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“Look at this, Ira.” He held out the small, white budded flower, a crown of soft spikes atop a shamrock shaped leaf. “Clover.”
I examined the clover he held delicately between his fingers, gently stroking the tiny tube-like petals.
“Trifolium repens,” I breathed, flashing a look up at Russ. “White clover. They’re just coming up at this time of spring.” Clovers weren’t usually considered beautiful flowers. In fact, some people actually thought of them as weeds. I loved them though, a fact that Russ well knew. Really, I loved all flowers. Geraniums, roses, snapdragons, pansies, amaryllis, fuchsia – they were all lovely in my eyes.
Russ smiled softly. “I love hearing you talk about flowers. It’s so cute.”
“You know what’s great about clover?” I asked, not waiting for his response. “They’re actually pretty tasty.”
I leaned forward, grabbing a patch of the white clover petals between my teeth and biting them off. I swallowed, enjoying the bittersweet taste. Russ’s eyebrows were raised in surprise, but after a moment, he laughed. I grinned and looked back down at the clover.
For a second, I was taken aback. The previously white petals were now a bright shade of red. I leaned in closer, realizing the crimson stain was a result of my lipstick. Crimson and clover. Somehow, the combination struck me.
“You know,” I said, talking more to myself than to Russ, “Clovers are supposed to signify good luck. And this shade of crimson is a color of passion. Maybe it’s a sign. Luck in love?” I peered up at Russ’s questioning expression. “Or luck in lust?”
“But,” I mused, “Clover can also mean carefree life. Maybe it symbolizes carefree love?” I rested the tip of my finger on the colored flower. “Then again, crimson is also the color of blood, and death. What if it means the end of a carefree life? Or, if the color of death is mixed with the symbol of luck, could it mean bad luck?”
“Ira,” Russ interrupted my frantic rambling, tenderly resting his free hand on my cheek. “What if it doesn’t mean anything? What if it’s just lipstick on a flower?”
I blinked up at him, flustered. As he stared back at me, I sighed out a chuckle.
“I’m glad you’re here to keep me sane,” I laughed, lifting his hand from my face and twining our fingers together. Russ briefly examined the flower between his index finger and thumb before smiling and tossing it away. I watched the ominous crimson clover flutter to the ground, tearing my eyes away only when Russ leaned in to kiss me.
“I’m glad you’re not always completely sane.”