A single rose, tired and trying not to wither.
It sat in front of the microwave in a paper Coca-Cola cup from the convenience store.
People were coming and going, rushed and sick and exhausted.
Most of them noticed, but few gave the rose much thought.
One laughed at the irony of the romantic flower in its makeshift vase.
Two others eyed the ensemble bitterly.
One leaned down to smell the sweet petals.
One more simply pushed it aside and began to count dollar bills.
No one asked why or how the rose appeared.
No one bothered to check if the cheap cup could stand to be refilled.
The rose simply watched as the hurried world moved around it.
People in love, people out of love, people working, people living, people running, people pausing.
It was only a tired and withering rose.
Its time left was the shortest of all in the room.
A rose with a mystery owner.
A rose that would perish shortly after being placed in a proper vase.
People saw it and wondered, but never asked.
People imagined that it belonged to them, that it was a lover’s gift, and that they would take it home and cherish it.
It was only a rose in a paper Coca-Cola cup from the convenience store.
It didn’t know its own beauty.
And it didn’t know it was alone.
Though growing old and tired, it was happy to sit on the counter and watch the world end.