This is a story based on a prompt from a blog about writing. It was meant to be a story about food, but turned into something more. I know it's a little rough, so feel free to comment.
Here's a link to the blog: http://jpaulroe.wordpress.com/
The strong scent of peppermint invaded my nose. Sweetness lingered, as my tongue twirled around the candy. I was ten and standing with my nose pressed up against a frosty window. It was around Christmas, and the house smelled of cinnamon and warm cookies. The memories flooded back, even the ones I wanted to suppress. For most people this time of year was joyous and celebratory, but it only made me cringe.
Now as the candy cane dissolved it only tasted sharp and bitter. As always, things were never as good as I remembered them. I crunched on the end of the cane biting away at the sugar coated emotions. My parents weren’t religious, but we were always forced into going through the motions of the season. My Grandmother was Catholic and made sure I had the facts about Christmas. She was the reason I had come to resent December every year. I sucked on the rest of the candy, the end becomming a needle sharp point and I winced as it pricked my cheek.
I watched the shoppers rush by, women struggling to carry bags heavy with purchases. The only presents I ever got were hand-me-down sweaters or if I was really lucky maybe a book. As I waited for the bus, I recalled how books were my escape. I wasn’t the unwanted stepchild when I read, I was a princess or a warrior. I was a hero. Here twenty years later, I found myself wanting to retreat back to the library. I wasn’t ready to face the woman I had disregarded years ago. This stupid confection was forcing me to mentally relieve every painful detail.
Christmas Eve’s were always marked by shouting matches. My stepdad’s voice boomed in my ears, and the shrill replies of my mother were enough to drive me running into the darkened cold. Tears clinging to my cheeks, I watched the snowflakes fall to the ground landing perfectly, oblivious to the chaos around them.
When my fingers ached and my nose was numb, I would quietly find my way back inside. All I wanted was a hug, to be told everything was okay. What I found was a darkened interior and slamming doors. I hid under the covers in my bed finally enveloped by warmth, hoping sleep would carry me away from this hell.
That was how I remembered Christmas. So why was I getting ready to visit my mother? Maybe I finally wanted her to know how much I had come to hate her, or maybe it was because of the cancer. I figured she’d forgotten me long ago, happy I was gone from her life. A friend of mine who worked at the E.R. told me she had been admitted. I hadn’t seen here since I was a teen, but here I was returning to see her. The bus arrived and as we pulled away I wondered if I could really go through with this. Somewhere deep down inside I loved my mother, I forgave her and I hoped she would do the same for me.