The Wilted Rose

By Dr. Pepper 14

Note: I don't know what this is. It's about more than flowers and two gay boys in a garden, I'll tell you that much.

I'm not dead! Right now I'm working on a longer one-shot about kleptomaniacs and pyromaniacs called Burnin' for You and maybe it'll be done soon, maybe it won't. I just had to take a break because I was in the mood to write angst and it's not really supposed to be angst so you get this until then.

Reviews will definitely make it sooner than later if you beg real pretty.

See the flowers? he says. Do you see them?

"Yes, yes, they're wonderful."

I bring my face closer to one so I can breathe in its rich smell, bury my face in beauty.

We relax ourselves in his mother's garden, no pressing stress to remember when you let yourself forget everything, the scent of flowers drugging the senses.

"There's every color you can imagine," he says like a secret, whispering in my ear like we're five years old again and six inch voices is the law. "And even some that you can't."

I smile sadly and breathe in once again, and suddenly there's a red bike and grass-stained pants and licking the spoon and everything wonderful in life before faggot and damned to hell. It's like numbing a cut- it just hurts more because you know it's not gonna last.

"They really are beautiful," I say and I just can't keep the longing sigh from escaping my lips even though I try to hold it in like it's the last thing I'll ever do.

He nods and looks up at the sky with eyes rimmed red from crying, looks to God for answers even though he stopped believing in him a long time ago.

"Until you pick them, that is. Then they are fated to die, neglected in some cup of water someone thought would look nice on their kitchen table."

It's true and the silence doesn't deny it so we let it stretch until the buzz of the bees on our flowers no longer seems to exist.

"Life is cruel," I mutter after a while, hugging my knees and pressing a cheek against my leg.

He shakes his head because he doesn't agree and there's a mosquito on his forehead but maybe he doesn't notice. And really, when I think about it, it doesn't matter all that much because it's not the only thing sucking the life out of him.

"Not cruel," he disagrees. "Cruel is intentional. Life is just the way it is- imperfect."

A word never seemed so profound- so untouchable.

"That's not fair," I murmur indignantly.

"Life's not fair," he counters.

"I thought you said life was imperfect?"

"Maybe it is," he sighs and runs a hand through his wild hair. "We just have to make the best of it and hope to God nobody gets hurt."

I squint at him through my black eye as if daring him to say that again. I dare you.

"I know, I know," he breathes, hands holding my face gently and lips brushing against the swollen eyelid. "I'm sorry for what they did to you. If I could-" he makes a frustrated noise and pulls at the hair in his tight fists. "I just wish that-"

I choke on a gasp and hushed, strangled cries are pouring from my mouth and eyes before I have time to stop the onrush of feelings, pain and hopelessness making themselves known as wet spots in the cotton of his shirt.

"It's not fair…" I choke out, barely finding enough breath to push the words from my lungs.

He only nods and holds me closer.

"I hate being so weak- so vulnerable…"

A tear slips and makes its way down.

"It's not fair…"

A mouth kisses away the tear waiting to fall from my chin.

"I don't want to cry anymore…"

And my cheek…

"It's useless…"

Then my forehead…

"I won't cry anymore…"

My mouth…

"I wo-"