It was apparent to me that all of the two hundred and eighteen roses had sprouted beautifully; except for one. To this day, I can remember how much it bothered me.
"It looks like weíve got a shy bud here, son." My father patted me on the back as he said this. A simple farmer was all that my father was, or at least, all that he proclaimed to be. There was nothing that invigorated him more than working in the fields. His tan skin and muscular arms were proof of that. It seemed that he could never get lost in a tall field, being that he was six foot four. His hair was a glossy dark brown, like mine. He had a few gray hairs scattered throughout, but that never seemed to bother him. His eyes, however, were the color of the sky on a warm sunny day. Many times I would watch my father work. It seemed as if his movements were almost mechanical because he never missed a step. His mind always appeared to be elsewhere. I could tell by the random grins that crept up onto his face, and by the sparkle in his eyes, that he was thinking of something that made him happy. Although, I never knew what it was that made him act in such a way.
He had seen my thoughtful, grave face. "Give it time, boy, itíll grow." He flashed me a knowing smile, and then went about his business. I, being only twelve years old at the time, just couldnít understand. I knew that every living being develops from one stage to the next. What I couldnít manage to comprehend, however, was why not now? Why did things take time and why did all the other roses bloom except for number two hundred and eighteen? Why do some not even get the chance?
It was the middle of May, my favorite time of year. Most boys my age didnít seem to care much about the weather, or anything else for that matter. Most boys didnít care to grow roses either, but it was the only way I felt closer to her.
In the winter time, recess would consist of imaginary wars, fierce brave soldiers and ongoing snow ball battles. In the summer time, the snow balls were replaced with rubber balls; or rocks when some boys were being really creative. I had a fair share of the wars myself, but there were times where I would fake a deadly injury that was caused by an enemy ambush, just to end my role in the game. When my comrades would seek vengeance, I would make my escape. I never went very far, but they were in their own world then, and I was in mine.
Oh but May, what a beautiful time of year. I remember sitting beneath the old maple tree. The sun sank into every inch of my bone, its warmth enveloping me. The cool breeze would gently touch my skin. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply, making sure to smell every bit of the spring air. Even the blades of grass between my fingers would dance and sway to every gust that blew. My hair shifted from side to side, and then placed itself back down, only to shift once more as it was tenderly pushed. I breathed in again, afraid of forgetting the wonderful scent that filled my lungs. My eyes still closed, I would listen to the swaying of the leaves. It seemed they created a soft melody of some sort. No rhyme or reason, but beautiful none the less. This was paradise, to me. It wasnít a tactic created to run away from daily life. It was a time to see the world for what it really was. It was a time to see her again.