Planting Thornless Roses

‘Ouch!’ I cried out, jerking my hand away from the rose bush.

         ‘What is it?’ Amanda called out to me from where she was kneeling in the dirt.

         ‘Stupid rose!’ I shook my hand, then stuck my injured finger in my mouth. ‘It stuck me!’ I mumbled around the digit.

         ‘That bush?’ she asked, raising an eyebrow. ‘That one right there?’

         ‘Yes, the one coated with my blood.’ I frowned. ‘Why do I feel like you’re about to take the bush’s side?’

         ‘Because that’s a bush of thornless roses,’ she chuckled. ‘You may be the only person I know who could stick themselves on a thorn that doesn’t exist.’

         ‘You think I’m lying?’

         ‘No,’ she shook her head. ‘But I do think you somehow manifested a thorn into being.’

         ‘Why would I—’

         ‘Oh, relax,’ she laughed again. ‘I’m just teasing you.’

         ‘Oh.’ I frowned. ‘Good. I knew thornless roses weren’t a real thing.’

         ‘No, they definitely are. Wait, you thought I was lying?’

         ‘You seriously know where to buy thornless roses?’ I asked, awestruck. ‘I thought they were a myth, like unicorns or pomegranates.’

         ‘So much to unpack there.’ Amanda shook her head. ‘How’s your finger?’

         ‘Painful,’ I said, obstinately. ‘But I think I’ll live.’

         ‘Unless it gets infected,’ she noted. ‘You’re too stubborn for antibiotics.’

         I narrowed my eyes at her.

         ‘You know how I wanted to take up gardening with you? Get some sun, spend some time together, maybe buy David Austin roses and plant them outside our window?’

         ‘Yeah?’ she said.

         ‘It was a nice idea,’ I hissed, dropping my trowel in the dirt and standing up.

         ‘Oh, don’t be such a baby,’ she laughed. ‘Come back here and let’s finish off this bush!’

         ‘Nope.’ I brushed stray dirt off my pants. ‘Not interested! Gardening is not fun!’

         ‘It is if you let it be.’ She rolled her eyes. ‘You have to give it a chance!’

         I took a deep breath and thought about what she was saying. Maybe I had been too hasty. Maybe I should give gardening another—

         ‘Oh god, a bee!’ Amanda cried out, barrelling past me to get inside.

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