MOTIONS

‘That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.’

‘Aachoo!’

‘Bless you.’

‘Sorry.’

***

It should have been a warning sign, a red flag. I should have realised the romance was over then. Now here we are, decades of existing later, but not living, not really. He still buys me a red rose, every anniversary, even though it sets off his hay fever. Friends say it’s romantic, we both know we’re just going through the motions.

***

‘Aachoo!’

‘Bless you.’

We smile our familiar smiles and in our eyes we both acknowledge the truth. And we carry on as before.

Copyright Dale Rogerson

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

68 responses to “MOTIONS”

  1. So many couples simply go through the motions. They prefer to stick with what they know even if they are not happy than to be on their own or to start all over again with someone else. Very sad. I liked that it ended the way it began driving home the idea that nothing has changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sooooooo. I realize that everyone is reading this as very sad, and even the middle layer hints at that. But I want to believe that these breaks are instances years apart. I want to believe that even if they were going through the motions at the 10 year interval, that somewhere on that 20 year interval, they recognize that they have grown to be each other’s person. That that look they share is not a sad resignation, but one of I will happily grow old with you. That relationships are built on ups and downs and curlicues. And, it’s okay if I’m being that cock-eyed optimist, you can tell me or not tell me. (I should stop or I’ll be writing more than 100 words.) 🙂 Regardless, very effective, Iain.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I almost completely agree with Sascha. Of course it depends on how much love there was in the first place, but sometimes remembering what they were to each other can move resignation to acceptance and even happiness. And sometimes sickness or accidents do. Only if both want to, of course. But if there’s psychological abuse, Stockholm syndrome and the like, then no, better not let it last.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not only a poignant story, Iain, but also many insightful comments. In addition to what’s already been said, I’d like to pose that our rose giver here isn’t the most imaginative sort, and very routine. Doesn’t really know what it is to be romantic, but has this idea that buying a solitary red rose fits the bill and hasn’t deviated off course. I wonder if she even likes roses.
    It sounds like she would like to spice things up a bit, and the movie: A Fish Called Wanda comes to mind.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A story for many of our times. Sometimes all that is left of romance is familiarity and in that is comfort. To break free of that can be either liberating or frightening. I think it is worth acknowledging the effort in repeating the same old purchases. What would happen if they suddenly stopped buying a rose?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. They still mark their anniversary, that’s a good sign. There’s ambivalence in her feelings about it, I think. She should have seen the signs, she says, but they stayed together, and they’re still doing that. Sometimes, as others have said, there are benefits in doing so. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I see a comfortable, loving pair of shoes here. I work in aged care and I hear how couples talk to each other but I can see in their eyes they are truly devoted to each other and adore each other with all of their quirks. Well written, but I don’t see sadness at all. Maybe she just needs to look at it from a different angle, a fresh approach. Cook breakfast differently. Change it up a little!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bittersweet, but maybe as time goes on, the comfort they have with each other will outweigh any lost dreams of a more passionate relationship? I have seen couples “grow into” each other. Also, I did feel it was sweet of him to buy roses despite the allergy – that says to me there’s something loving there. Where there’s love, there’s hope.

    Liked by 1 person

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