[From a novella in progress.]
Anna’s mother parted her hair on the side, so you could see her widow’s peak. Her upper lip had dainty points in the middle. Her ankles were lovely, with bones that showed. And when she got dressed, she looked more beautiful than any other mother in the playground.
Sometimes Anna went into her mother’s closet and stood with her nose pressed against her mother’s good clothes and fitted coat; they smelled delicious, just like her mother. Her mother said the fragrance she wore, that lingered on her clothes, was Tweed.
After Anna grew up, she would sometimes ask for Tweed at perfume counters. The salesladies always shook their heads. “That’s an oldie,” said one. “Lentheric used to make it. I don’t know who carries it these days.” Then Anna found it, in a specialty fragrance store.
But when she sprayed it on herself at home, it wasn’t at all what she remembered. Well, she didn’t have her mother’s body chemistry. (Or — come to think of it — a widow’s peak, or visible ankle bones, either.)
She resealed the bottle as best she could and mailed it to her mother. The next time they spoke on the phone, her mother thanked her but said she hadn’t worn Lentheric for years.
Somehow that made Anna sad. She had so loved standing in the dark closet, breathing her delicious mother into herself. Now her mother was a different person, and they were separate people forever.