It's hot here today. 39 degrees. The kind of hot where concrete radiates heat for hours after sundown, where we tip ice into the evaporative cooler and pretend like it's an air conditioner, where even having a lamp on makes it unbearable, where I have a shower because I can't stand it for another second.
So there I was having my 'can't stand it' shower. Popped out, wrapped myself in a towel that felt like it had come out of a hot box. Dried my face, breathing in, as you normally do after you breathe out.
But when I breathed in, the towel smelled just like my mother.
Not my mother's perfume, and not any bad smell, but the beautiful smell that was uniquely hers and no-one elses, warm, sweet and a little bit musky. Suddenly, I'm a child laying in bed, she's bending over to kiss me goodnight and i breathe her in.
I held my breath, hoping somehow to keep it inside me, knowing it was a trick of the mind and on my next breath it would be gone. But no, it was still there when I breathed in again, and again and again. I breathed it in until I felt stupid. I miss her right now, being pregnant and not having her here to tell me it's all going to be okay, that it doesn't matter if I can't breast feed or any number of the things I'm stressing about. I'd like to say that her scent in that towel (was it me? Do i smell like her and didn't realise?) made it seem okay for just a moment, like she was there with me and always will be. But the truth is that it didn't. It just made me miss her like it all happened yesterday.