When I put the first spoonful into my mouth, I started to cry. The sugar melted on my tongue and the sweet tartness of the juices made the roof of my mouth tingle. A teardrop reached the corner of my mouth; it was the sudden saltiness that first made me realize what I was doing.

One wet droplet fell into my bowl. I sat back, not wanting to dilute my treat. Turning to look in the mirror, I was pale, contrasting with the pastel reds, oranges, and yellows that sat fermenting in front of me.

Why was I crying?

The peaches offered no answer to my query, but as I stared at them, a flood of memories rushed back to me. Six years old, I sat in a cluttered kitchen, California sunlight streaming through the windows and warming my back. My grandmother dumped another spoonful of sugar into the bowl of peaches. She had risen to the challenge after my mother pronounced my complete unwillingness to eat fruit. Her hand on my back, just as warm as the sun, tickled my skin as I have my first taste of peaches.

She died a few months later; a heart attack at fifty-four. It hadn’t known what death was before that. I hadn’t known what peaches were before her. I hadn’t had peaches since; until now.

I put another spoonful into my mouth and cry harder.

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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

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