Chloe Selavka, Contributer

      Mary looks at herself in the foggy mirror. In her cotton nightgown, the bathroom lit by candlelight, she doesn’t look too ugly. She isn’t stunning by any means. Her hair is thin and blonde and most times greasy, and her arms are a little too long for her but her looks aren’t completely appalling. She has her good features. And she is well educated. Comes from a nice family and can hold a stimulating conversation with anyone. She likes to think she had a nice smile, and is okay company. She likes to think she deserves more than a yellow rose.

     When Charlie handed it to her, he had the biggest grin she’d ever seen on his face. Mary figures she must have looked fairly disgusted by the thing, and she didn’t want to be mean, but she couldn’t help it. You spend years as friends, casually flirting, becoming closer than ever. And just when you think he’ll finally ask you to court, he hands you a yellow rose with a shit eating grin on his face. Mary angrily runs a comb through her hair and scoffs.

      What the hell was she supposed to think after that?  Charlie gives her this one, single, limp, rose that means “friendship”, and does it like he’s happy about it. She slams the comb down, but then takes a breath, picking up the candle and walking to her room. Boys can really be such idiots.

She reaches her room and hears a knocking from behind her bookshelf. Charlie. They had found this secret passage connecting his house’s living room to her room in the neighboring house when they were seven, and hadn’t stopped using it since. She pushes the bookshelf to the side and lets him in. 

“Mary, I swear, I am so sorry about the flower,” he says, tumbling through the entry with a thud. He was getting a little big for the passage now. Mary perches herself on the edge of  her bed, unamused.

     “Charlie, everyone speaks the language of flowers. It’s common knowledge. You should have known to give me a pink rose.”

       Charlie looks at her, still on the floor, in disbelief. “The language of flowers? Mary, I only speak English.”