A peach rose-lying on top of her desk,was,of all roses in history, an indefinable and dainty rose tinged with deep,tangerine hues. The solitary peach rose lay
there,untouched and seeming imprisoned by the coldness of her room.
Little by little, she began to touch the peach rose with her fingertips and
when she noticed it had no thorns, she held it closer to her nostrils.But alas! The scent of the
flower was quite unlike any fresh rose she's inhaled before. It smelled a century old.
It was utterly cold,and felt like snow.Its petals were like tissue soft.
Where did the mysterious flower come from? She had no idea.
Perhaps her ever loving and sweet husband gave it to her as a present.
Maybe it was his surprise gift for her upcoming birthday.
It had to remain a secret. Lance detested it whenever one of his secrets
was spilled without his prior approval.
Sherry Lynne Carter was driving slowly and carefully along a deserted
neighborhood. Deciding to take another route gong to their cottage villa,she chose a less
trekked neighborhood and prayed to her guardians that she wouldn't meet a roving maniac
somewhere.Lance Thomas,her darling hubby, had always reminded he to be wary of unfa-
It was dark and raining massively and of all things she forgot to carry a
raincoat,least a decent umbrella.
She parked momentarily alongside a house that looked medium and oldish
in style. There was a middle aged woman who approached her and knocked on her windshield.
"Excuse me, Miss, but maybe you need a cup of hot tea,"the woman soft-
spokenly invited."What are you doing out here on a stark,rainy night?".
"Oh, didn't mean to really. Heading for home now."
"You might want to come in the terrace for a minute.The rain will be even
more fierce later."
Lovingly defeated by the woman's touch of congeanility,Sherry stepped out of her fave VOLVO and joined the friendly woman on her terrace.
While walking under the woman's umbrella,Sherry suddenly spotted the rose
bush of the woman.
"Ma'am, may I know where you got all those peach roses? I've never seen anything so lovely and delicate,especially under the influence of rains,"she was raising her voice
"Oh that! We have a rose garden both in our front and backyard. We have all kinds of roses,all colors,"she breathed hard."But the peach roses belonged to my daughter."
Lance tiptoed down the staircase, avoiding every bit of lapse lest he awakenened any of his sleeping kids. The moment he opened the door,Sherry materialized as if she had seen
a white ghost.
"Where on earth have you been hiding? It's way past midnight,"he almost yelled.
"I know. Got past by a lonely house with a rose bush."
"A rose bush!", he almost broke down in hysteria. "And Sally has been waiting for you to help her with her artwork. Had to make a rag doll, which I knew nothing about."
Sherry simply shrugged off what Lance muttered and she dropped down on the
"Can you believe it Lance? Her daughter went to the same university that you're teaching.She must have been one of your students in Medieval History."
Lance took a swig of root beer."Really?And may I know the lucky name?".
"PEACH.She said her daughter's real name is Peachy Anne.But everybody called her Peach.I heard she was quite popular in school.Dean's List."
From the instant that Sherry voiced out the name Peach, Lance took a swift turn and ditched some of the beer in can. His wife failed to catch how ashen pale his face was.
From that day forward that Sherry encountered the woman with the rosebush,she has been seeing a peach rose every now and then. If not on her table,she found one on her pillowcase.Sometimes she saw one on her bathtub,even in her baby's crib.At first,she thought
Lance was playing tricks on her.
Then one afternoon, she got the biggest surprise of her life when a dozen peach roses
melted and dried before her agonizing sight all at once.She was still trying to digest what supernatural event has just transpired when the roses disappeared in split seconds.
Her voice trembled. "But I felt them-they were fresh...the why did they dry up...and now why are they gone? Dear Lord, what is happening to me?",she gave way to frightening sobs and when she could not longer help herself, rushed to phone Mrs. Terrence.
"My daughter has been missing for almost a year now Mrs. Carter,"the grieving woman
finally divulged to Sherry in an almost whispering tone."She was slated to graduate a magna cum laude in her degree and a few weeks before the graduation line up she disappeared."
"Haven't you informed the authorities?',Sherry curiously queried while sipping her tea.
"I did,to no avail."
"But she was pretty popular...how come nobody stepped in to help?".
"Everyone assumed she went away to heal a broken heart."
"Why?Who broke her heart?".
"Long story...but my daughter,no matter how smart she was, was downright stupid when
it came to love."
Sherry put down her cup of tea and embarked on a theory."Her boyfriend must have knocked her up."
"It's much more complicated than that Mrs. Carter.She got involved with a married man and got pregnant with his child."
By that sheer pronouncement, Sherry finally kept mum and locked her thoughts.