I stepped inside the solitary room and observed her from a distance. It was just the two of us. Her make-up done the way she always wore it. Her short, soft curls cemented by Rave aerosol hairspray. I walked over with her perfume bottle and spritzed it across her neck. Wafting the sweet smell toward me, I breathed in a cinnamon musk with hints of rose.
Slow and rhythmically, I traced my fingers up and and down the bones in her hand, from the wrist to the fingernails and back again. Then I leaned against the casket and studied her face, noticing the bump on the bridge of her nose. Like mine but smaller. How had I never noticed that before?
I took a deep breathe as the pressure built in my sinuses and eyes; tears trying to escape. Glancing toward the ceiling, I attempted to keep my eyelid dams from breaking, or at least slow the pace. But salty water quickly inched from the corners as my mind drifted off to memories.
“What are you doing?” she asked as I followed her around my kitchen with a plate in my hand.
“Well, you’re spilling crumbs everywhere,” I replied.
She walked back to the counter and put the last bite of toast in her mouth. She chewed and swallowed and in an unassuming manner replied “when you have guests over, let them do as they want to do. Let them be comfortable as if this were their own home. You can clean up after they leave.”
She placed the plate in the sink and frictioned off the remaining crumbs from her hands, then left the room. I watched amused while admitting I just learned another tid-bit of Mimi wisdom.
Pulling a chair away from the wall, I sat beside her in silence. Then I picked up her glasses from the table, the ones with a small rose etched on each of the arms, and slid them over her ears, resting them gently on her nose. I cupped my hands around hers, aged and worn by love and sacrifice. I wasn’t ready to let go. I don’t think we’re ever ready to let go.
The memory is from the post Mimi and her toast, a nonfiction vignette. But the above vignette is fiction, inspired by nonfiction. What would that be called, the blending of real and imagined… just, creative writing?
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