I like the imagery you presented here. It's all very vivid. It's almost like a scene from a movie, actually, that starts with her stepping on those leaves and ends with her on the ground, lying on her back, smiling (the smiling part is probably just me :P). If you think about it, this is all very simple and short and sweet, but it's very meaningful and symbolic as well, and that, I think, is what sets this story apart.
You mentioned in your A/N that the prompt for this is that of a figure screaming, right? I find it clever that you've chosen it to represent it as a description of loss, and the fact that Rose isn't actually screaming on this one - she felt like doing it, but she didn't - is also very nifty. She's chosen to jump in the water instead, to numb the pain, I assume. It's all very reflective of the personality you've chosen to give her as someone who's rather conflicted. I like her. There's something honest about her, especially the way she's reacting to the situation. Her emotions are just so raw and it adds realism to her character. Great job! ^_^
There are times, though, and I hope you'll pardon me for saying this, that the sentences seem a little too wordy for me. That doesn't mean it's bad, though. It's probably just me, you know, because I think some of your shorter sentences are really powerful and I love them, tbh. It's just an opinion, really. ^_^
I like the counting part and the way Rose is pondering things and questioning herself as the water consumes her. Again, the scene is very vivid. This reminds me a little of the game my sister and I used to play when we were younger where we would swim to the bottom of the pool and sit there and count to see who could hold her breath longer. Hahaha. If you've ever tried that before, it's actually very calming and refreshing, especially the moment you break the surface.
That's actually part of the reason why I love the ending to this. I must admit that it feels a little rushed, especially the realization on her part, but see, I am familiar with that feeling just after you catch that first breath. As I said, it's very refreshing and it can surely give you a more hopeful and positive outlook, which is exactly what Rose have. Yay! I'm so happy that she's finally making that first step. It's very promising.
Overall, I think this is a fabulous story and I truly enjoyed reading this. I'm looking forward to reading more from you, dear! Keep writing! ^_^
Author's Response: Aw, thanks so much!! You're review totally made me smile and I'm glad you were able to recall from personal experience that sense of freshness with breaking the surface after holding your breath under water as that's what I was going for when I had her jump into the water. This basically wrote itself as I imagined myself in the character's (Rose in this case) perspective; I tend to put myself in any of my characters shoes, so to speak, when I write them.
Heh, I do have a tendency to be wordy when it comes to description, I'm not even going to deny it. But I'm glad that my shorter sentences made it all more powerful and hopefully means it balanced it out from the wordy ones. I always worry that my shorter sentences will come across as incomplete/fragments to the reader so I'm glad you found them powerful and enjoyed them.
Anyway, thanks again for the lovely review! I really do appreciate it even if it took me a while to respond. (: