A/N: This is adapted from the original version, which I wrote at summer camp. You can find it on fictionpress\...Anyway, we were given a sentence that we had to start the story with. Since mine actually turned out decent (or so I hope), I'm posting it here. Drop a review, please!
A woman stood on the street corner with a basket of roses. Her eyes followed us, as we walked by, trying not to notice her. It was our natural reaction—to ignore those less fortunate, and maybe they'll vanish. Maybe they'll suddenly strike gold; get rich quick.
A ridiculous theory, but one many lived by. She would remain homeless, living off the money she made from her stolen roses.
They were selling for cheap, I thought, as she called out, "Roses! Roses for three dollars! Half-a-dozen roses for three dollars." Her desperation to get money for the roses was evident in her thoughts.
The price was ridiculous. I hoped the profit she made was worth the trouble of stealing them.
My siblings continued forward, content in their imagining that she wasn't there…Jasper was stiff, though that was most likely because he was trying to control himself. Even he, though, was ignoring her.
But something inside me stirred. I reached into my pocket, ready to pull out some money. I paused upon finding a few dollars, and turned to the woman.
"Edward?" Alice called, softly enough that only I heard it. She'd seen that I'd stopped.
"I'll be just a minute. Go on, I'll catch up," I reassured her.
"Come on, Edward! She probably stole those. Go buy them from a vendor, if you really want some roses."
I just shook my head, and looked back at the woman. She was eying the money in my hand, and she quickly offered me half-a-dozen roses. "Three dollars, please?"
I smiled and took the roses, replacing them with the money she desired.
She smiled back, and I saw she was missing teeth. Pity overwhelmed me, seeing her toothless and dirty. I dug in my pocket, and pulled out a twenty-dollar bill. I pressed it into her hand, and, still clutching the roses, walked away.
But before I could get very far, I felt a hand grab my shoulder. I turned back. It was the woman, tears making faintly visible tracks on the light dust that covered her face. "May God bless you," she whispered fervently.
I didn't believe in God--and even if he existed, I doubted that he would bless me. Still, something in her voice almost made me want to know where she got her faith. She was a homeless woman on the streets. How could she believe in a good, merciful God? It didn't convince me that there was one. Still, I knew that she would appreciate me responding well, so I smiled and said, "No. May God bless you."
I was right—she did react well. Still smiling, she tucked the money into the voluminous coat that marked her as a homeless person. It was September, and the only ones who wore huge coats like that were the homeless.
I smiled one last time, and walked away. I rounded a corner, and saw my dear sister Alice, leaning against the wall. She'd waited. The rest of our group had probably made it back home by now.
She glared at me. "I can't believe you let her play you like that!"
I just smiled at her, unable to shake the feeling of euphoria that had come over me. "For you," I said, holding the roses out for her.
"You're incorrigible," she told me, rolling her eyes. But she took the roses, bringing them to her face to smell. She smiled at me, chagrined by the smell. "Thank you." A pause. "Even if they were stolen," she threw in, mostly for my benefit.
I laughed, and we began our walk home.
"You know," she said, as we walked down the crowded sidewalk, "In New York? There's a reason people ignore you when you say hello."
"Oh, really?" I said conversationally, playing dumb.
"Yes," she informed me peevishly. "So they don't get talked into buying everything you're selling."
"You do realize that she didn't even talk to me," I pointed out.
She rolled her eyes—again. "Still. You were taken in."
"Just think about it; see it from my point of view. A poor homeless needed my help. I was merely noble enough to give it."
She laughed. "Oh, now you're noble."
"Yep." My mouth popped on the p.
We passed another homeless man, sitting against the wall with a cup in his hand. Our eyes avoided glancing over him.
Again with that theory, I thought.
I looked more closely at the roses that Alice held. The color was bright red, and it almost looked…moist. Like blood.
Her blood is crying out, I thought. The homeless woman is crying to be heard. It was morbid, but no doubt true.
We reached our home, and when we arrived at our rooms, Alice put the roses in water, next to a window.
I stared at them for a while, contemplating life. It was so fleeting, and filled with so much pain. Was there any point to it? I thought of the homeless woman, of all the homeless people. I thought of the people in Uganda, or wherever that war was taking place.
I watched the roses, wondering if they were connected to the woman. It was that chilling color of blood, like maybe she'd colored them with her own blood. For once, the idea sounded unappetizing.
I wondered if, when the roses died, would the woman die, too?
Perhaps. In our memories, she would cease to exist. We would forget her, without the daily memory of the roses. Even as vampires, we would forget her.
Even with the roses, Alice wouldn't remember her, except as someone who, as she put it, 'took me in'. The others might think I just bought them for Alice from a street vendor.
She was unknown to the world, only a salesman—saleswoman? Is that what she'd prefer to be called?— of stolen roses.
How sad, to never be remembered. To die, and have no one know you.
I knew I would forget, but I didn't want to. I wanted the roses to live forever…
Three days later, the roses were dead. My heart wrenched when I woke up to see the browning flowers.
Alice threw the roses away the next day, and I felt my heart break for her. I wanted to cry, but because no one would understand, I was silent.
But when no one was looking, I couldn't stop the tearless sobs from coming.
I cried for life, for roses, for her.
And then…as I had predicted, I forgot.
A/N: Further notes to be considered: this takes place in New York. We have no proof that the Cullens were there, but we have no proof that they weren't. It's not AlicexEdward...It's Edward before Bella. Alice is just his favorite sister, so it's not that strange that he should give her roses. Carlisle and Esme were back at home.