The air in the room is heavy with the argument. He doesn’t understand where she’s coming from. He wants only a little it won’t even be noticeable if he uses just a dab. She is adamant. No he cannot at all ever use it under any circumstances. He crosses the room to take the little box it’s kept in from her hand. She warns him that he better not dare to remove it from its safe place nestled among the satiny fabric. He ignores her, placing the box down before reaching his hand in to grab it. Smack. His fingers jerk away from the tiny bottle of cologne as if he’s been burned. He turns to face her, indignation showing clear on his face.
The cologne contained in the bottle really wasn’t all that special in its early days. Just one of many mass-produced copies of the same liquid in the same bottle. Her grandmother, however, saw it as more than that. She saw it as a part of her husband. It was the cologne he had used all through the many years of their marriage, and this was the last bottle of it she had ever bought for him.
The little bottle had always been there throughout most of her childhood, tucked away into a little box that she had painted herself. It usually went unnoticed. The box containing it was generally hidden somewhere in a draw, and her hand would brush it slightly as she grabbed clothes. That was the way it usually was, just in the periphery of her mind. Except for the times when she was all alone and her sister wasn’t in their shared room. On these rare occasions, she would carefully take the box from its draw. She would open it lovingly and take out the tiny little bottle, smiling at the opaque yellow liquid within. Gently unscrewing the cap, she would take a deep breath. She would let the familiar scent wash over her, a delicate reminder of days past with a grandfather that she adored until his passing. It was like a magical charm. If she closed her eyes and tried hard enough, she could almost feel his big hands lifting her up into the air the way they had as a toddler. She could nearly hear his deep voice rumbling, and her mind’s picture of his face lost some of the blurriness it acquired over the years.