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“What do I do with these, Mom?” Karma whispered to her Mom as she took the petals from the red roses being passed around and cradled them in her palm. “Throw them on the grave when I throw mine, sweetie,” Sarah whispered back.


“How ironic that they’re red roses,” Sarah thought to herself as her mind started to wander back to a day some thirteen odd years ago.

She was in her early thirties then, and had finally met the man of her dreams – Sheldon.  Theirs had been a whirlwind courtship. They seemed so right together – they seemed to have it all, same background, same values and loads of passion. Sarah was ready to believe in his dreams and encouraged him to go after them. Sheldon was so happy to have finally met someone who would support him in his art. His ex had insisted that he stick to the law firm and even pushed him to try for a partnership in it. He hadn’t had that kind of encouragement before, he confessed to Sarah.

They discussed a possible  future together. Sarah was mentally prepared to support them, while Sheldon focused on his art studies.  Sarah was also ready to move to Mumbai, knowing that his chances of success were better there.

That day in May,  she was happy to be visiting  Mumbai on work. It meant that she got to spend time with Sheldon.  It also meant that she would be able to tell him her big news. He picked her up from the guest house and took her to Church. After Mass, he stopped to buy some roses. A whole big bunch of roses. As he stepped back into the car, Sarah was so thrilled. Could this be the day he was going to formally propose to her?  But he placed the flowers on the dashboard without a word. “I’m taking you home for breakfast,” he said.  When they reached his home, he took out a single flower from the bunch and absentmindedly gave it to her. Sarah was puzzled, wondering who the roses were for. It was only when he presented them to his mother, that she realized it was Mother’s day, and felt a little foolish. But she held on to that single rose, still hoping for that proposal. ‘Next year, he’ll just have to give me a fantastic bouquet,’ she smiled.

Later in the day, he took her for a long drive, parking the car in a quiet spot under the tree. “You know I love you,” he said.  She had guessed of course, but he had never actually put it in words. Sarah nodded and smiled quietly. “Here it comes,” she thought trying hard to quell the butterflies in her stomach.  “But, I’m sorry I can’t marry you. I’ve thought about it and I realize I want to have children. You’re in your thirties, already. I can’t take a chance on not having children. I’m the only son after all and my mother needs grandchildren.”

Sarah answered with all the dignity she could muster, “I understand, Sheldon. I hope you find someone who loves you as much as I do.” He nodded, relieved that she hadn’t made a scene.  She looked down at her lap and saw that she had crushed that rose and scattered those petals.  ‘Broken,’ she thought, ‘much like my heart.’

Standing here today, she wondered for a brief moment whether she had made the right choice back then. But then good sense took over. Her life since that  day hadn’t been easy but she had lived with dignity and with a lot of love, joy and laughter too.

The service was getting over and she threw the petals, nudging her daughter to do the same.  Then taking the girl’s hand she turned and left the cemetery.

“Mom, didn’t your friend have a family?”

“Not any more.  I heard his mother died a few years after his wife did.”

“So sad. And didn’t he have any children, Mama?”

“He had a beautiful daughter he didn’t know about, sweetheart. But that was his Karma.”



This is my response to the Write Tribe Prompt # 4

Write Tribe Prompt




  1. blogwatig blogwatig June 16, 2013

    Well, nothing quite prepared me for the end. Beautiful, sad…..but beautiful. If only people live knowing Karma is gonna get them whenever she can, happiness would not be a butterfly.

  2. sharmila sharmila June 9, 2013

    Wonderful story Corinne.The grace and dignity of Sarah has come out beautifully through the narration.

  3. Kislaya Gopal Kislaya Gopal June 6, 2013

    That was a well woven srory, I really wish that Sarah had reasoned with Sheldon, then their life would have been so different. Touching tale!

  4. Aditi Aditi June 6, 2013

    And Karma it was!! Beautifully narrated….
    The story depicts strenght of a woman, her dignity, her pride!! It also reflects on the pathetic mindset of males in our society…he deserved this!!

  5. Afshan Afshan June 6, 2013

    Just due to the reason that one may not give birth they have to sacrifice love !
    I dont buy it. Feels sad but ya it is like that I GUESS

  6. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg June 5, 2013

    Karma has her way of coming around when you least except it. Such a beautiful story, Corinne! Loved it.

  7. Jas Jas June 5, 2013

    A wonderful story Corinne. Very nicely written.

  8. Latha Latha June 5, 2013

    Short, crisp and neat…loved the story, Corinne.

    • G Angela G Angela June 5, 2013

      Beautiful corinne ! loved every bit of it ! we never know in life, how some decisions can create consequences one could never dream of…. thanks for sharing such a lovely post ! I am proud of you !!

  9. Mayura Mayura June 4, 2013

    Hi Corinne,

    Felt like watching it dear 🙂 I don’t know why, but at the start when I read the line ““What do I do with these, Mom?””, I’ve imagined two characters wearing black 😀 lol…

    I felt what if Sarah could discuss about it rather than nodding and accepting his point. But in real-world, it happens. Someone who look at it can argue for that. Love is blind! 🙂

    You have a lovely week there Corinne 🙂


  10. ajiteja ajiteja June 4, 2013

    I just loved all the 3 characters sarah, sheldon and karma. They so perfectly depict our lives. Sarah for strength and dignity, sheldon for stupidity and confused and karma for innocence. Story was worth reading…..Thanks Corinne for posting it….

