A short piece of writing inspired by the movie Circumstance (audience award winner at the 2011 Sundance festival).
There were roses on her nightgown the last time they made love.
Somehow it was always the roses she remembered and not the soft kisses and the warmth of her skin against hers.
Pink petals, barely unfurled, sprouting from green vines that stretched across the entirety of the fabric, twisting and turning on a background of whitest silk.
The nightgown, a gift from a husband she had said she never truly loved, but only married for safety and convenience, felt smooth and soft under her hands as she lifted it above her lover’s head, letting it fall to the floor. It remained there, in her line of sight as she kissed a trail across her body, reaching her most private parts. She remembered the look in her lover’s eyes after they had finished and how she had turned away to pull the nightgown back over her head.
Normally they would have remained entwined there, savoring the warmth of the other’s bare skin, but this time her lover’s face had closed like a book, at the same time as the nightgown fell back down to cover her up.
Even though she had had to remind her, that she could come with you, there were tickets and a VISA reserved for her too, they could finally escape this place, escape the fear, the secrecy and the lies and truly be together. She had fearfully expected a whispered “no”, but now all she got was silence and the tangled roses on her nightgown.
And those roses danced before her eyes when she got into the taxi. She saw their pink petals as she got into the little hole in the wall of a shop to collect her passport, her tickets and her VISA. They were there still when she boarded the plane and rose high up into the air, the city below reduced to a myriad of lights in the night.
She knew that one of those lights represented the bedroom of her lover, and the roses that still grew strong on her nightgown.
Even as the years passed, as she slowly managed to create a new life for herself, a life away from control and fear…Even as she eventually could move on and find a new lover she could never look at pink roses the same way again. To her they would always represent the oppression and the fear she had fled from and those warm arms she had had to leave behind.
And those eyes, once so full of life, which had gone dull and lifeless, armoring themselves behind a nightgown. A nightgown full of pink roses.