"It's supposed to be a springtime ball, Leo,"
"But we can't postpone it any longer,"
"Fine, we'll have it tonight," Leo's eyes lit up and he smiled at her. Clover shook her head, her auburn curls falling down her back. She was so stressed. She needed a break. She needed to get away. Her heart pounded in her chest and she drew in a shaky breath. She wouldn't last much longer, not like this. Her head throbbed. A splitting headache crashed through her train of thought. She placed a hand on her temples.
"Hey, don't worry, it will all work out we can rename it something like-"
"Don't it will be fine, come on, we have to go set up," Clover walked on. A bounce in her step despite the cold. She really wanted a springtime ball. Even if they couldn't have it. The sun was setting and she hugged her arms around herself. The ball would only start at seven. She walked into the hall and Leo followed her. The tables were all set. White lilies and orchards surrounded the banners, their sweet scent filling the large room. Clover breathed it all in and felt a hand grab hers. Leo. She smiled at him and despite her age nimbly managed to pull him into a hug. They had been married for a while now. More than a while. They had never had any children. Clover had always wanted one though. She couldn't conceive one. It was one of her deepest sadnesses. She so wished she could. That was the reason she threw this ball every year. She sighed and pulled away from the hug. They surveyed the room and Clover made a mental note to remind herself later about something. She had to tell him about it sooner or later. otherwise, it would be too late. Leo let her sink into the feeling of the ball and she left him to go and get changed. The guests would start arriving soon. The ball was a fundraiser. They raised money for different orphanages. This year, it was Saint Margaret's. Clover sighed and pulled a slim dress over her head. She wasn't old, she was merely in her middle 40s. She admired herself in the mirror. Dark blue silk and small straps with a small split. That was her dress. She tied her hair in a low bun and settled on some medium-high heels. She heard a knock at the door. The guests were arriving. Clover made her way downstairs to go and greet them. It was going to be a long evening. And she was no where near ready for all the surprises it would bring her.
Aurelia lowered her head in a soft curtsy as Clove opened the door. She was used to the middle-aged woman's face. it was pretty and held youth within it. Aurelia shook off the rain from her coat and put it off to the side. She stepped through the door and immediately noticed all t trouble they had gone to that year. They didn't often put flowers in their house. She glanced at Clover and gave her a warm smile. Her chocolate brown curls shone in the dim lighting from sconces around the side of the hall. Aurelia's partner, John, followed he rin. He was bright and always had a smile. He wasn't, muscular or handsome but Aurelia loved him all the same. He patted his pocket making sure that something was still there. Today was the day, he took a deep breath and started off toward the punch table. He always started with the punch. Clover laughed and Aurelia just sighed. She was used to John's habits by now. Aurelia turned in her dress and it flew up. The light yellow colour filled her vision and the pale colours seemed to float off it into the night. It was a pretty dress. So pretty. Clover examined her and found herself longing that she had worn something fancier. All the other guests started to arrive and the band started to play. The moon shone through the windows and the music went on until early morning.
John and Aurelia danced the night away. So in love. The sun shone through as the hints of sunrise arose. John led her over to a bench just outside the hall. They sat down and leaned into each other. A blossom fell onto Aurelia's head. John laughed and pulled it off. Using the distraction, he bent down onto one knee. Aurelia clamped her hands over her mouth.
"Will you marry me?"
"Yes!" The word was out of her mouth before she could think twice. She grinned and all of John's springtime nerves faded away. As the hints of spring rose in the air Aurelia sneezed. John laughed and smiled at her. "Spring is finally here I guess,"
Aurelia nodded as he slipped the ring onto her finger.
Clover watched from inside. Most of the guests had gone home by now. She remembered when she and Leo had been like that. he was now asleep. Exhausted from the night. Clover smiled at the happy couple and headed back inside. She would give the mansion ver to Aurelia and John. She had been hiding something. She had to tell Leo about it. She had made a mental note to tell him earlier. But she couldn't bring herself too. She only had a short time left. She had a rare heart disease. She had five days before it would take her to heaven. Five days before she would die. Clover clutched at her chest and headed upstairs to go back to bed. She would tell him when he woke up. She didn't want to ruin his happiness. She would give the mansion to Aurelia and John when she called them, which would be in three days. Just five more days, then she could rest in peace. The hints of spring crowded her room as she collapsed onto her bed and fell asleep before her head hit the pillow.