By Deenusha Baskaran
The smell of chocolate filled the room. Hot and uncovered, a cup of hot chocolate sat beside the bed. A man stood, watching a woman lying serene and calm. He watched her and reached out to her hand. He entwined his long fingers into her soft grasp, and swallowed as tears pooled in the corners of his eyes. His memory flew back, recalling his own past. He had been alone all his life. He had never known who his parents were. He had been left on the steps of an orphanage. That is where he had lived his eighteen years of life. Since then, another decade has passed on since he graduated and established himself as a software programmer. Life in the orphanage had been pretty decent. He had made friends but not enough to make it into close friendship. He had been enrolled into an all boys’ school with his orphanage mates, who were all boys too. He had made it into college and with hard work he had graduated from university later after pursuing software programming. Life had been good to him from then onwards.
One fateful day, he had walked into a local café nearby, buying hot chocolate—his favorite. As he walked out the door, a woman barged in, drenching wet from the rain that was pouring outside. He didn’t stop in time, and she ran straight into him—spilling the hot chocolate on both of them. As she stumbled into him, the scent of fresh green apple hit his nose. The scent was as gentle and soft as her hands. Combined with the smell of hot chocolate, the fragrance surrounding them became intoxicating. As both stumbled up with profusive apologies, he couldn’t help noticing her soothing voice. As she adjusted her messy hair, he was awestruck with her cuteness.
She had offered to replace his chocolate, but he declined. From there, they had exchanged business cards. She was a low-profile writer. He’d asked her out for dinner that weekend. As he stepped into his car, his mind kept returning to the smell of green apple. He had remarked how he loved her perfume. She had told him it was her favorite scent. Her shampoos were green apple infused, as well as her body lotions, perfumes and colognes. Surprisingly, she had said that she thought he smelled like chocolate. A month later, they started seeing each other and gradually fell in love. He adored her as she much as she loved him. A year later, they married. The smell of green apple fulfilled their home.
One week ago, they had gone out for their weekly date night. They were walking down the alley when a loud explosion erupted. He remembered seeing her unconscious in a pool of blood as he lost consciousness himself. He woke up hours later to learn that they both had been in a suicide bombing incident. His injuries were minor, but she had been hit by a piece of shrapnel, missing her heart by an inch.
She had been unconscious for three days, losing a lot of blood and suffering a severe concussion. Despite the man’s injuries, he remained by her side . He couldn’t imagine living without her. She had broken down his walls and become a part of his life. She was the only person he had learned to love, and his only family. The doctors had advised him to keep talking to her and playing her favorite music to help her regain consciousness. So he stayed beside her, clasping her hands, rubbing them gently, and slowly kissing them. The smell of green apple soothed him. He had grown used to it over the past two years.
That was when the moment of realization struck him. He picked up his phone and called her sister, instructing her to bring all her favorite green apple products. He asked his friend to get green apple aromatherapy candles and essences. Soon, he received them all. With the doctors’ permission, he lit all the candles around her ward. He placed an aromatherapy diffuser by her bed with green apple essence drops. The air was filled with her favorite scent. Beside her bed, there was a half-full cup held old hot chocolate, now cold.
A few hours after setting everything up, her fingers moved. As she struggled to open her eyes, she took a deep breath. Her favorite green apple scent filled her nostrils. In the scent, she sensed traces of chocolate. Amidst regaining consciousness, the mixed scent told her, his was right by her. She flicked open her heavy lids. His hands clasped hers, though he had fallen asleep next to her. Though he had been injured, he still waited by her. Her movement stirred him from sleep. He looked up to see her staring at him with a faint smile. Tears rolled down his eyes.
He stood up, bending over, kissing her forehead. The scent of green apple reminded him of the moment he had first set his eyes on her. Receiving his kiss, she inhaled the scent of chocolate from him. It jogged her memory back to the café, the day that had changed their lives both with the scents of chocolates and green apple.
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