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 trek stubborn through their seasons of despair. Well-captured, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find hope in the story as they have made it through to the familiar stage. It’s comfortable there. Wonderful writing, Iain.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oops! Didn’t mean for my comment to go here. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Brenda – yes, it’s split the comment this week – some seeing sad despair, others seeing something more positive and hopeful. I lean to the second, only as it is the more realistic outcome for many in life. Thanks Brenda

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So much of our birthday and anniversary celebrations are to repay a social set. Since they invited us, we need to invite them 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a part of the life treadmill we all run

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Roses are not always romantic. Nice story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Iain,

    Full circle. I love the way you sandwiched the story between the same scenario years apart. Effective.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle, much appreciated

      Like

  5. That’s so achingly sad, Iain. So beautifully, painfully written. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lynn, much appreciated

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a pleasure 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Such is life… Well, hopefully most of us don’t have quite as depressing of an existence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Plenty do, but sometimes I guess that’s all there is. Thanks Trent

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very skilful writing, Iain, painting a picture of the real world of fudge and compromise, where tacit honesty is sometimes the best you can manage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, we all learn to manage with what we have, the best we can

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sometimes one just keeps on, hoping to find a new groove in the worn LP record.
    Even if it’s just dancing in the comfort of an oldies song…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a nice comforting image Liz. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Beautifully put, Liz.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Aw thanks, Rowena!

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Skillful telling of an all too familiar slice of life found in the repertoire of the human condition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a sat state of affairs for far too many people. Better miserable in the known than risk the unknown… No thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the comfort of the known isn’t it? It could be worse, so I’ll settle for what little I have… Thanks Dale

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Make that sad!
        And yes, in their minds it could be worse so this is better… Little do they know!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is both a sad and sweet story…maybe leaning toward sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, definitely bits of both. Thank you

      Like

  12. 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

    1. Yes, and at a certain point a resigned acceptance that maybe this is enough in the end. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. 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

    1. I completely agree Sascha. In one sense it is sad, but by the end there’s an acceptance that this is okay, it’s not amazing or exciting or adventurous, but that’s okay, it’s enough. Thank you for seeing that 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Well said, Sascha.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Going through the motions is something so many relate to. Many do without even giving thought to what life is about. Well done, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bill, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 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

    1. Thank you. I don’t envisage any psychological abuse here, just two ‘normal’ people, living a life that had some regrets, but wasn’t so bad in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. Sometimes, that’s life.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 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

    1. Ha, thanks Rowena. I love that this story has led you to ‘A Fish Called Wanda’! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain. My mind has a tendency to wander. (no pun intended).

        Liked by 1 person

  17. That relationship sounds awfully familiar…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I would guess the majority are something like this…

      Liked by 1 person

  18. How terribly sad to live that kind of life. We only have one life, we should be able to be happy.
    I suppose some people feel they need to continue to carry on despite the cold walls between them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a majority do, and maybe there is some comfort in the familiar after a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess it’s like an old favorite pair of leather shoes, aging gives them character
        but they’re not as shiny or good enough to show off. Aahhh LIFE … and all its complexities.
        Have a great weekend … Isadora 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  19. it seems that once the romance is gone, the only thing that keeps a couple going is their commitment to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Which is admirable in its own way. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  20. 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

    1. Very true, that would set of a whole other serious of doubts. Thank you 🙂

      Like

  21. 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

    1. Thanks Margaret, a good point – they still manage to mark their achievements 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. That sounds horrifying to me, like a life-long prison sentence. Even if your protagonists aren’t feeling it, it’s a very well done, emotional piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. 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

    1. Good advice. Like you, when I wrote it, I saw the comfort and safety in amongst the regrets.

      Like

  24. 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

    1. A lovely, optimistic reading of it 🙂

      Like

  25. Wow, this is heartbreaking in its banality. Going through the motions, not really ever living.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Years together bring a form of communication that is only understood by each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true Oneta, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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