The Flower Girl – Part 2

On October 23, 2013, in Readers Own Stories, Romantic Stories, by Beatrix Kix

A few hours later, Marla called and gave me directions to her place. As it turned out, she lived
right around the corner from me, in an apartment over a dive bar. I had never been to the bar
before but often passed it with my gaze focused directly in front of me, ignoring the catcalls and
drunken mutterings of the men who sometimes stood, alone or in groups, outside of the bar. I
had to walk past the bar to get to the door to the apartments. I had changed from my work
clothes into a short skirt and flats, so I was unsurprised to hear the comment, “Nice stems,
babe,” as I walked past two men outside the bar. I smiled, opened the door, and walked inside a
tiny foyer.

In the foyer was a collection of mailboxes and a call box. There was a glass door and a
staircase beyond. I punched in Marla’s apartment number to the call box, and she buzzed me
through. I climbed the steps and when I reached the landing, I saw her three doors down and on
the left side of the hallway, hands clasped behind her and smiling at me.

I walked up to her and she said, “Glad you could make it,” and hugged me. The fragrance of
exotic flowers washed over me and I felt dizzy, entranced. I wanted to breathe her in forever.

I stepped back and smiled at her, but my head felt no more clear. I was completely under her

She took my hand and led me into her apartment. It was a loft apartment, a big open space with
hardwood floors, a kitchen that opened into a dining area and a fireplace against the wall. At the
far end of the loft was a folding screen, blocking the view to her sleeping area, I supposed.

We went to her dining table. On it was a bouquet of rainbow roses in a vase, loose white roses
laying on their sides, four glasses of water in different colors, a knife, and a cutting board.

Marla swept one hand down my back, lingering in the small area at the bottom, and said, “Now
you will know my secret.”

She unbuttoned her pink cardigan. Underneath she wore a white tank top. She draped the
cardigan on the back of a chair.

Her right arm was entwined with tattoos from the line that poked out over her index finger to
those that curled near her neck. She saw me looking and said, “You are free to examine me.”
She stepped toward me with her arm out. I took her hand and turned it over in mine. Red roses
and thorny branches curled up her arm. Framed by roses, on her upper arm there was a clock
with the hands pointed at two minutes to twelve.

“Is there anything else you’d like to look at?” she asked. Again she gazed at me, like she had at
the flower shop, and I felt locked inside her world.

I leaned forward and before I knew what I was doing, I kissed her. I held her hand as our lips
locked and I tasted her sweet pink mouth. I felt excited. I’d never been with a woman before,
and somehow it seemed not only possible, but inevitable that we would make love.

She broke away from me, though. She took her hand out of my grasp and put her hands on the
table. “Dying roses is easy,” she said. “Time does most of the work.”

I stood next to her at the table and watched as she took the knife in one hand and a white rose in
the other. She laid the rose on the cutting board and slit the bottom part of the stem into four
sections. She set the sections of the stem one each in a different glass of colored water. “And
you just do this,” she said, “until you have all of the roses done. Then you tie them together and
wait a few days, and voila! Tie dye roses. Here, you try.”

We took turns cutting the stems of the rest of the roses and putting them in the glasses. At the
end, she pulled a string out of her pocket and tied them together. “Now you’ll have to come and
see me again,” she said and winked. Heart pounding, I held her hand again. I was still excited. I
wasn’t ready to leave just yet.


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