from one parent to the other. My friends turned on each other, and the pressure on my heart began to grow. Then it became bigger; pressure became suffocation, remarks became arguments, and friends became enemies. With every passing year, the cracks grew until I feared they’d shatter, and as they grew the petals on my eyes withered. I tied the ribbon tighter in hopes they wouldn’t fall, I didn’t know what would happen if they did. I didn’t want to know.

On the eve of my 18th birthday, I heard a crash ring through my house, followed by a scream. Then the petals fell.

I tried desperately to keep my eyes shut, for fear of what I might see. But after a few moments the attempt seemed futile, so hesitantly I opened my eyes.

Looking around, I furrowed my brow. I was inside a white room. It had cushions along the walls. When I looked down, on the floor lay a strip of satin. It had fallen from my eyes. They weren’t rose petals. I didn’t know what roses were.

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