Rose blossom photo in low key black and white.

Once Love

Rose blossom photo in low key black and white.
Once Love — 35mm | f/1.4 | ISO 100 | EXP 1/250

He once received a single red rose. On a break from the bustle at an ivy league coffee shop he sought refuge on a rooftop perch. It was his perch. Behind the cafe, cloistered in a brownstone alley he sat overlooking the parking lot he knew so well. Elevated, and hidden from the world set in motion below. Familiar chain linked fencing, dumpsters holding the byproduct of business, and the backside of the vintage record store a touch off in the distance contained a modest lot with parking meters marking each full space. It was a Friday evening and the town was alive. Princeton is a place that will stir the spirit. Academics, industrious students, professionals, bohemians, and tourists all come together in suburban paradise. Somehow modern, yet frozen in time. It’s equal parts tiny city and friendly home town from a bygone era full of thinkers, doers, dreamers, and seekers.

He loved this place and he loved her. Yet the rhythm of it all fell flat that night. A modest disagreement sent him to work amiss. Pulling espresso shots and crafting drinks he thought of her as he always did, though this time there was angst over their parting. Never did they fight and rarely did the disagree, but today they hit a bump. Somehow sensing his unrest with her colossal emotional intelligence she settled all without a word. She had a prodigious knack for such things. She always knew what to say. What to do. How to be. She could put anyone at ease with striking intuition. Somehow sensing the perfect greeting for a perfect stranger. This struck him more than anything. She fascinated him in all ways, but it was this trait the stood without equal. It was genius.

So there it was he sat. Perched alone, churning over the day’s events and fretting away the moments of his 10 minute break. It was then among a sea of red break lights he saw those red break lights. Out from the driver’s seat popped the striking silhouette of the finest young lady. Bearing no ill effects from the afternoon’s transgressions she bounded weightless from her door to a car windshield in a sea of nicer autos. It was there, under the driver side windshield wiper she placed a single red rose. Laid with all the care as if the world was watching. She never could have known he set up there watching. Stunned atop the rooftop his eyes filled with tears and he knew things were all right.

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