Single, long-stemmed rose.
Ally’s secret admirer,
Ethan buys for her.

Too shy to reveal
his identity, he leaves
rose at her doorstep.

With a note signed “Your
Secret Admirer.” Ally’s
super excited.

“Finally! Robert
Professes his love for me!
I reciprocate!”

Ally skips off to
Robert’s house, giddy in love.
Ethan overlooked.

And oblivious.
As Ally misunderstands
the real messenger.

Meanwhile, Nate forgot
to buy a present for his
girlfriend’s birthday. Oops.

“Kellie will kill me
if I show up with no gift.”
Then he spies Ally.

Skipping and giddy.
Red rose poking out of purse
and falling to ground.

In her elation,
she doesn’t notice. Nate does.
He swoops in for rose.

But he forgets that
every rose has its thorn. And
he pricks his finger.

Draws blood but Nate has
hemophobia- fear of
blood. Anxiety.

Irrational fear.
But fear nonetheless. And he
freaks out on sidewalk.

Rose petals fly. Stem
falls on ground. Still beautiful
in all its redness.