A/N- Sad, sad truth about the randomness of inspiration: I got the idea for this drabble reading posts on FML.

They are thirteen when Christine begins receiving the roses. They appear just every so often, a single perfect rose, half-blown, with a black ribbon tied about the stem.

Christine is delighted. She has always had an affinity for roses, and keeps a glass of water on her little table in the dormitories so the flowers will stay fresh. Their mother just smiles. The roses are signs of approval, she thinks, from the mystery teacher. The other girls in the dormitories are jealous. None of them receive roses, not even the older girls who have lovers. None of their beaux can afford such expensive flowers.

As for Meg... Meg worries. She notices what none of the rest of them seem to see.

The roses have not had the thorns removed.