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Romantic Bedtime Stories
The Rose Trust Part 3

The Rose Trust Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

 

She was smiling as she reached the middle of the room. She turned slightly and began to dip and twirl in small slow circles. She stepped lightly, gracefully, around the sitting room, into the kitchen, down the hall, back again. She danced till her knees grew weak, and then she dropped into the armchair and slept.

At a quarter past six, Sophie awoke with a start. Someone was knocking on the back door this time. It was Mrs. Mason.

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"Hello, Sophie," Mrs. Mason said. "How are you? I knocked at five and was a little worried when you didn't come. Were you napping?" She chattered as she wiped her snowy boots on the welcome mat and stepped inside.
"I just hate snow, don't you? The radio says we might have six inches by midnight, but you can never trust them, you know. Do you remember last winter when they predicted four inches, and we had twenty-one? Twenty-one! And they said we'd have a mild winter this year. Ha! I don't think it's been over zero in weeks. Do you know my oil bill was $263 last month? For my little house!"

Sophie was only half-listening. She had remembered the roses suddenly and was turning hot with shame. The empty flower box was behind her on the kitchen table. What would she say to Mrs. Mason?

"I don't know how much longer I can keep paying the bills. If only Alfred, God bless him, had been as careful with money as your Joseph. Joseph! Oh, good heavens! I almost forgot about the roses."
Sophie's cheeks burned. She began to stammer an apology, stepping aside to reveal the empty box.

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"Oh, good," Mrs. Mason interrupted. "You put the roses in water. Then you saw the card. I hope it didn't startle you to see Joseph's handwriting. Joseph had asked me to bring you the roses the first year, so I could explain for him. He didn't want to alarm you. His 'Rose Trust,' I think he called it. He arranged it with the florist last April. Such a good man, your Joseph..."

But Sophie had stopped listening. Her heart was pounding as she picked up the small white envelope she had missed earlier. It had been lying beside the flower box all this time. With trembling hands, she removed the card.

"To my sunshine," it said. "I love you with all my heart. Try to be happy when you think of me. Love, Joe."

By Alicia von Stamwitz

The Rose Trust Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

 

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