Legacy of a Rose|
It had been two weeks since the girl had been returned to her uncle. Not much had happened since then physically, but Roger's mind had been overwhelmingly active, still full of the thoughts of before, but now he had new ones to ponder over, and they were all about Rose.
What's wrong with me? he thought as he stood on the balcony one cloudy morning, miraculously. Why am I thinking of this woman so much? She probably doesn't even remember me anymore. She must be miles from here by now. This has never happened to me before. She is like every other woman I know. No, there's something about her, but I can't put my finger on it.
He recalled what Dorothy had done right after breakfast that afternoon he got Rose's letter.
"Dorothy, what are you doing to that thing?"
"Nothing Roger," she responded, "just putting this into water."
"Why? It's not necessary, Dorothy."
"On the contrary Roger. It needs water to stay beautiful longer."
Roger smirked at the remark. "And how do you know?"
Dorothy looked out the window where the vase was located. "I don't." And to that Roger's smirk was gone.
Lost memory I guess, he thought. It must have been done before The Event. And of course she was right. The "thing" had stayed beautiful longer. But then the red pieces had opened, and now had begun to fall off. Although slowly fading away, it was still beautiful. And it always reminded him of her, always her. I don't even know why I still keep it.
"Are you still thinking of that object, Roger?" Roger jumped at Dorothy's question.
"Dorothy, never sneak up on me again."
"You didn't answer my question. Are you still thinking about it?" Geez, it's like she's in my brain most of my day.
"Yes Dorothy. I'm wondering where it came from, how it appeared. I've never seen it before."
"I have, yet I can't place where or how. It is one of the memories I cannot fully grasp." They stayed silent for a minute until Dorothy broke the ice. "Do you think of Rose often, Roger?" His eyes went wide open in full surprise.
"How did you know?"
"Although you have mentioned nothing of this woman in my presence, or in Norman's, you have drifted into thought more than usual, and you stand on the balcony twice as much time than before. You always look at the object she left you, and I have seen you mention her name in your sleep."
He frowned. "You watch me when I sleep, Dorothy?"
"Aside from your loud snoring, you wake me up. I come to think you are in trouble, and you are sound asleep, saying her name over and over again."
"Are you jealous, Dorothy?" He smiled at his own joke.
"You know I cannot feel like you humans can, Roger." She paused. "But sometimes I wonder why you still keep the object. It seems to bring you so much suffering over one woman." She left it at that. In that, Roger thought he heard a tinge of concern, which is a first for her. He never heard her say it in that way when she would tell him his breakfast was getting cold, or when she would tell him to tie up his robe when he was on the balcony.
"Yes, Norman?" asked Roger, almost glad the butler had disrupted his thoughts. Almost.
"You have a phone call sir."
"Tell whoever it is to leave a message."
"But sir, it seems important, maybe a possible client."
Roger sighed. "Alright." He walked over to Norman and took the cordless phone from him. "Hello? Roger Smith speaking."
Roger parked the Griffon on the sidewalk, lucky to get a parking spot near the café. It was especially difficult this time of day, since this part of the city was very popular. He got out of the car and leaned on it until there was a table available. He walked up to the vacant table, making sure there were enough chairs. Apparently he had an appointment with a new client, someone named Angela Salem. She was also bringing her son along.
He sat down and saw only one empty chair across from him. He spotted a woman across from him, reading a book by herself. He noticed a long black skirt covered her crossed black-high-heeled legs. Her tight dark blue blouse showed enough cleavage to get a guy to give her directions if she were lost, but be able not to stutter at the sight of it. Her dark hair was tied up in a bun, prim and proper. Roger got up to walk to her.
"Excuse me," he started. She looked up from her book, showing off her dark sunglasses. Roger cleared his throat. "Are you using this chair?" He pointed to the empty chair across from her. Her dark lips curled into a pretty smile.
"You can take it. I'm not using it."
"Thank you very much." He slightly bowed his head and walked back to the table before anyone took it. He sat there with his hands folded, waiting patiently for his new client to arrive. He saw a waiter walk up to the woman, asking for her order.
"Green tea, please," she responded. The waiter wrote it down in his pad and left. She glanced over at Roger... and realized that he was also looking at her. She gave him her sweetest, coyest smile. Roger smiled back at the "pretty girl" behind his dark glasses. By then the waiter had come and asked him what he wanted.
"Coffee, black, with lots of sugar." As the waiter left to get his cup, he noticed the girl writing down something on a small piece of paper. She slightly looked up and once again gave him that coy smile, then continued writing.
Realizing that he was staring, he blinked numerously. The waiter brought his cup of coffee, yet Roger couldn't drink it. He just stared at his own reflection, rubbing the sides of the white porcelain cup with his gloved hands. Suddenly a piece of paper fell from above. He looked to see who dropped it, and saw the "pretty girl" walking away behind him, her black high heels clop-clopping away. She looked back and smiled.
He picked up the paper and read it.
Well what do you know, poetry, he thought.
In a world full of 'normalities',
Life cannot be what it seems.
All the world is a blunder,
Lost reminiscence, rushing dreams.
