88. Full bloom.

Despite all the hardship and all that I have seen and done, it seems I am capable of nurturing something. My rose has opened!

It’s there on the sideboard, a single red bloom, open and full – thorns like needles. In the darkness it looks black – beautiful. The perfection of its petals makes my head ache, or is it its perfume – a scent like a midnight garden. The end of the stem still shows where it was cut with something sharp and surgical. There is no curl or blemish on it – I am looking at the peak of flowering perfection.

I forgot about it, ignored it, knocked it over, starved it of water – and it has even been struck at least once by an intruder, forcing me to find it a new vase – but still it has bloomed.

I think I’m in love with it.

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