Roses and Ribbons

The eyes of Sandra shot open as the sound of the radio went loud, jazz music filled the small villa. She looked around fast to see the radio on the other side of the room, her mothers gold locket that had been passed down to her was laying open on top if it. Her husband: John sat up in the bed, half asleep, holding one ear, "Sandra!" he frowned.

"It's not me." Sandra said and frowned back at him, "How could I, I'm right here." she said, getting out of bed and crossing the room to turn down the radio. She looked at her arms as she grew cold now, a freezing wind blew through the curtains in their small living room. "John, you're meant to shut the windows at night!" she said, going to close the window, but as she tried to pull the beam down, then window wouldn't slide down. "Have you put a latch on this?" she asked.

John soon joined her and sighed, "I didn't open the window." he muttered, pulling down the beam hard, but it didn't shut. "What have you done to it?"

"Me?" she asked and folded her arms, "I have done nothing. Stop thinking I've done everything." she said in a low tone, storming back to bed to leave him fighting with the open window. She took her locket and closed it, placing it in her bedside drawer.

The next night, around early evening, the door opened, Sandra and John entered after being out to eat. Sandra smiled to see a bunch of five red roses tied with a pretty little thin red ribbon. "Thank you, John." she said, picking up the roses to smell them.

"Err…" John muttered slowly, not having a clue where the roses had come from, "You're welcome." he smiled in the end, but still have no explanation for the roses. Sandra placed the roses in a glass of water in the bedroom. Very pleased with them.

But they were both awoken in the night again by a thump. "John?" Sandra asked, looking to the archway into the living room, but she was surprised to see him laying at her side. "What's the noise?" she asked. "Did you just drop something?"

"No." he yawned, slowly getting out of bed and pulling his shirt on, walking to the living room. "You've left the window open again." he sighed, then glanced to the kitchen, looking at all of the cupboard doors opened. "Was it hard finding a glass?" he called, starting to close the cupboards.

"No, why?" Sandra asked, quickly making her way to him, not liking being left in the bedroom alone. "And… I didn't open the window, and I didn't open it last night." she stated. Her eyes glancing at the cupboard doors. "What are you looking for?"

"I'm not!" he frowned, "You've opened them all and left them!" It took a while before Sandra and John went back to bed. Sandra had stayed at Johns side as he had once again fought with the window to try and get it close. But when it had finally shut and locked, they were soon asleep again.

However, in he early morning, crying was heard and Sandra's eyes flung open to listen to the sound. She sat up in bed and listened as the crying sounded faint, but it was there. She left the bed and went to the living room. Thankful that the window wasn't open again. But something drew her to it, pulling the net curtains to the side, she looked down out over the small cobble stones roads, then her eyes sight of a little girl crying under an archway made of beautiful cream stone. The girl was alone, Sandra could see that she was wearing a dress, but she was unsure of the colour. There was something shinning in the light faintly on her head. A small tiara. Sandra noticed the girl was alone. She quickly pulled on a pair of jeans and a shirt before leaving the room and then the villa.

Once out in the street, Sandra ran barefoot, looking for the archway, but once she was there, the girl was gone. The crying was gone. Sandra called out for the girl and searched for her, but found nothing. She sighed, upset with herself, thinking that she should have just leave in her nightdress. She walked slowly along the streets, then looked up at stone staircase with a black rail. Ascending up the stairs, she came to a long pathway that looked out over the sea. Smiling at this, Sandra's eyes looked down to see a drop into the clear water. Rocks at the bottom and fish swimming calmly. After walking along this look out and then back again, she left the streets, going back into the villa, looking at John asleep again. But the window was open. "It is him." she muttered, she went into the kitchen and then walked fast back to the bedroom, shaking John. "John, the cupboards are all open and empty!" she called in his ear and he sat up fast, trying to get her away.

"What?" he muttered. Getting out of bed as she repeated herself. John walked on slowly, glancing at the open window, "Will you shut that bloody window?!" he frowned, then lost it in shock to see everything in that had been in the cupboards were gone. "We've been robbed!" he shouted.

"Of glasses and spoons?" Sandra asked. "I can't see why they would take them, John." She then gasped and ran to the bedroom, opening her bedside drawer to find that her locket had gone, she screamed and cupped her hands over her mouth, "We've been robbed!" she called, but heard John calling for her. She left the bedroom fast and walked to him, looking inside the bathroom. Tears ran down her cheeks at the thought of her mothers locket gone, but she froze to see that in the bathroom there was bowls, glasses, spoons, knifes forks, pans, jugs… everything that had been in the kitchen cupboards were now in the bathroom. Everything was in its own pile.

"I've got to get out of here." she said, turning and grabbing her shoes from the bedroom, she looked the roses and then her eyes darted to the radio that came alive. Old jazz music blasting from it. Sandra screamed and ran, leaving the villa and John.

John watched her leave, he stood in the living room, listening to the sound of the saxophone and a piano play together. "Stop it!" he called, "Stop it and just leave us alone!" he tried to shout over the music. Soon he banged his fist on the table, "Leave!" he ordered, still banging on the table, then reaching up, he covered his ears, then pulled at his hair, still shouting. The light bulbs smashed through out the house on their own and John covered his head so no glass would hurt him. He walked to the bedroom, looking at the radio, he got changed into his clothes and took the roses from the glass, leaving the villa in search for Sandra.

He found her half an hour later, they talked and had coffee, then spent most of the day looking around the cobble stoned streets, not wanting to go home. Sandra held her roses close all of the time, and when the sun started to set, Sandra lead John to the look out over the sea, together they sat, watching the sun go down.

A woman walked along near them, she was in her early twenties, long black hair and beautiful brown eyes, dressed in a purple dress and holding a wide shallow basket with only five red roses in, just like Sandra's. Sandra watched as the woman stopped, placed the basket down and tied the roses together with a red thin ribbon. She then sang softly, holding the roses and looking out to the sea, but she sang in Spanish, Sandra only made out a few of the words:

"Which seldom the rose of enjoyment adorns;
And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers,
Is always the first to be touched by the thorns"

The woman kissed each rose before dropping them into the sea. Then Sandra knew what she had done, when the woman left, Sandra held her roses out, then dropped them into the sea. She didn't answer John's questions as they walked to the villa. She knew that she hadn't found the little girl because she hadn't been a person to find. She had taken the little girls roses. And she believe that the girl was only trying to find them. That night, nothing woke them, no noises, no radio. But in the morning, when Sandra walked into the living room, she looked upon her locket on the coffee table.