Roses aren’t romantic: A novel excerpt
Note: This is just a small draft idea for my most recent novel attempt. It follows on from a bit that I shared in May and includes a small glimpse at the main male character I’ve been struggling with. This is about two-thirds of the way through the book, and I’ll need to decide on my final ending soon! Of course, I still need to flesh out bits in the beginning, too. (I’m trying to not share main character names yet, so please forgive the ‘shes’ and ‘hes’.)
As she arrived at the airport, she was filled with an array of emotions. Her heart was being pulled in two directions at once and she didn’t know which path to follow. She didn’t know if she should run towards him, into the comfort and safety of his arms—or away from him, away from the pain and confusion he caused.
She kept looking over her shoulder, wishing he’d be there, chasing her through the airport like they do in the movies. But she should have known better; she didn’t tell him she was leaving and he had no way of finding out. After all, she never did introduce him to her friends. Out of shame? Out of embarrassment? She didn’t really know.
When the final boarding announcement was made, she walked solemnly to the plane and found her seat. She was doing the right thing, leaving. There was no reason to stay in this place. There was no reason to remain in this horrible place that was filled with so many painful memories. Still, her heart ached as she gazed out the window.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
He stood on her doorstep waiting. He had rung the bell and pounded on the door, but there was still no answer. He was sure she’d forgive him this time; he was certain that she’d realise he truly cared. After all, he was standing there holding a case of her favourite soft drink as evidence that he paid attention.
“Roses aren’t romantic,” she once said. “Roses are a lazy man’s way of getting something—anything—for a girl because Hollywood dictates he do so. If a man really cared, he would pay attention to what she likes and he’d bring her something to show that he cared. Roses don’t say you care; roses say you’re not thinking about her desires.”
He listened that time. Actually, he listened to everything she said. He was just too frightened to act on it; he was too afraid to let a woman into his heart. Yet there he was, holding a dozen cans of A&W root beer. It was bloody difficult to find them in Scotland, too. He knew that her favourite was Barq’s, but he was hoping this was close enough.
“She’s not home.”
It was the neighbour, Marie. The extremely nosey, very opinionated neighbour.
“Where is she? Do you know when she’ll be back?” he asked hoping she would take mercy on him.
“She’s gone back to America. Left in complete tears in a taxi just a couple of hours ago. I should have known it would have something to do with you,” Marie said with disdain. “Scum like you prey on girls like her. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
He begged for Marie to hear him out and when she relented, he told her the entire story. He told her every truth and every lie; every truth about every lie. When he was done, Marie leapt from her chair and hugged him.
“She needs to know. You have to tell her. You have to go after her,” Marie exclaimed. “But first, I have to tell you the rest of her story. You won’t like it, but you need to hear it.”
Then Marie told him a story that would forever change him. And when she was done, he made his way to the airport. He knew just what she needed from him. It wasn’t roses. It wasn’t fizzy, sugary drinks. It was a chance at life.
Photo credits to Primasz (Own work (own photo)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons