A little girl in a glass shop with ten dollars in her pocket peers into display cases.
She has seen the big muscled men pull the glowing molten globs into the delicate trumpet of a flower, the curving line of a stem, and blue rose petals. The paper weights do not attract her eye. She does not care for the shimmering dragonfly who's wings glisten a gentle green in the fluorescent lights of the storefront.
That one there, in orange, a brilliant blossom calls to her, beckoning the child, burning holes in her pocket. She buys the flower, placing it tenderly inside a white paper bag. But as she turns to leave, she sees it. The rose. The very rose made before her eyes in the warehouse of white hot ovens, where men poured sweat over vast cauldrons of superheated glass. The man had made that rose. She had watched the shining ball of melting sugar as the man flipped it upside down, gravity shaping out the stem as he took an enormous pair of crass looking tweezers to pinch out dainty petals and an inner swirl. The blue was only visible after the material had cooled, the blue called to her.
She went to the mustached man at the counter.
"How much is the rose?" she asked, eyes wide as she could force them, desire plain on her face.
"Twelve dollars." He grunted through thick eyebrows.
Her heart broke.
Despair etched on her little face the man took pity on her and asked, "How much have you got there?"
"Only four." she sighed tragically and eyed the rose once more.
The man melted in her capable hands, his will bending to her hands the way molten roses obey their muscled masters.
"Here." He reached into the case and pulled out the thing. "For a pretty girl."
Years later, after much love and abuse, the girl viewed the rose as a pure thing, the symbol of who she was and who she would become. She imagined one day that she would give the blue glass flower to a man she loved, as if to say, this is me.
But the blue glass rose was never a symbol of purity. It was the manifestation of a young girls greed, of a manipulating heart, the trademark of one who, even now, manages to lie so blatantly and with such skill, that she fools not only kind hearted storefront clerks, but even herself.
So she keeps it, it's broken beauty a constant reminder to her of what she really is, what she will someday hand to a man who loves her as proof of her unworthiness. She will hand it to him and say, "This is me. I am Nothing. Nothing but a blue glass rose."