Usually, I’d be surrounded by roses at this time of the year. Not from admirers, I assure you. We used to sell flowers during this season. We take orders, make the arrangements, and deliver bouquets. That’s one way of surviving the week. There’s a lot of work involved but at least we get something to get us through the renewal of our contracts.

We’d cringe at people smelling the roses during our deliveries. I blame the movies. The women who receive flowers usually take in the scent – if there is any – of the roses as a sign of appreciation. They also take in remnants of herbicides and whatever chemical was sprayed to prolong the beauty of the flowers they held so dearly. There’s a separate higher level of cringing for people who smell blue roses. For most cases, a blues rose is a white rose sprayed with blue dye. They’re basically smelling the dye.

There’s no escaping this day – or working through it. The university gate is lined with flower vendors and there are couples everywhere celebrating as – there are singles. It’s also Singles’ Awareness Day after all.

So I fetched a small red velvet cake to deliver it to the mother. We could both use some cheering up. Her boyfriend’s overseas so I thought I’d drop by for company. I was delighted to find the first sister and the nieces at the mother’s house.

The delight ended shortly after the older niece asked me how many roses I received. “None,” I answered, sounding more bitter than I intended to. This, she took in with relish and beaming, boasted “I got two“. “Good for you,” forcing a smile. Darn, this is getting harder every time. “Have them visit their ophthalmologist,” I couldn’t help but add – with a genuine grin.

Got the reaction I wanted 😀 I missed this banter. I had second thoughts about visiting the mother. How could I? It’s a good thing I decided to bring the cake tonight. I expected the mother. I found family.


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