I can't believe it's my 50th post already! Pretty crazy.
“Don’t go in the kitchen!” I warned, and stepped inside.
Something was different. I paused, one foot still on the porch, and took a breath. The cake smell was gone, replaced by the aroma of old leaves. With all the greenness and the warm wind, that was the last thing I expected. It smelled like fall.
“Move,” Elle said behind me, her arms full of pillows and bags, and she shouldered her way past me before I could think.
“I won’t, don’t worry,” Jake said in answer to my warning and followed Elle inside, leaving me still in the doorway. Was the smell of fall so weird? I wondered. I shivered slightly and stepped the rest of the way inside, shutting the door and looking around. Everything was exactly the same, the family picture of us from ten years ago, a painting Elle had given mom last year, a photo of the three of us being goofy last summer. I could hear Jake and Elle talking from her room, their voices loud and reassuring as I followed the smell past the kitchen and into mom’s room.
Maybe she’d been home, I thought, and gotten some fertilizer out for the garden. That was probably it. But that didn’t explain the leaf sitting on her dresser, a large silver leaf with golden veins. It almost looked like metal but it was soft, I picked it up and it felt like a feather. And it smelled like fall.
“Hey,” Jake said from the doorway, poking his head in. “What’re you doing?”
“Nothing,” I said with a frown, looking down at the leaf “Have you ever seen anything like this?”
“No,” he said, his eyes flicking down and back up. “Where’d you get it?”
“I found it, here,” I said, and he slowly leaned against the door frame.
“Mom must have found it,” he said with a shrug, and I nodded. There was no reason for me to think that it hadn’t been there before I’d gone to get Jake, no reason other than the smell. “Aren’t you going to make my cake?” he asked, cracking a smile, and I nodded. “Cannot wait!” he said, high fiving the door frame as he turned to go and already whistling. I put the leaf down and left the room, closing the door behind me.