A bed of roses
Vanessa Mignone, Grade 12
I remember the day I found my future; the wind was subtle, my hair had lost its style, the stones in the driveway remained unmoved, absent of recent traffic. I shut the door of the 4x4 and with the scissors in my hand, moved towards the rusty iron fence. As I approached the gate I was startled by the sight of a blackbird taking guard against the field known as Wiltshire Gardens. His chosen position above the heaven-like entrance gate sent chills down my spine as his beady eyes refused my intention to arrive unnoticed.
‘Please, forgive me my trespasses,’ I thought.
The sky seemed to change as I pushed through the gate; the clouds circling the Adams Farm turned a deeper shade of purple and glided towards the southern entrance of the field. I reached the third row of yellow gardenias and noticed the blackbird had followed my movements from the gate; his eyes peered into my thoughts and fell back to the field, satisfied with what they saw. Nearing the first of the white roses I ran through the sequence of events in my mind which would be played out that night; the prayer service, the removal of the foetus then the painful, tedious wait for my wounds to heal themselves. Father Neal would be passing by the camp in time for the service; I was looking forward to the warmth in his voice and his loving nature. The roses looked fresher than last season; perhaps it was an indication of the new beginning I could have had with having this child. But I’ve made the decision; it is too late to back out now.
Cutting the stem of a week-old rose I realized that nothing exists without being tarnished. This rose is taken for its beauty; the blackbirds gaze is haunting, expelling him from any hope of admiration in his life; and I have become tarnished with this decision. My actions have tarnished my existence and I am no longer a servant of my Lord. The Kingdom, the power, and the glory is His; Heaven knows if even He will forgive my sins.
Little time has passed since I last visited that field, and now that I am lying here, contemplating my destination, I wonder who will bring the roses when another young woman has to endure the pain of ending the life of her unborn child. The sheets beneath my head are white, clean and pure; pure like a freshly cut white rose, taken under the watchful eye of a blackbird perched upon the entrance to a place so beautiful you could spend eternity in its keep. I fear the place I will be taken; the entrance is less like the gates to the garden and more like the cold stare of the keeper. To Him I owe this life; He Leads us not into temptation but delivers us from evil.
‘Where was my deliverance,' I ask, as I descend into my bed of roses.