In case you missed, here's PART 1, PART 2, PART 3.
That weekend, Lacey left her house for the mall. She wanted to buy a new dress for her anniversary date with Simon. Without even realizing it, she brought a yellow dress with capped sleeves. When she took it home to show her grandmother, she was shocked at her reaction.
“But Lacey, it’s a yellow dress. You hate yellow!”
“No…I’m not sure I do anymore,” she said.
“We have too much yellow in this house! Those roses have got to go!”
“Don’t touch them.” Lacey looked up at her mother’s picture wondering if she had found it so impossible to be raised by this woman.
“Always looking at that picture when you know you can catch a chill in this foyer,” she shook her head. “Come away.”
“Grandma,” Lacey said, clutching her dress bag. “Why is this the only picture of Mom in the house. She was your daughter. Aren’t there more?”
“No,” she said, a harsh edge in her voice.
“Because I have you. I’ve had to raise you and you look exactly like her. What other reminder could I need? Could I stand?”
“I…I don’t know.” Lacey ran up to her room and threw herself on the bed. Tears streamed down her face and when her grandmother knocked on the door, she threw a vase of roses at it.
“Lacey!” she said opening the door. “What’s going on?”
“I don’t know,” she said, her heart beating hard enough to bruise her ribs. “I just feel so angry.”
“It’s these damned roses! The color yellow…it upsets you, and a yellow rose--that’s much worse!”
“Why do the yellow roses upset you?” Lacey asked.
“Your father used to give your mother yellow roses, back when he was courting her,” she said. She had a blank look in her eyes like the harsh words between them had not been spoken.
“Yes, Rachel,” she said.
“Grandma…I’m Lacey.” She looked down now. It had been years since her grandmother had called her by her mother’s name.
“I need to go,” her grandmother said, and slammed the door.
A rage broke through Lacey as she stared at the broken vase by her door, and all of the roses strewn across the floor. She didn’t know what came over her, but Lacey found herself tearing the petals from the roses all over her room. Pulling petals apart and snapping stems, she unleashed a hurricane of yellow in her room. When no single yellow rose could be found in tact, Lacey collapsed on her floor, on a bed of yellow.
Exhaustion took her immediately into a dream. She could see herself now, five years old, wearing shiny black shoes and a black and white polka dotted party dress. She was walking down a long corridor past all of these grown-ups she had never seen before. No one would make eye contact with her, no one seemed to notice she existed at all. Then the hallway cleared and she was walking alone, trying to find out where everyone had gone. She came upon two tall double doors. One was opened and when she looked in, she could see two coffins, both covered with yellow roses, her parents favorite flower before they died.
A pair of strong hands with long fingernails that dug into Lacey’s skin scooped her up instantly, took her outside, and closed the large double door behind her.
Lacey had been kept from her parent’s funeral.
She woke with a start, yellow petals stuck in her hair, and a few plastered by sweat to her cheek. She had never remembered that day, nor those yellow roses, but she did now. And she understood.
Lacey fixed her hair and put on her new yellow dress. She no longer disliked the color, in fact she thought it suited her quite perfectly. She walked down the stairs to find her grandmother sitting alone in the living with all of the lights out.
“I’m sorry about before, Lacey.”
Lacey held up a hand to stop her. “I remember, Grandma. I remember everything about that day, about the funeral.”
“Stop. I can’t talk to you now. It’s too soon. I need to go.”
“Is Simon here?”
“No, I’ve got somewhere else I need to be. When Simon comes, tell him to go home.” And without another word, she left the house, crossed from her yard to the next and rang the bell.
Aaron answered the door and smiled.
“You knew,” she said, “you knew all along.”
“Yeah.” He smiled and extended his arm to invite her in.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed. We'll now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.