“Are they are gift? Would you like them wrapped?” asked the florist.
“A gift? Yes, I suppose so,” I replied. “Wrapped would be nice, thank you.”
One white rose and one red.
I started buying roses like this a few months ago. It wasn’t a conscious decision. Instead of walking past the flower shop, I stopped and went inside. The smell of the roses cut through the myriad other scents and demanded my attention.
A single bloom would be lonely, I reasoned. So, I bought two: a red one and a white one to keep it company. Not a whole bunch because then they’d get lost among the others. Even when it comes to roses, I’m an introvert.
I’ve been doing the same thing every couple of weeks since then. I choose them carefully: one red, one white; strong stemmed with unfurled petals. Open flowers that have lived a bit, not tight, mean, virginal buds. There’s a pair of them in a vase on the kitchen table as I write these words. They are poignant yet comforting in their coupledom; ageing together side by side.
Chris loved having flowers in the house. I used to buy them for her. Now, I buy them for me.
They’re still a gift.