A Colorless Rose

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When I see a rose, I think of fairytales I heard when I was younger. Those fairytales were so wonderful to me until I heard of the real versions of them. I found out the real story of the many princesses, of the princes, and of how, in many original versions, it was the mother, not the stepmother.

It always made me so happy to know that there was something more to all of the stories that I had adored when I was younger. I liked the idea that there was more to all the magical adventures. I loved that everything ended happily ever after. I had held on to this idea well into my teens. It ended up doing more harm than good, especially as many people had dropped the love of fairytales and turned to liking superheroes or something more logical, such as history or science. But I never truly gave in.

I was stuck on the idea of love. I held onto the idea of princes riding in on horses and that true love’s kiss could break the spell. I believed in love at first sight and dancing in the forest with a stranger just because he was the one from your dreams. I thought that there was a soulmate out there for me, and I was willing to travel the world just to find this person. I believed that love had no boundaries or rules.

This is why, when people ask me who I have dated and how that has gone for me, I will tell them that I have yet to turn a toad into a prince. They will not understand. But one day, someone will understand what I mean and that person will come with me to my happily ever after. I will wait as long as it takes.

Call it picky, but I still believe that there is someone who will complete me. Maybe I’m still stuck in silly ideas that many people say are demeaning, but I would rather believe in those than in something that seems bland and uneventful. Dreamers are the artists. Nothing was accomplished without a dream.

As I think more and more about stories, the story I was told about Mason took on many sides. I had received Mason’s side, which was incomplete. I had gotten Ricky’s side, which was boring, but at least had a clear ending to it. I had been told Steven’s side, which included the most detail and was, quite honestly, the least boring, although I was still unclear about many details. However, when I put together all the sides of the story, I was able to have a much rounder picture of the entire thing, which was a better story.

Yet, Steven had just kissed me. Ricky had just left us. I was confused as to why the artist whom everyone was talking wonders about would be interested in me; it made no sense. I was about to ask him why he thought doing such a thing was smart. However, I was still more concerned with his artwork.

“So, since you made a lot of really neat pieces, are there any that you still haven’t shared with the world that they deserve to know? There must be something that you haven’t told anyone about. All really amazing artists have something that they want the world to see, even if reluctant to share it.”

“Of course there are some pieces that I’ve always wanted to share. You’re not an artist and so you wouldn’t understand what it’s like to have something and want to show it off but not be able to.”

“I can appreciate artwork just as well as the next guy can. How come that makes you think I can’t understand how difficult it is to show off something that you put your whole into?”

“Art is something that you make with your heart. You go ahead and you put everything you have into it and wait as people tear it apart, not caring that you put your entirety out there. You will spend weeks and months and years on something. There is something annoying simply in making the art. You stress yourself out over it and get so excited over it, and then you throw it out into the world. You’ll share it with your friends and wait as they see it all. And you’ll hope that they like it, even though what you made, it sometimes even scares you. There is nothing that you want to do except hear their opinions.”

“But they won’t understand what it took to make it. They’ll tear it apart on things that make no sense at all. They’ll say how they know exactly what you meant to do, but they won’t understand any of it one bit. They will go ahead and talk about how much they love it all, but they won’t really know what went into making the piece. They’ll come off as understanding, but they’re really just ignorant.”

“Just because they don’t know exactly what it takes to make art doesn’t make them ignorant. It makes them normal people. They have something that they’re good at. There’s no reason to say that just because they have other interests that they don’t know how to appreciate art and comment on it.”

“I wasn’t trying to say that people who aren’t artists don’t know how to enjoy art. I can appreciate art quite well and I am not talented at all when it comes to art. So don’t go putting words into my mouth.”

“That’s not what I meant. There was this piece I made once of a flower.”

“That doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of your artwork very well.”

“Well, I was told to step out of my comfort zone. And I did so by painting a flower.”

“I looked at your things. There was nothing that even came close to a flower.”

“That’s because I never left that painting where anyone could find it.”

“If it was the thing that you felt so strongly about, why would you hide it?”

“Because, if anyone else found it, there would be nothing more that people would say about me except that I’m some crazy fool stuck on the idea of love. I don’t want to become another artist who gets so entranced by love that he cannot make anything that is not related to that topic.”

