The following is one of the prompts created by members of Writers in the Grove in response to Prompt: Round-Robin Writing in a Group.
Dorothy: The smell was familiar and touched a deep place in my heart. That was my heart? At least I could feel again. My heart had been broken for so long, it was new and I was excited to feel its warm flow. The light pounding in my ears was like music, a soft drum. I let the pain go and felt alive again. Wow, how can freedom come so quickly, so quietly.
Bev: All because of that wonderful scent! I turned toward it. Where had it come from? Was he here? It couldn’t be. In the crowded shopping mall I whirled in search of the source.
Susan: The man next to me was startled by my sudden movement and he called out in pain as he twisted his ankle on the slick tile floor. I bent down to help him to his feet when I realized the scent had come from him.
It wasn’t an earthy or manly musk scent, but a light feminine floral fragrance. I wanted to drink it in and be transported back to that dance. But instead, this poor guy was laying at my feet, clutching his ankle.
Margaret: How could I get him up? Maybe I would have to take him to a doctor. Did he have any family near by? There was no phone nearby to call for help. I felt so helpless.
DK: Always the caregiver, in my panic over his injury, I had forgotten where I was: in a crowded mall. Of course there was help. Within seconds an EMT team was hovering over him.
“Are you his wife?” They asked.
“No, just a passerby,” I muttered.
“But I’m his wife,” called a voice in the crowd. As the stylish woman shoved her way toward us, I found myself staring at a tall lady with my face. She stared back. It was unreal. She smelled of the very same perfume that I had noticed earlier on the injured man. The same perfume used by my mother before she died in an auto accident two decades earlier – before foster care, and the separation from a twin sister I had never been able to find. Until now.
Lorelle: I stepped forward. “I’m sorry. We bumped into each other. It’s so crowded here.”
She looked at me and a flash of recognition flickered across her face. She knows me, I thought, and it’s her face she sees. But how?
She turned away from me toward her husband as the EMTs lifted him onto the stretcher. One turned to her. “I think it’s just a sprain but we need to get him checked to make sure it’s not broken.”
“Where are you taking him?”
“I’ll meet you there,” she assured them. Then she turned back to me.
I wanted to run. Escape now. Fear clutched my heart, dampening down all the feelings of a few moments ago. It rattled in my ears. I could barely hear her next words.
“My name is Sally Sparrow. You are Olive Sparrow, aren’t you?”
I couldn’t speak. My stomach clenched. How did she know my birth name? I’d hidden that name so deep, tucking it into the dark recesses of secret thoughts and memories. She knew my name. It wasn’t possible, none of this was.
Cheri: But it could only mean one thing – Sally knew about me. This was not about just knowing about my existence – she knew about personal aspects, such as my name. When I finally could speak I asked her, “How do you know who I am?”
After what seemed like eternity, she quietly motioned me over, away from the crowd. I saw her eyes quickly dark to the left, and I instantly looked left as well. My deep breath in spoke volumes to those who could hear. To my complete surprise, a woman looking very much like my mother was standing there, tears in her eyes. Sally touched my shoulder and softy spoke to me. “Our mother is alive,” she simply said. It was clear that the perfume that reminded me of my mother had the ability to reach deep into my soul, but having her standing in front of me was a total different experience. Suddenly I passed out. When I started to come to, all I could smell was the perfume. I was happy. I was sad. I was confused. When I looked up, I saw my mother’s face. She had some explaining to do, but I wanted to enjoy the memories that the perfume brought to mind. They were happy memories, and much more innocent than my new reality.