Yvoett handed me a bouquet of white roses. Running my fingers through the areas between the silky petals, I thanked her.

"Friends forever?" she whispered in my ear as her arms unexpectedly wrapped around me from behind.

I closed my eyes and smiled, enjoying the feeling of having her body pressed against mine. The bliss made me forget to answer her question.

-O-

I suddenly found myself awakening from that perfect illusion. A small mirror was hanging before me, and it allowed me to see the crown of white roses on my head. I touched the edges of my clothing, for because of its lightness I could not believe I was clothed in anything at all. I realized that it was a dress, similar in hue to the flowers on my hair, that draped upon my shoulders down to my knees.

"Harien," a voice called my name. I turned around and saw Yvoett. The elaborate white gown that she was wearing outlined her form. Then it struck me. It was her wedding day, and aside from being the maid of honor, I promised to help her to prepare.

She held out a comb to me and I took it. I savored the moment to let it glide across her straight black tresses, for perhaps that would be the last time I could ever touch her. I placed some red roses on her hair, and the pretty flowers seemed to bloom in full glory against her hair.

-O-

The next thing I knew was, I was standing within the confines of a church whose walls were lined with red roses. I was surprised to lay eyes on the person beside me, a man whose love she turned down. If I were him I would not be able to bear the heartache of seeing her being married to another. Just then I recalled that she also did not choose me. Yet there was a difference between this man and me, for he expressed his heart's desire, but I never gathered enough courage to tell Yvoett that I truly loved her.

"You may now kiss the bride," I heard.

The lips of Yvoett's groom approached hers.

Then, as Yvoett and her new husband faced the crowd, I noticed the glow in her cheeks, in contrast to the paleness of my own face that I observed in my reflection a while ago. I also witnessed a smile from her that I have never ever had the chance to behold before. What kind of power was in that man whose arms were now enveloping her? How I wished I could be the reason for such an unusually bright smile from Yvoett! How I hoped to make her happy, happy with me!

-O-

On my path home, it dawned on me that Yvoett showered me only with white roses, which meant that she never loved me in the same way that I loved her. "Friends forever?" were the words which constantly rang inside my mind. Never was a single time when she came to me with even a shadow of one red rose.

Once I was in my bedroom, I removed the crown of white roses from my hair, and thorns pricked my fingers. Blood gushed out of the wounds. I gripped the white roses tightly. I wanted to turn them into red though I was aware that they would remain white. I laughed, yet my laughter sounded more like sobbing. I began to weep. But I was very happy, happy for her!

The wounds on my hands were hurting, but the ones on my heart were a lot more painful. Lucky were the roses which did not even have the consciousness to grasp the significance of their existence.