We received this romantic short story for this watercolour painting in our inbox this morning. Thank you Barbara for sharing this story with us.
The Rose, a fictional short story for all the romantics out there
Christos scuffed his feet along the pavement. It was a pleasant, sunny day; warm for the time of year. He should be happy, since he was about to meet with a girl – ‘Katya’, even her name sounded beautiful. But could there be any future in it?
Christos had no money, no job, for the last six months; not much hope of a job even – who needed a tour guide when there were so few tourists. OK, so Katya had sounded enthusiastic, but showing one – albeit beautiful – woman around a few of the traditional buildings in town wasn’t much help.
He reflected on how they met. A confusion over their take-away coffee orders. Strange, how could the woman in the coffee shop have mixed up his simple sketo with a frappe with almond milk? He smiled as he remembered their joint surprise. He, noting the coldness of the styrene cup, Katya watching the steam from hers. Crazy. But that had led to the conversation and the agreement to meet up, today.
Katya told him she’d arrived in Cyprus several months ago, but had seen little of the place apart from tourist venues and shopping malls. That led to their arrangement for today, starting with the balcony up above the coffee shop.
Feeling slightly ore cheerful, Christos picked up his pace, only to slow down as he passed a flower shop with a big sign @BUY YOUR VALENTINE’S FLOWERS HERE’ . Of course, it was Valentine’s Day. Would Katya expect a gift? Flowers? Christos could hardly afford to buy a coffee, let alone a respectably-sized bouquet.
A few minutes later, he passed an old house with a small garden overlooking the street. A rose bush, with blooms spreading over the wall. A quick glance around and Christos reached out and picked one, cursing as the thorns bit into his fingers. Still, he snapped it off and carried on to the meeting.
He was there first and stood, awkward, with the rose behind his back. This could be a big mistake, he thought, probably better to have brought nothing rather than just one rose. On its own, unwrapped. Katya arrived moments later, rushed up to him and greeted him with an embrace that quite surprised Christos.
Not sure if he should kiss her, he took the rose from behind his back.
“Oh, what a lovely surprise, Chris,” Katya looked genuinely pleased “How did you know that I just hate all those stupid arrangements, all wrapped up in fancy paper with tinsel tapes and meaning nothing. This is so beautiful, and the perfume is great too. I bet it’s from your garden?”
“Garden, yes.” Was all Christos could say. On the street below, the woman from the coffee shop was sweeping the street and looked up to the balcony with a satisfied smile on her face.
Story by Barbara Strain, February 2021