I was so tired.
Work just kept seeming to pile up. It was a never-ending sea of paperwork back at the office.
I hadn’t been home for three days.
The roads were empty except for the occasional passing cars and everyone was either home or at some dinner at this time. It was noon and the sky was a light orange color thanks to the drowning sun. I was driving slowly but not too slowly.
My limbs ached.
Let this be a lesson, Liz, I thought to myself, never pull an all-nighter for three nights straight. Ever.
Just ten more minutes and I would be home.
I sighed. I was so tempted to park the car on the side of the road and just sleep for ten minutes.
But me being me that ten minutes was going to turn to ten hours so I kept driving.
Five minutes pass and I was turning onto the familiar neighborhood. I could see the Bar B Q smoke coming from some houses and loud laughter floated through my open window.
I smiled. It was a lively neighborhood.
I could see my empty driveway in the distance.
I was almost home.
As I got closer a sense of loneliness struck me and I breathed deeply.
I just needed sleep and I’d feel better by morning.
I parked In my driveway, not wanting to go in the garage because it was too nice outside, and got out.
I had my keys and purse and looked in the car to see if I missed something and sure enough, my phone was in the cup holder. Grabbing my phone I closed the door and clicked the lock button on the clicker.
I made my way to the entrance of the medium sized suburban house and unlocked the door, letting myself in.
“Finally,” I said out loud in relief.
I hung the keys on the little hook by the door, locked the entrance, and took off the two-inch heels from my aching feet.
I walked through the entryway towards the kitchen, which was connected to the big living room, divided by the marble counter.
Orange light streamed in through the big windows into the living room.
Making my way to the kitchen I grabbed a glass from the cabinet and poured water into it from the fridge dispenser.
I slowly sipped the water as I made my way to the couch.
I walked to the side of the glass coffee table and froze.
In the middle of the table was a single red rose petal.
I bent down and picked up the soft petal and held it.
It was a beautiful dark red color and felt silky between my fingers.
As I studied the luscious and soft rose it was when I noticed the sweet aroma.
Not just from the petal.
The fragrance surrounded me.
I was drowning in it.
It was everywhere.
I spun around on my heels.
I should have been panicking, running towards the door, and leaving.
But strangely, I was filled with a sense of calm.
I followed the scent and as I got closer to the back door, the stronger the scent became.
I twisted the doorknob and slowly swung it open