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The Smell of Ginger

The memory. Slices of ginger grow back onto the root. The yellow segments right themselves on the chopping board and join the rest of the lemon, making it whole. I put down the knife. The bread bounces out of the toaster. It’s fresh and soft. The boiling kettle cools down. I take it to the kitchen tap and it sucks up the water from it.

I walk backwards up the stairs to my bedroom, take off the dressing gown and lie down. The sun sets in the East.

You push the door open behind you. You walk backwards to the chest of drawers in the hallway. The crimpled up note flies out of the bin and into your hand. You unfold it and lay it down, flat and smooth. As your pen moves right to left over the faint lines, the words disappear:

I’m so sorry, but I can’t see you ever again. Please don’t contact me. I’ve made a mistake. I can’t do this.

You put the blank piece of paper into the top drawer and walk to the bedroom where I lay tangled up in bed sheets.

You take off your wedding ring and put it on my nightstand next to the wilted tulips. You watch me smile in my sleep. You undress and get into bed with me.

It’s the evening before. I’d thought that this would never happen. My heart beats out of synch. My smile hurts my face. I clutch the freshly cut bouquet to my chest with one hand. With the other I hold your wedding ring as you prise open my fingers. You put it on. You say: It’s done. Your smile fades. You talk and talk and talk and I can’t understand what about. You wipe the sweat from your forehead.

You hand the barman the change and he gives you your note. I blow Moscow Mule into the cocktail glass through the straw as fast as I can. The smell of ginger overpowers me. I think to the morning when I’ll regret meeting you tonight. I’ll wish that I could turn back time.

Flash Fiction by Anna Nazarova-Evans

Published in Spring 2017


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