Dead Rose

Dead Rose

By Kayla Nieder

Dedicated To Mom

Think of me as your personal Nora Roberts. I love you so much. You're my best friend. God bless you.

CHAPTER 1 The rain came down as thick splotches of gloomy H2O. It thumped on the window rhythmically in time to the bumps the train came across. The sky, which was normally the color of a robin's egg, was veiled with big, gray clouds. The beautifully green trees seemed blue against the lazy sky.

Summer, Melanie Clarkson thought to herself. She sighed. Why does it have to end so quickly?

She looked at the passenger next to her. He was deeply asleep and his mouth was slightly open. Melanie could detect the faint smell of Scotch as the man breathed out evenly.

He was a large, robust man in his mid-forties. He had a wedding band on his pudgy left hand. His large gray suit looked a bit too small for him. His small Homburg was sitting on his small head awkwardly. Dark gray hair was sticking out in strange places on his red head.

Melanie couldn't help but laugh. This wasn't such a good idea though. The man suddenly stirred and opened his eyes. He looked at her, then.

"Why good morning young lady." The man said.

"It's afternoon sir." She corrected with a polite, respectful smile.

He smiled back. "Well, of course it is." He laughed at himself, a loud, booming noise that shook the seat they shared.

"You look like a smart young lady." He commented firmly.

"I should hope so." Melanie said with a big smile.

"What do you do?" he asked looking out the window.

"I'm a journalist for the New York Times." She answered.

"Lovely." He smiled and Melanie blushed. "Where are you heading my dear?"

"New Jersey." She said quietly.

The man smiled. "Ahh, I could detect that accent."

Melanie gasped.

How did he know that's where she was from? And she had an accent? She had never thought of that.

"What's you're name, my dear?" he said suddenly.

"Clarkson." She responded. "Melanie Clarkson."

"Clarkson?!" he repeated so loudly, she jumped. "You mean as in Mark Clarkson?"

Melanie nodded, half shocked, half amused by his sudden excitement.

"You're father was my best friend. I'm going there right now. You're his little girl he's been raving about? My, my. I should've known. Well," he was really excited now and Melanie sat wide-eyed. "You'll have to meet my son. How old are you?"

"Twenty-three, sir." She said quietly, still shocked.

"It's Christopher, Melanie!" he boomed.

"Sir?"

Both looked up to see a young girl looking down at them.

"We've been getting some complaints directed at you. You'll have to quiet down."

The woman exited and Christopher sat still for a minute.

"What's your son's name, sir-uh, Christopher?" she smiled, hiding her mistake.

"Edward." He said, proudly. "Or Eddy."

"I really should've known you were Mark's! You look exactly like him. Same green eyes, same brown hair. Lovely." He smiled.

She nodded.

"Are you married?" he asked.

She held her bare left hand for him to examine.

"Then, you'll definitely be meeting Eddy. He needs somebody."

Melanie blushed.

"I don't…"

"Stopping at Trenton." A voice on a speaker announced.

"Here we are." Christopher rubbed his hands together.