“Just because that’s what a lot of other people do does not make it terrible.”

“I painted a very large canvas of a rose. You would understand if you saw it.”

“Then why don’t you show it to me?”

“Come with me, then. There are other flowers, too.”

“How lovely. I know so much about flowers. You wouldn’t believe it.”

“Just come on with me. I’m sure there’s some flowers that you don’t know of.”

“Then you can show me them in your gallery.”

“Just wait and see. They’re not in somewhere quite that glamorous.”

Again, I was off, following some guy I barely knew through a strange town. This time, however, I was being led by an artist to see his artwork. It was something that excited me more than it should. I was going to see all the many flowers which he had painted, probably regretfully at this point, and I would be able to appreciate them all with my very own eyes. He didn’t know what he was getting himself into.

As I was being led around town, I took the opportunity to notice where everything was. I was further away from many places. I had not realized this until now, when I had the chance to really see where everything was in relation to each other. The small town took up a rather large plot of land.

When Steven had finally stopped, the location seemed to look eerily similar to Denise’s place. Sure, it was lacking a lady with wonderful style and a guy with poor manners, but it had that same charm that the booth at the rummage sale had. There was something old about the place that made it seem very new.

“So, this is the place. What do you think of it?”

Large cedar double doors were opened, revealing a large workspace full of dark wooden tables, racks of various art supplies (such as paint, brushes, canvases – just to name a few), and several large windows with mahogany trim on them. The place seemed artsy. “It fits an artist well.”

“That’s what I’ve heard about the place.”

“So where’s the many projects that you’ve stored away here?”

“They are right behind this sliding door.”

“So there is something more to this place than just nothing.”

“Of course there is. I wouldn’t take you to somewhere boring.”

“I didn’t think that you would.”

“So, look over here at these.”

“Wow. There are a lot of flowers here.”

“There are. Which one’s your favorite?”

“I guess I’d have to say that one.”

“The rose. Of course. That’s the one I can’t stand.”

“Why can’t you stand it? It’s a really beautifully drawn rose.”

“There’s something about it that seems very off.”

“What would that be? It seems just fine to me.”

“You’re not the artist. You get to say it looks beautiful.”

“Why can’t the artist himself admit how gorgeous it looks?”

“I painted it that night, you know.”

“I thought that the button things were the last things you made here.”

“They’re the last things that people knew about here.”

“So why would you wait so long to reveal this masterpiece?”

“Tell me, honestly, that you would have come to see something if all you knew about it was that it was a drawing of a rose. And don’t be shy. Lots of people hate seeing another picture of a rose.”

“I love roses. You would know that if you did more than make snap judgments about me.”

“Why would you like them? They’re the most cliché flower out there.”

“I like them because they are clichéd flowers. Haven’t you ever come across a rose and thought how beautiful it looked? Haven’t you ever seen one and thought how it belonged right in a fairytale? Have you ever looked at a bouquet and thought it was missing something because it lacked roses?”

“Just because I don’t think romantically about them doesn’t mean anything.”

“You never liked flowers, did you?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You made all of these paintings not because of a dare to step out of your comfort zone but because you wanted something that you could honestly hate. That way, when people asked you about all of your projects and how much work you put into each and every one of them, you could honestly say that there was something that wasn’t your best work. It was nothing except for a ploy.”

“You explain to me how easy it is to talk about something you’ve made.”

“It doesn’t make you conceited to say that you like everything you’ve made.”

“But it does make me self-centered if I brag endlessly about them.”

“So you left to get away from all the fame the town brought you.”

“Did you really think I would leave because of a fight?”

“People have done stranger things before.”

“Yeah, like searching for someone like you.”

To say how it ended sounds corny. The stars fell and the day became night. A blanket of navy sky wrapped itself around us. We didn’t care. We had been looking for each other. I, the girl with the lost artwork, and he, the lost artist, belonged together. We had found each other. The night had only just begun.

“Ready to see what else the world has in store?”

“Of course I am.” And with that, we kissed. I didn’t know where we were going, but I knew that I was going to enjoy the ride we went on to get there.

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