The dark night encompasses the neighborhood of Dorchester, a small town on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., making the town seem even smaller than it really is. With no one in sight, the figure of a teenage girl appears under the streetlights. Making her way across the diameter of the streetlight glowing circle that was left to illuminate humpback whale court, her hands hang by her sides swinging in opposition each stride she takes towards a black Chevy. The right hand is empty—much like her heart—while the left hand holds a single key she drags from taillight to headlight.
Similar to the key, Stella remembers how she was dragged along for months, fooled into thinking someone cared about her. The Key represents the hurt she experienced knowing Nolan didn’t love her anymore. He hadn’t loved her for five months, yet he still dragged her along. She begins to pound her fists into the hood of the car—barely making a dent but man did it let off some steam. How bad she wanted to scream to truly begin the healing process and let out all the anger and pain she was experiencing but she knew she couldn’t risk her future. Not for Nolan. Instead, she left a silhouette of a rose carved into the hood of his car.
A lavender rose was the first gift she had ever received from Nolan. The gift came with a note attached informing the new couple that the flower signifies “Love at First Sight or Enchantment”; either way Stella truly began to fall for him. Their two-year relationship was everything you could ask for in high school, and it helped Stella understand how she deserved to be treated. For even when she felt like she was walking in the pits of hell, the pain showed Stella how strong she truly is.
The hate that brought her here tonight ensued from a place of love that Nolan had built inside her. Now he too would have a lavender rose of his own only his would have thorns—five to be exact. One for each of the month he had led her on claiming he still loved her. One for each of the girls he had cheated on her with while still rolling in the sheets with Stella. Nolan had originally removed all the thorns from his gift to Stella. He said he feared her hurting herself, pricking her finger and falling asleep for hundreds of years like that of Sleeping Beauty. But tonight he gets the whole rose, from the glistening petals that are primed for making wishes down to the thorns ready to draw first blood. Through his cracked windows, she poured a bucket of wilted pedals and broken thorns into the passenger seat; the very spot she once sat in day after day on her way home from school.
The car would speed away after the last bell leaving the stuffy expectations and worries of academia behind them. Nolan had the tendency to squeeze her thigh as they sped around the turns of Piney Church Road, with the subtle gesture letting her know that he cared. Those were the moments that her stomach would touch the ceiling of the car as if she was on a rollercoaster ride she never had any intention of getting off from. Then, a day suddenly came when those intimate moments between them stopped. Five months ago to be exact.
She knows this act was vial but also not nearly as harmful or lasting as the scars she harbored deep inside. For those scars last a lifetime, and this car wouldn’t make it through senior year before being totaled by a drunken Saturday night and then fade from his mind upon the purchase of a new, upgraded ride. But her scars would be lining the inside of her heart; not visible to the outside world but just as painful as a fresh loss. Remembered every time she received flowers from then on. Cursed by a lavender rose.