The Rose Boy
October 14, 2008 § 12 Comments
He stood there, like he did every morning with his bunch of roses. He was 10 years old, but the responsibilities that were on his little shoulders made him feel much older. A frown tugged on his forehead, worrying that he wasn’t going to make enough today. He sighed a sigh of hopelessness, he wanted to please his parents with the Money. His old Baba, and his Ama.
Tourists and locals from the main cities often came here, sitting in their rented cars, looking at the beautiful scenery. Locals he knew, came to get away from the busy inner cities. During the holidays the business flourished quite nicely, people liked roses, who didn’t? But sometimes, he wondered why people bought them, actually gave money for them when they could easily just pluck them out from anywhere.
The weather was beautiful, well here, it always was. He was grateful to be here, to be brought up in such a peaceful and quiet, not to mention absolutely gorgeous mountainous area. It was Gods gift to their Country. The inner cities, he’d heard his friend narrating, were full of crime and dirt. Hustle and bustle everywhere, ‘You wouldn’t have a chance of survival there, Khaled’, he’d said. ‘You’d hate it.’
But he’d been worried for the past few days, there wasn’t enough coming in. What did he make? 5 rupees per rose? He didn’t go to school anymore like he used to, Baba couldn’t afford it. Secretly he missed going, missed learning and being with his friends. Not to mention playing and laughing with them. Baba was getting older, and he was the next in line, the man of the house. But how much could he do?
There were barely any cars on the road today, and the few that had passed had no Women. Usually the cars with Women were the ones he liked, there were more chances of them buying roses.
Suddenly he spotted a Car, but it was still a bit far. And on the other side. He wondered if it would come to this side, but he doubted it. There were Women in it though, three of them! Would they want roses? But wait… it was stopping. And the man, who he suspected was the driver, was coming this way. He hesitated a bit, why was he coming this way? And walking so far? Maybe he wanted something else, or wanted to know directions.
The Man had a smiling face kind face. He took money out of his pocket and said,
‘Here, this is for you. The Women in the Car sent it’.
Khaled was shocked. No, he surely must be mistaken! A full three hundred rupees? He would only make that much if he sold all his roses in two/three days. He backed away, shaking his head.
‘Are you sure?’ he whispered. Maybe it was a mistake.
‘Yes‘, said the Man. ‘All for you. And no roses. They don’t want the roses.”
He couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t contain his excitement. His happiness. He ran to his Baba, his little feet quickly making their way to where he was standing. His heart burst with joy, the roses clutched tightly in his hands.
She sat watching him from the Car. She wanted to see his reaction, his happiness, his joy. Un-spilled tears gathered in her eyes, and a smile tugged at her mouth. Emotion choked her, like it did with her Sisters she was sure, watching him. She wished they’d given him more. When converted back to the currency back home, the money would be next to nothing. She never knew when she was going to come back to visit here.
She’d never forget him laughing, running with his roses towards his Baba. No amount of money was not worth the happiness on his face. His happiness was priceless.
He was the Rose boy.
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[And no, this does not mean I’m back].