The Smells That Kill

Isn’t it crazy how one scent can transport you back to a certain specific time? I have one, and I believe most people do. I have a scent that pushes my mind to travel to a place it doesn’t wanna go. Some mornings I casually reach for a body lotion, oblivious to the overwhelming effect it will soon bring me. As I rub the concoction across my skin, my nose takes in a simple fall scent doused with cinnamon and clove. These mornings, as I bask in this nauseatingly great smell, my body begins to ache. I’m suddenly frozen, left to contemplate the moment that is associated with this devil of an aroma. And it’s always the same. I’m always brought back to the last day with him. It was Halloween. A day that is supposed to be filled with candy and giggles and screams of terror that last only a few seconds. I drove to his house and was expecting a night of laughing at cute kid costumes and cradling my head in his shoulder to block out Jason in the movie Friday the Thirteenth. I was wrong, but the night seemed normal. We passed out candy, cracked jokes, and spent time together. Time I really wanted to make special. The night drastically came to a halt when he became sick. And it wasn’t a sick where his cheeks slowly turned red and his stomach began twisting intensely. It was a kind of sick that was provoked by something, a liquid of some sort. But silly me was unaware of this. I spent the remainder of the night cleaning up after him and trying to figure out the cure to his mysterious bug. He cried and cried, letting tears slip down his face. He apologized over and over, reiterating the fact that he loved me. I should have known. He was crying because of regret. He took this time, under the influence and emotionally exposed, to continue the lie. He wasn’t crying because our Halloween was ruined. He was crying because everything he had ever done, every girl he had talked to with me crammed in the back of his mind, and every lie that had slipped out of his mouth caught up to him. He realized I was too much for him. He realized that the cheating wasn’t just a mistake, it was what he wanted. Something else. Something new. He attempted to keep me dangling in his life as he put up a curtain separating the truth from reality. He cried to show me he “cared” and I believed him. This was the last night I was mistakenly happy. The next few days resulted in intense texting wars and finally a breakup. The lotion’s scent always brings me back to the feeling I got driving home Halloween night. A feeling of confusion and sadness. Our bodies are crazy machines. I sometimes think of throwing away the salve and returning to the store to pick up a scent that reminds me of a vacation or a time of smiles. But I cannot. Instead I leave it on my shelf, ready to transport my mind to a terrible time.

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