  11. Ruchira Ruchira June 4, 2013

    Oh Corinne ! Superb story ! Excellently told. You had me gripped till the end !

  12. Sheela Sheela June 4, 2013

    This story depicts dignity, tolerance, and strength in the form of Sarah…creator of Karma. Maybe connection with Karma would have changed Sheldon’s life…but…

    Very well written….All the best!

  13. Rachna Rachna June 3, 2013

    I hadn’t guessed the end at all. Superbly narrated. So difficult to know what decisions work in life and what don’t!

  14. Jyothi Nair Jyothi Nair June 3, 2013

    So well written. I believe in Karma too in that it comes back to bite you at some point in time. Sheldon got what he deserved. If Sarah had told him about the child, maybe life would have been different for both. But then, why should she when he doesn’t care about her feelings at all. Lovely!

  15. Bhavya Bhavya June 3, 2013

    Wow! What a story. Loved it every bit.
    And I loved how you named the child Karma. Guess, Sheldon got what he deserved.

  16. Meena Menon Meena Menon June 3, 2013

    The kinda story that brings a lump to my throat!

  17. Melissa Melissa June 3, 2013

    I had goosebumps reading this… You’re such an amazing writer! Perfect ending BS.

  18. Smitha Smitha June 3, 2013

    Such a beautiful story! Such irony, isn’t it?

  19. Meghna Meghna June 3, 2013

    Wow! That was such a beautiful story. It spoke tons! Specially when I am going through this phase of making choices and letting things that are dearest, go off! Guiding it is.

  20. Privy Trifles Privy Trifles June 3, 2013

    Life is all about choices I guess and this story just re-emphasizes on it….

    Beautifully told as always Corinne, I could have never guessed the ending ever 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 3, 2013

      Yes, it’s truly all about choices – and learning to accept that we might have made bad ones, accept and move on too.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 3, 2013

      Thanks, Cairn. When you tell me it’s good, I believe it! 🙂

  21. Joyce Joyce June 2, 2013

    Interesting twist at the end. What a jerk! These days, thirty is not too old to have children . . . obviously.

  22. Talya Tate Boerner Talya Tate Boerner June 2, 2013

    Karma will also win! Good one Corinne. T.

  23. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando June 2, 2013

    Corinne, your stories just get better and better! I hung on your every word and the ending was perfect!
    Many blessings, my friend!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 2, 2013

      Thanks so much, Martha. I just told Ron how scared I am about publishing my stories – they never feel good enough. When a storyteller like you tells me you liked it, I makes me feel wonderful! Thanks again.

  24. Ron Ron June 2, 2013

    A beautifully woven story Corinne. Ironic and a metaphoric gem.

    Sarah is such a graceful character. Beautifully done 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 2, 2013

      So glad you liked this, Ron. I’m so tentative about writing fiction. My Critic comes and sits on my shoulder and whispers sweet somethings in my ear and I have to keep fighting him off! 😉

  25. Punam Punam June 2, 2013

    Corinne, That was touching, awesome and the most beautiful story I have ever come across. Gave me peace. Thank you… thank you soo sooo much. Karma. Keep chanting. Karma.

  26. ushamenon ushamenon June 2, 2013

    Corinne ,this is such an emotional story!! Sarah’s unspoken grief is is so touching.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 3, 2013

      I’m glad it touched you, Mrs Menon. I’m looking forward to reading your take on the prompt.

  27. janu janu June 2, 2013

    Speechless Corinne. Really a wonderful story.

  28. Suzy Suzy June 2, 2013

    Karma has a way of getting back at you. A very poignant tale. I hung onto every word.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 2, 2013

      Oh yes, Karma comes back to bite you, if you’re not careful! 😉 Glad you liked this story, Suzy.

  29. Alka Gurha Alka Gurha June 2, 2013

    We can plan all we want but we really don’t know what life has in store for us. Sarah is all grace, strength and warmth. Loved it.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 2, 2013

      That’s so true, Alka. I’m glad you liked Sarah’s character – I started to like her too! 😉

  30. Kajal Kajal June 2, 2013

    Such a nice story. Sad that Sheldon never came to know about Karma. I like the character of Sarah a lot!
    Thanks for the lovely piece Corinne

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 2, 2013

      Glad Sarah’s character came through, Kajal. Don’t you think Sheldon got he deserved?

      • Kajal Kajal June 2, 2013

        I am not sure Corinne. Sheldon definitely had his reasons and Sarah accepted that. I don’t know if he deserved it. When he put his points across to Sarah she could make him understand her point of view as well, but she meekly accepted what was fallen on her. I may be wrong too, but I guess when we make the choices (like Sarah did to accept quietly whatever fate had) then there should not be any reason for us to complain. Of course that is what I liked about Sarah’s character is that she did not carry any grudges and moved on with her life. Also she did not let the incident affect Karma’s life in any way. Hats off to the woman, though.

        • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 3, 2013

          Hmmm…I get it. We all make decisions which we can always second guess – but if they’re based on some sound principles, then we get the strength to live by them. Thanks, Kajal.

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