A Rose by Any Other Name by Vivienne Moles

Hayley was excited at the thought of moving into her first home. She was determined to enjoy it but naturally had some reservations, leaving the security of her family home and supportive parents. It had a tiny garden but she was thrilled that this secluded space was hers— all hers.

Her friend Maisie was helping, ‘It’s magical!’ said Maisie, balancing boxes as she walked up the path.

‘I’m looking forward to planting herbs and bedding plants. It’s just the right time,’ said Hayley beaming.

There— that’s the last of the boxes,’ said Maisie. ‘Fancy a cuppa? Where’s the kettle?’

‘Please,’ said Hayley. ‘Look, there’s the one you want: labelled “absolutely vital”.’

‘I see you’ve got your priorities right!’ laughed Maisie.

‘Let’s have it our here,’ said Hayley, opening the door on to a patch of grass and briars weaving through a privet hedge surround,

‘Oh, dear,’ sighed Maisie, ‘... lot of work. Nice rose bush.’

Hayley stared, ‘It wasn’t there before.’

‘What do you mean?’ said Maisie.

‘When I came to view, the estate agent said the old lady died. The family just put it in the hands of the agent. I’ve never met them. No rose bush. In fact, as you can see, the whole of the garden is in a terrible state— but that’s new. I wonder…’

‘That’s weird,’ said Maisie, ‘perhaps it was a kindly neighbour.’

Hayley frowned. ‘Maybe,’ she said unconvinced.

After their break, Maisie said, ‘I suppose we’d better take this lot upstairs.’ The delicate scent of old-fashioned roses wafted down the corridor. Hayley smiled.

‘Of course, her name was Rose. I remember seeing it on the paperwork.’

‘You think she’s saying “hello”?’ said Maisie, rolling her eyes.

‘Yes. I think she’s saying “Welcome, you’ll be happy here”, said Hayley.

Selected: Weekly Write #14
Published in Issue #29

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