The Scent of Innocence

Miranda sighed, a long sigh of a girl reunited with her past. She caught up the doll in her arms, and suddenly, holding her to her chest, just as on that long-ago birthday, she felt that AP History, friends, and parents were so faraway. She stroked Sarabeth’s hair, letting all the muscles in her body relax.

Burying her face in the doll’s dress, she took a deep breath. Sarabeth smelled like mothballs, a bit of dust, but also like innocence, like a childhood gone away too fast. Still, so many years later, Miranda thought she could almost smell the birthday cake, could almost smell the scent of being a little girl.

She remembered how Sarabeth used to sit on her bed every day, the covers pulled tightly so she would sit upright.

Carefully, she tucked the doll under her arm and took the rickety attic steps to at a time, hurrying to get back to her bedroom. She carelessly shoved aside the textbooks and notebooks, putting Sarabeth back in her rightful place on the bed.

All was as it should be.

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