Every day a fresh red rose appeared on the tombstone; nobody knew who brought it or when the flower was left there. A passage was written on the gravestone; a beautiful Latin name, Rosa Maria Alvarez, a loving wife, and mother RIP. Carlos, the dead woman’s husband was intrigued by the beautiful roses left on her deceased wife’s resting place. He asks the cemetery caretaker, “Have you seen who deposit that flower on my wife’s grave?” “No, I don’t know, sir,” he lied. The man who has been leaving the rose on the tombstone for the last two years pay him for his silence. The graveyard employee comes before the break of dawn to open the gate for the gentleman of the red rose, That’s how he called him. He visits the burial ground every day in the twilight to go unnoticed. After, placing the rose on the gravestone, he kneels and prays for the woman soul.
Since, senior high, Andres felt in love with Rosa Maria but didn’t have the nerve to ask her out. He was an introvert, shy young man, who fear rejection. When he walked closer to her, his heartbeat accelerates, sweat flow down his forehead like a fountain and he trembles like a chihuahua on the fourth of July. One morning on his way to take the school bus his heart beat faster than usual. He didn’t know why ’till he saw Maria on the bus. She never rides the bus because her father always drives her to school. So, it was unusual seeing her on the school bus. He walked past her and sits on the last seat watching her every move, he adored her long black hair and olive skin. Andres didn’t know she loved him too, but it was a time when the male has to make the first move. Scare to asks her on a date, he lost her to someone, else.
Andres broken heart makes him walk around taciturn. He lost the interest he had in sport, school, and life itself. He spends must of his time writing love poems and looking at the objects of his desire and misery from afar. He went to college in an attend to forget her. The years passed but he didn’t get over her. Andres, in search of the euphoria Maria incite on him, felt into the arms of a lot of women but none of them can’t compete with Maria’s arousal. When he heard, she had married Carlos, went into a depression. The man didn’t want to leave his apartment, quit his job, start to consume spirit drink like water. He was a mess until she heard about it and went to visit him. “I know why are you doing this to yourself and you have to stop,” Maria told him. “How do you know what I feel?” Andres ask. “Because, I feel the same for you, but you didn’t talk to me. I couldn’t wait for you any longer and get married.” She said. “Why you didn’t say anything?” Andres asked. “In our neighborhood, the man has to take the first step. The community calls, women who approach a man with the intention to have a relationship, free-spirited or something worst. I wasn’t to let my reputation be smear because you were to shy to ask me out.” She said. “It was my fault you marry someone else.” He murmured. “Yes, now snapped out it and get on with your life!” She replied.
Since then, they begin a platonic relationship which lasted until the day she dies. Once a year on her birthday she received a dozen red roses, one for every month of the year. When her husband asks her about the roses. She told him, they were from a friend. He felt a little jealous but didn’t say anything. Andres and Maria keep in contact thru love letters they wrote to each other. She had all the correspondence hid in a safe place, away from curious eyes. They had a bond stronger than the one she had with her husband. Andres and Maria were soul mates, and their love will last for all eternity.
In the corner of the holy grown where his wife rest in peace, conceal from the passerby, Carlos stays from dawn ’till dusk waiting for whoever comes to leave the red rose. He didn’t know the graveyard caretaker come in, one hour before opening time and let Andres go to Maria’s grave to leave the rose on the tombstone. After two weeks Andres still unaware of who leave the rose on the gravestone. The obsession to find out where the roses came from; make him decides to stay in his hiding place overnight. Tired of waiting, he fell asleep. A sound coming from the main entrance wake him up. He saw the caretaker waiting at the gate. A few minutes later a man carrying a rose wrapped in paper walked inside the burial grown. He walked toward maria’s grave placed the rose on top of the tombstone got on his knees and prayed.
Carlos followed the man with the rose from a distant. He approached the man and said, “You’re the one who comes visit my wife’s grave every day and leave a rose.” “Yes, I am,” Andres responded. “I know who you’re; your name is Andres,” Carlos said. “Yes, How do you know?” He asks. “Because I have Maria’s respect and company, but you had her heart. She didn’t tell me, but I knew she didn’t love me. At least no the way she loved you.” Carlos answered. “Why you didn’t tell her?” The other man asks. ” I was selfish and didn’t want to lose her because I loved her.” Her husband replied. “I want you to know she was faithful and never cheated on you,” Andres told him. “I know she was a great woman and we loved her in our own way. You can come anytime, I don’t mind. I know she would like that.” Carlos said with tears running down his cheeks. Andres put a hand on his shoulder to comfort the grieving man. They stay in silence looking at the grave for a while before living the burial grown.
Author; Melito Santos