While the stories are linked, each is a standalone. However, if you’ve missed any and want to read them, you can catch up here.
Xeranthemum. Say that five times fast. Or not.
It’s a strawflower. An everlasting. One of those flowers that dry well without losing its color.
I never offered them much in the nursery back home. Folks didn’t know what to make of them unless they designed their own wreaths or used dried flowers for other purposes. The petals feel strange, papery, even when not dried.
I’ve planted some in my narrow back garden, which is beginning to look like a color cacophony, if you could hear color.
“I know that flower,” Russ says.
I glance up at him, surprised. “Really?”
He laughs. “You don’t think I know anything about flowers?”
I shrug. “Well…”
“It’s originally from Australia.”
“You know it is,” he says, grinning. Have I told you how much I love his grin?
“I never took you for one to know much about flowers.”
“Not me. My mum. She grows lots of them. Dries them. Makes things that she sells.”
I nod. He grins, strokes his index finger over my cheek.
“Your sister left this morning.”
Instantly I feel calmer and sad, weird. “A relief for you?”
“She seemed good. I think everything will work out.”
He places his lips on mine for a quick kiss. “Yeah.”