the scent of apples

This is what she remembers, at the end.

She remembers the weight of the pen and the shine of the ink and smoothing the parchment beneath her hands, and sketching out her imagination in imprecise lines.

She remembers the smoothness of her Christina's hair. Her beautiful, beautiful child, taken too soon, in whom she saw all the best of herself. Here at the end of everything, her fingers curl around the locket warm from her skin, and she wishes one more time that it hadn't been this way.

She remembers forgetting. It was so easy; the memories floated away like dust in the wind. She had tried to gather them back at first, and then she had relaxed and let them go with the thought that maybe there would be peace for her yet. She'd been wrong.

She remembers wanting. I love you, she thinks, and thank you. She feels her lips move. Her heart is beating quickly now. She's not sure which she actually said, but it will have to be enough—it will have to be enough forever, because there is no time for more.

She remembers the scent of apples, strong and sweet, and she remembers hope.