:garden of dead roses//


Her room was dark, spare the dusty corner right underneath the glass window. The curtains were only slightly parted. A thin beam of sunlight compacted in the body of a golden sword fell onto the silver rectangle she was holding on her palm. The metal glinted as if winking back at the orange fiery orb millions of miles away. As if, thanking it for the gift of the majestic glow. Her blank eyes stared at the lifeless piece of metal which had suddenly felt like her last straw to relief.

She wanted to poke her finger down her oesophagus and purge herself of all those tormenting and agonizing memories which clawed at her heart every second of her existence. The memories that toyed with her emotions every waking hour. Her dreams were hollow, murky and grey. She would see herself running after shadows which grew smaller and smaller. She would find herself walking down endless aisles of a mysterious building or scouring through dark corridors, searching for a particular aura, for even the vaguest hint of his presence. She always came up empty. Every night, her dreams would dissolve into blank inky emptiness, her forehead beaded with moisture and her breathing heavy but shallow.

I’m death and this is the story of a rose. The last rose in that garden. But she was a beautiful rose. My favourite, actually. Sucking life out of her didn’t give me the joy that all the other roses did. I wanted this rose to live. But she played the death song and summoned me against my will.

The blade felt cool against the soft skin of her arm. She began with creating tiny pits in her skin. One day since he left; 1 cut. Two days since he walked away; 2 cuts. Three days since he left; 3 cuts. Four days since he walked away; 4 cuts. A month since he’d been gone and her skin was already a labyrinth of diagonal and horizontal lanes etched deep into it. A permanent reminder of the chaos she’d been hiding from the world. The hurricane was growing and she was right in the eye of the storm.

I watched her from up above. Sometimes, I sat right across from her, on the swinging chair, gazing at her out of the dark. Sometimes, I’d dare to touch her tear streaked face. I’d sigh at the wastage of such beauty that was slowly crumbling. Her tears were like acid corroding a soft sponge. I’d touch her scars and lament with them. What a loss…

The droplets of blood would fall down on the marbled floor, looking like beaded rubies. She’d press down on them, creating a deep red smudge on the white floor. She’d then trace an outline of his name with her fingers and stare at it for hours until the blood dried. She would then wipe it out, cleaning the slate, ready for the next round.It would happen every night. Every morning she’d hide her wreckage underneath the sleeves of her shirts, looking like a happy princess to the world but feeling like a dead zombie inside.

Sometimes, I just wanted to swoop down and pull her into my embrace. The loving embrace of death, pardon the pun. But I was helpless against my growing emotions. I wanted the rose to live. My beautiful rose. And then came the final message. The death sentence. “It’s over.”

The silver metal cut into her vein, as if it was a soft bubblegum. She did not feel the sting or the pain; she was well accustomed to it. It came to her very often. She felt it as frequently as she breathed. The trail of the red fluid flowed downwards, pooling at the pit that joined her forearm and arm. Drops rained down and crashed against the white rug, colouring it a deep crimson. Without wasting another second, she cut another gash on the other wrist, colouring her skin all red, like a red arm band. She swayed a little and felt her vision go blurry. Her heartbeat ceased to a dim thrumming. Her brain went into a deep permanent slumber. Her life flashed before her like a time-lapse film. His smile, their laughter, the sparkle of his eyes, the masterpiece that was his face. It all ran through her and then it all went blank. Her heart stopped beating. It stopped feeling.

No matter how much I wanted to undo things, my rose had died. I stood by her feet, looking down upon her face, a permanent sad smile plastered on it. The blood still streamed down her wrist, pooling around her, wanting to drown her. It told a million stories of a broken heart, a million stories of a tragic end. She was so different, so colourful, with an aura that was made of a million hues. But Alas, no more. She was just another dead rose, in the garden of dead roses. I am death and I just narrated the story of my favourite dead rose. But let me tell you, I never wanted to do it. I am death but I feared death for her.



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