He bought me flowers, and not just any flowers, yellow roses. I don’t care what other people say about them. Folks can think the roses stand for friendship or jealousy; they don’t to me. I’m a Texas girl and they have a special place in my heart just like Roman does, because he remembers that night.
I can think back to a talk we had one night in a 24-hour truck stop one of the times we crossed paths. There was a simple bucket full of water set up and a marker on cardboard sign that said Tyler Roses $5 a dozen. Nothing fancy, just beautiful smelling flowers in a simple plastic wrap yet trucker after trucker picked bunch after bunch up with their pork rinds and sodas. Then this one guy came in, a bear of a man, who looked to be the type of guy who would go out of his way to stomp on a flower growing in the cracks on the sidewalk, instead he surprised me. He asked the cashier if he had any yellow roses in the back because those were his wife’s favorite.
That got Roman and I to talking, because really, what else are we going to do in a truck stop hours before dawn when we weren’t lovers at the time. My speculation was that the man had done something wrong and was bringing the flowers home to soothe his pissed off wife, still Roman, ever the romantic said that even if that was the case, he cared deeply for her or he wouldn’t have asked for the yellow ones, he would have settled for one of the other colors.
God, he’s so perceptive. Then he grinned that crooked grin that makes my heart stutter beat and asked me what my favorite color rose was. Being a Texan, there was only one answer. Still I told him about the old heirloom varieties of roses that my grandmother had planted in her garden. The antique climbing roses that smelled like Vaseline hair tonic and the newer of the varieties that smelled slightly of baby powder to me. That I thought that spending time in that rose garden did more to earn me my nickname Rosie than my tendency to blush at any given moment.
Roman listened and then he told me something I didn’t know. The first yellow roses were discovered in the Middle East and they didn’t smell pleasing at all, in fact many people felt that they stank back in the 18th century especially compared to other varieties. *Chuckles* Leave it up to a 700 year old vampire to put perspective on my view of antique and heirloom.
Still, when I opened the hotel door and saw him standing there, and when I looked down at the flowers, I caught a glimpse of something else. The ring, my family heirloom, he is still wearing on his right pinky, turned in facing him. It means he considers himself taken and I have tried to ask, but I keep chickening out. I want to replace that ring with another one, one I buy for him that he can wear on his ring finger. I hope he wears it the same way. Despite my best intentions I’m finding that I am growing more and more attached to him every day.
I love him as a friend, as a person and with the kind of love that I want what’s best for him, even if that isn’t me. It took so much for me to NOT say fuck it and bond with him a second time. I know in my gut that what we have would be the same with or without the first bond, but I don’t want to be something that Roman ends up regretting. I don’t think my heart could take it so I hold back. It is probably a good thing Roman let me distract him with sex, because if he had paid attention he would have known what I was feeling and I might have had some questions asked that I’m not sure I’m ready to give the answers to anyone, especially myself.
Do I love him in the romantic sense? Yes, and I’m scared that it will destroy us both.