She took off her raincoat, and hung it on the rack. Her dress was wet at the hems. She sighed, she had not been able to protect herself from rain, like she had not been able to protect herself from life, from him, from her heart being shattered.
She made her way slowly to the kitchen which smelled like him, a faint scent of his cologne mixed with the coffee aroma from morning. It smelled like home.
As she put her shopping bags on the table, she wondered why it smelled like him when it had been a week since he moved out. She was disturbed by his smell in the house, in her sheets, in her couch, on the pillows, in the closet.

It was forcing her to give in, to forgive and forget. And she would not.

She forced herself to think of the fight a week ago. The fight when she, yet again accused him of cheating on her with his secretary.And he had denied it yet again. Had called her paranoid and insecure.

And it was then she had pulled out the photos, the hotel bills. She had spent a month’s salary on hiring a private eye. And that man had been good at his job.

His face had gone through a series of emotions the moment he laid his eyes on the ‘proof’. Shock, guilt, remorse.

He had called her paranoid for long. Not anymore. She had almost felt like laughing. But it was not funny. Three years wasted on a cheater is not funny. Love lost is not funny.

“I love you,” he had insisted.

She had said nothing. She knew he knew what he had to do. He had moved out with most of his belongings.

From one of the shopping bags, she fished out many bundles. New reed diffuser kits. Many fragrances.

If she had to cleanse her life, it had to start by cleansing her home, by gifting it a new “home” smell.

Love had died and so had the fragrance of a relationship. 

But in the world new fragrances are waiting to be found, so is love.

Her tired face broke into a smile, for the first time in a long time.

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