And for those who can remember not,
They are tearing at the seams.
See me tomorrow at eight. This will help you find where.
Roger frowned and smiled at the same time, thinking this invitation absurd, although the poetry spoke to him in a way. This will take me a while to find, he thought jokingly. He moved his foot, and he felt something under his shoe. Of course he looked. He probably would have ignored it if it was something else, but he realized it was... the object, except its pieces were white. It's as beautiful as the last one, he thought. The "pretty girl" must've dropped it when she left. Then he realized...his eyes went wide open. He suddenly got up and looked in the direction of where the woman went, but she had completely disappeared. He ran down the block until he got to the next corner. Nothing. He decided to walk back. By now he had probably lost his table. Did that even matter? He saw her. I finally saw her again. He sighed, and by the time he got back, his table had been taken. Damn. He decided to wait by his car. He opened the door, and carefully placed it on his passenger seat.
"Excuse me, Mister Smith?"
He turned. "Hmm?"
"Are you Roger Smith?" He completely turned to see a plump blonde woman in a soft yellow suit-and-skirt. A young, thinner boy of her hair color stood next to her. He wore a suit similar to Roger's, except in navy blue.
"Yes I am." He closed the door.
"Let us have a seat," she said. "I was lucky to find a table for us."
The Griffon rode up right next to the alley where Rose almost got run over. Roger turned it off and sighed with a smile, reflected by the cold air. He would see her again tonight.
Why is it always so damn cold here? He got out of the car, placing his gloved hands in his pockets as he walked up to an old brick wall. Something had been inscribed on it, he knew. He tried to control his excitement by slowing his pace.
And there it was, on the old brick wall, the piece Rose had written.
Suddenly, he heard a click, and something, or perhaps someone, grabbed his wrist. Roger had no time to react, and he was pulled into the darkness. He tried to break free, but the attempt was useless. This one's got a strong grip! What the hell? Confused, he had no choice but to let himself be pulled, because he heard the gun. They were moving quite fast through the darkness, but then they stopped. He realized he was in front of the back door of another old building, the warehouse. In the dim light, he could see a figure of a woman entering.
"You know, you didn't have to do this Rose." They began walking now. She still held his hand, leading the way for him through the darkness of the warehouse, with only the dim light of the outside. Why hadn't Roger noticed the light?
She turned to look at him, and Roger almost freaked out; her eyes glowed green, like a cat's in the dark, yet Roger still held her hand firmly. They walked through another door to a smaller room, empty, probably used for storage. She switched on the light. It was so damn white, so bright. Roger had to shield his eyes with the unoccupied hand and blink several times.
"Why did we come here running?" asked Roger.
"Well, I really didn't want anyone seeing us. I am a thief you know."
"Oh, right." Roger felt a bit embarrassed. "But why the gun?"
"Usually for protection, but I used it to grab your attention."
"Well you certainly did a good job." They stayed quiet for a few moments. Roger was indulging the moment of just her essence being near him. He tried not to look directly at her. He felt very foolish, like a little boy with his first crush.
"I know you've been wanting to see me, Roger Smith," she said with a smile. His eyes went wide, which, as one could see, was happening much more often to him. How the hell do people know what's on my mind? "Tell me, what do you want to know?"
"I-ah-I," stuttered Roger.
"You don't need to be nervous around me, Roger. I'm only human." But he knew it wasn't true.
"Where did you get those...beautiful objects? I have never seen them before..."
"Well, I grow them. They are a type of rare flower. My father named me after it. I try to keep it secret so that there won't be such a big conspiracy in Paradigm, and people will start looking for me."
"Why me then?" asked Roger.
"I felt...like I could trust you. The day I saw you, I had this feeling that you would understand this, maybe understand me. But I never truly admitted it to myself until the day Beck came to steal the sapphire. Then I knew I had to do something the day I would see you again."
"You feel lost as well. You want to find your past too."
"Yes. I want to know what I am, who I am. I want to know my past, like the many others of this damn city." A stream of a light-blue liquid fell from her eye down her cheek. Was that a tear? In a world full of 'normalities', / Life cannot be what it seems.
"I know I'm not from here, Roger. I have to know where. My father was murdered for this information." All the world is a blunder, / Lost reminiscence, rushing dreams.
"What happened to the person who murdered him?"
Her eyes went somewhere else, into an unknown abyss. "I made sure they both had bullets in their heads."
"I'm sorry about your father," replied the negotiator, not knowing what else to say.
"You're the only one," Rose said, bitterly. She wiped the light-blue liquid off her cheek. "I apologize. I shouldn't be getting angry at you, you don't deserve this. I should be stronger." And for those who can remember not, / They are tearing at the seams.
She sighed. "I'm glad that you're here, Roger, but I think you should go. I don't want to break down in front of you again because of my personal troubles."
"Please, Roger." She held her hand up, exposing her palm to him. He started walking to the door. She hung her head low, her loose dark hair trailing down her neck. He looked back. He hated seeing her beautiful face become so saddened, even if it had been his first time witnessing it. I know how you feel. I want to know my past, too. He turned the knob and walked out the door.
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