The Rose

William. His name is William, and that's all he knows with exact certainty. What are all these fancy decorations? Where is he? Who exactly is he? All he can seem to remember is the image of a single rose.


3. Remembering




   As they walk, Rose recounts stories about her son, husband, family and friends to William.

To which William doesn't mind in the least. It all feels rather relate-able, like he's heard or experienced something similar to it before.  

"Oh, and then there was this one time that my son gave me this beautiful single deep red rose, for my birthday. He was such a darling!" She excitedly recalls.

William's mind flashes back to the image he had before, and the woman's voice. "Really?" he engagingly asks.

"Yes indeed. As I've mentioned before, he was quite the young gentleman. You remind me of him quite a bit. Uncanny similarity really." She looks at him with a new found intrigue. "Yes. A lot actually."

William looks at Rose comprehensively.

"I do?" He questions.

"Yes. You both also have the same name as well. Such a coincidence. It's like it was fated to meet you. Today being my birthday and all. He once told me that he would never miss my birthday." Rose sighs with resignation.

"Though of course, that was before he passed away. It's terribly dreadful out living your own child. I would never wish this experience upon another." She looks into the sun with sorrow.

William doesn't know what to say in reply.

He just looks around them. He sees how close they are to the hospital now.

"Uh, Ma'am, it seems that we're nearly there." he gently informs her.

Rose takes notice of their surroundings, and quickly realizes that they will soon split up. "Ah, I see, indeed. It was nice getting to know you young William."

Rose holds out her hand as to if say good bye, but William grabs a hold of it with renewed determination.

"Ma'am, I think I just remembered something. Something really important." He looks deeply at Rose.

"You remembered something young man? Well that's excellent. What is it, may I ask?" she looks up at him in slight wonder.

"I....I'm... well, it no longer matters anymore. Not truly anyway." He smiles wistfully down at Rose.

She gives him a tight smile in return.

"What I do want to tell you though, is happy birthday."  He flashes Rose a bright and affectionate smile of happiness.

William's eyes appear to be a bit more watery than before too.

"Thank you dear young man." Rose is warmed that William seemed sincere with his good will wishing.

"It truly was nice seeing you again Ma'am." William brings Rose's hand to his lips and kisses her hand in a sign of farewell.

"Indeed it was dearest William." She smiles warmly at him again and retreats her hand back to her side.

William begins to walk away in the direction of the hospital on the sidewalk. He looks back over his shoulder and says, "Good bye again, mother."

He smiles ruefully back at her and continues to walk and he begins to become transparent and disappears.

Rose stands there stunned. The resemblance between William, and her son William had caught her attention, but to think, that the Williams were one in the same.

She had just seen her son. Rose smiles sadly in the direction William disappeared in, then turns around to make her way back home.

As soon as Rose fully turns around, she is confronted with a gift from the past, a single rose in a vase, to which is attached a note,"Happy birthday, mother."

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