VSS Part 10
Claire woke up one morning and got ready for class like any other day. She picked up her phone after she dried her hair and saw a text message from her sister wishing her a happy birthday. Claire smiled and grabbed her bag before departing for class. She put up her hood as soon as she walked outside. It was cold, gray, and raining. Beautiful October morning. She walked through puddles on her way to her first class. She walked in after shaking off the water and headed to her seat. She stopped when she saw a single yellow rose on her desk. She looked around, but noticed she was the only one in the room. She smiled and picked it up as she sat down at her desk. After class, she walked to her next one in the same building and found another rose, this time a pink rose, sitting on her desk. She picked it up and smelled it, inhaling the sweet fragrance. She stayed after class to ask the professor a question about the homework and then headed to the computer lab. She walked to a computer and saw a lavender rose on the keyboard. Claire, astonished, looked around the room for her admirer. She finally sat down at the computer, mesmerized by whoever was sending her roses. She headed to her last morning class before lunch. She was running a bit late since the printer was acting up in the computer lab. The three roses hung out of her bag as she rushed into the classroom. Some of the girls giggled when they saw her. She looked at her desk and saw an orange rose. She flushed as she quickly sat down and took the rose. In the lunch line she grabbed a yogurt and a sandwich to go so that she could go study in the library before her next class. She went to check out when the cashier looked at her ID and handed her a red rose. “A young man wanted me to give this to you.” Claire took it slowly, gazing at the beautiful flower. Then she took her food and went to the library, expecting more roses to show up any minute. She went to her last class of the day and walked into the room to find a vase of a dozen red roses sitting on her desk. They were beautiful with a red ribbon wrapped around the clear vase. Claire was shocked and blushed as she made her way to her seat. She sat down and hid behind her roses. Everyone who walked into the room looked at her. Then Claire noticed a card folded in between the flowers. She picked it up and read it. Meet me in the park at 4. Dress nice. Claire folded it up and smiled to herself. She practically ran to her room after class and put the roses on her dresser. Her roommate raised her eyebrows at her. “Someone really likes you.” “Shut up and help me pick out something nice to wear.” She laughed and got up to help Claire search through her closet. Claire walked through the park. It had stopped raining and a light fog had settled near the ground. She saw Van standing in the fog, wearing a suit. Claire had picked a red knee-length dress that matched her roses to wear. He kissed her cheek when she reached him, and he led her to a blanket on the ground. Claire saw a picnic set out with a basket and everything. They sat down and Claire couldn’t keep from smiling. Van opened the basket and started pulling out food. “You look gorgeous. That color really compliments our skin.” Claire blushed. Van pulled out a bottle of wine and poured them each a glass. Claire looked at him questioningly. “It’s a special day.” “Yeah?” Van smiled. “Yeah.” He set out their food and handed her a plate with chicken alfredo. They began eating, Claire more than Van. “Did you make this?” “Impressed?” “In more ways than you know.” They continued eating. Van sipped his red wine slowly. “Thank you for the roses.” “Did you like them?” “Yes. They were beautiful.” “Do you know what they mean?” Claire shook her head. Van took her hand, palm up. He traced the creases on her palm slowly. “The yellow rose represents happiness. Pink represents admiration.” He traced his finger up her arm, giving her goosebumps. “The lavender rose represents enchantment.” His finger went up to her shoulder and then her neck. “Orange represents desire.” He cupped her face and then ran his hand up to her cheek and rubbed her skin with his thumb. “Red represents love.” He kissed her lightly on the lips. It was the perfect kiss. Claire could still taste him on her lips as he stood up and pulled her with him. He held her close and they started slow dancing together. Claire sighed happily as she relaxed into his arms. She could feel his breath on her forehead. “Happy Birthday, Claire.” His voice was soft. After several minutes of dancing in the fog, tiny raindrops started to fall. Neither of them cared. They kept dancing, even as the rain fell harder.